In a way, that last blog post was a bit cathartic. I got some things off my chest and hope that some can learn from it whether they’re recovering from a traumatic brain injury or know someone that is. The most important thing you can do as a friend or loved one is to understand that when someone has any type of brain injury, they may not act like themselves. Instead of getting angry and cutting ties, talk to them and offer support while they’re working towards recovery. They may not always listen, but it won’t be that way forever. The last thing they need is to feel alone and abandoned by friends and loved ones. Both parties will be stronger from the experience.
That being said, I’m slowly recovering from my recent episode of severe depression. I’m not out of the woods, but I’m no longer wallowing in self-pity on a daily basis. There are moments of emotional pain throughout the day, but my spirits are more easily lifted and I pull out quickly until the next thing goes wrong.
For the most part, what has been pulling me out this time around is throwing myself back into work. The moment the first student walked into my classroom a week and a half ago, I lit up. I felt like a different person – someone who is valued and needed instead of an annoyance to be cast aside.
My job is one of the most important things in my life. It’s who I am, my identity – I’m a teacher. The feeling of being appreciated by students and parents is one of the most heartwarming feelings I’ve ever experienced. My group this year seems to be exceptionally warm and I’m getting word from other teachers that my students absolutely adore me. The feeling is certainly mutual. The only thing I can imagine that would rival this would be being deeply in love and being loved in return. (But then, I have no experience in that department, so I can’t say that for certain.)
I’m still getting in some riding (in fact, I rode yesterday) and I’m probably feeling stronger on the bike than I ever have. I think those 30 lbs I’ve lost since the accident account for some of that. I’m supposed to be training for Levi’s GranFondo, the medio route this year, but the set backs I’ve experienced during my recovery are making that seem unlikely. I suppose I’ll make the call when I get to Occidental after that first climb.
In related news, I’m considering taking yoga or pilates. The hope is that it’ll help me improve core strength. Because I’m still experiencing vertigo, I decided that taking a class might also be a good way to retrain my brain in order to regain my balance. I suspect that a class will also be good to combat my depression and manage stress. Problem is, I’ve never taken yoga or pilates and have no idea what to expect. If anybody has an input for me on the subject, it would be much appreciated!