Thursday, March 20, 2014

Q: Have I changed since my accident?

I'm always curious what other people's response to this question is. I posited this question to my close friend, George (whose opinion/thoughts I value tremendously), and this was his response:

"I don't think you've changed as a person -- you certainly seem like the same person to me, and you are behaving as I would expect you to behave given the circumstances. But of course it is the circumstances that have changed drastically, so to answer your question, you are the exact same wendy as before, but the situation you are in now is very different from before, so your interactions with the world certainly have changed because of that... But like I said, it's still "wendy interacting as she would with these new conditions". does that answer the question? I think that might sound like it's just a semantic argument, but it's not -- for instance, if you had a serious brain injury, then you might actually change as a person and have a different personality.
Seeing you endure has been awesome, frankly. At first we were hoping you'd survive, then we were hoping that you'd be able to walk again. When I visited you in the hospital in Reno, we all thought you'd be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. Then you started getting around with your brace but it was a huge effort and still mostly used the chair and we were all very happy to see that maybe you wouldn't be completely bound to the chair... anyway you see where this is going; every time I see you there is an improvement in how you experience life, and every time I think "this is the new normal", you come back again and raise the bar. And that's really cool! 

Btw, I was using the leg/walking as the example, but your mental state was also very much the same sort of thing: in the beginning you were depressed and I was afraid you might try to kill yourself. But with time as you regained some functionality and also had been able to date people and realize that you aren't doomed to a life of loneliness, your mental state has improved in the same sort of way, and I'm really glad to have witnessed that (and am really glad that you're not thinking suicidal thoughts anymore too)."

Quite an eventful last week. Made a very quick trip to the Bay Area, to replace my lost drivers license and to climb in Yosemite Valley. I guess it is kind of a big deal that it doesn't seem like such a big deal any more :) Will write more about my experience climbing in Yosemite and Ouray in a little bit...

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