It’s been awhile since I was able to put my thoughts to words.
My life got really crazy, really quick and I didn’t know how to deal. After my accident, I found myself holding on by what I thought was a thread. My dietitian and my therapist worked hard to keep me grounded.
They were succeeding….until I found out that, for personal reasons, my therapist had to relocate to another state.
It took me weeks to come to terms with the idea that I might actually have to live my life without her as my anchor, and then I set my mind to one goal: making the most of the time we had left.
I began to push myself to share more with her. To make sessions count, not to waste one moment of the precious time I had left of her guidance.
I prepared for goodbye, but focused my energy on the time at hand. A great strategy, until that time ran out.
I said goodbye in a way I never have before. I gave our relationship closure, and I like to think she left it knowing how important she was to me, as I left knowing what I meant to her.
In the days after our goodbye, I was sad, but functional.
“Wow.” I thought to myself. “This isn’t so bad, I can handle goodbyes.”
Then vestibular therapy happened. I had a bad session and got sick and didn’t do well. It set off an emotional upset supercharging me to a place where I wanted to reach out, and then I realized: I was alone.
I had my support system, but no one knew me like she knew me. No one else could, in a five minute text exchange bring me right back to Earth.
More importantly, I realized that she’s the only person I trust enough to be candid about my struggles with my brain injury.
As the week wore on, I found myself fighting back tears and struggling to ignore the gaping hole in my chest that had been filled by our working relationship.
Today, I finally put to words the pain. I miss her. Like one would miss a close friend or relative that moved away.
I don’t trust easily, and now the thoughts I shared with her just swim around in my brain, filling my head with lies and swallowing me whole.
She had this gift for taking my burdens and shouldering some of the weight, giving me respites from the pain and guilt I carry with me, always. I realize now that, though she took some of the weight with her, the longer she is gone, the heavier my burdens grow, threatening to break me.
My new therapist told me today that grief is a funny thing. It never fully goes away, we simply grow around it and it turns into a piece of that person within our hearts.
I grieve the relationship I had with my old therapist, and I know I will never have another quite like it. She picked up my pieces and put me back together, and I am a whole person today because of her. For that, and many other reasons, I love, admire, and respect her.
But hopefully I can grow to love, admire, and respect a new therapist. Not as a replacement to my old one, but as a new and different foundation on which I will build this next chapter in my life.