Walking through the aisles in the superstore this week I nearly fell into a rail of frilly lingerie. Not what you would expect to walk into when you have popped to the shops to get your weekly food shop.
It appears that Valentine’s Day has come around once again. Like marmite, everyone seems to have a love-hate relationship with this day of love.
Personally, when I think about Valentine’s Day, I think about the ones I once loved.
It has been said that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Anyone that has lost love may disagree.
There is one sensation that I believe every single grown-up person will have experienced at some point in his or her life. In my opinion, it is one thing that separates us from the chimpanzees.
It starts with a shooting pain in your left arm. The throbbing spreads upwards and forces it’s way into your chest. Then comes the sharp ache. It actually feels like someone is stabbing you in the heart. It feels like your heart is moving upwards into your throat. Then it feels like you cannot breathe. Your stomach is doing cartwheels, your head is thumping, your heart is breaking.
I have had my fair share of nights spent sobbing into my pillow, mascara sodden tears streaming down my cheeks.
Whilst I believe this to be one of the aspects that separate us from primates, it appears to me to be a very primitive emotion. It just happens, and that is that. It is out of our control.
I must say; sometimes I think that having your heart broken is even more painful that breaking a bone -at least when you break a bone you can fix it.
But what happens when you not only have a broken heart but a broken brain to boot?
Everyone knows that one in three marriages end in divorce. I was under the impression that post brain injury this figure significantly increases to two thirds, with some research showing that only one in seven marriages survive a brain injury.
However, the more I look at the figures, the more it has become apparent that this may not the case. Recently it has been suggested that relationships are more likely to last, post brain injury, with only a quarter ending in separation. Whatever the case, the affect that a brain injury has on relationships cannot be ignored.
What I gather from talking to other brain injured people is that many relationships have broken down, almost certainly, BECAUSE they had a brain injury. Even personally, I often blame my brain injury for my own loss of love. Not only is the whole ordeal of hospitals and medication and appointments highly stressful, but also, a brain injury can leave an individual not the same someone that they were before. You lose the person that you fell in love with.
So whilst I sit here trying to mend my broken heart this Valentine’s Day, I think about my broken brain. Perhaps if I can somehow heal my broken brain, mending my broken heart will follow.