Happy

Something that I have finally learnt in my thirty long years on this planet, is that you can never keep everyone happy.

I count myself as being extraordinarily lucky in having people in my life whose opinion I highly value. Those people are the ones who help me through when I am in the darkest depths of despair, and raise me up to reach the beautiful sun-filled sky.

They advise me on what I should say, and what I should do. They use the best of their knowledge to help me choose the right path. They support me in my decisions, whether they are right or wrong, and they never judge me, whatever the outcome may be.

Anyone who has lived through something drastic, some life-changing, life altering experience, will understand the importance of having these people at hand to help smooth over the transition into real life. I can only speak from experience, but in those dark days that followed my illness, when I did not know which way was up or down, I relied on my loved ones support to guide me through the treacherous storm and into the calmer waters of life.

As time went on, I started to feel the need to make my own decisions. I needed to make my own mistakes and to feel what it was like to suffer the consequences.

If I had decided that I wanted to forgo my nap one day, I would then have to deal with the reality that I would be unable to function, a groggy mess of a person, forgetful, overemotional and miserable. It may put my recovery back a few steps, but it was important for me to make my own decisions and work out the importance of having a nap by myself.

I have always been this way. Act now, think of the consequences later.

They say that a symptom of having a brain injury can be increased impulsivity, but for someone who was always impulsive from the off, it is difficult to determine what is brain injury and what is just me.

When I was aged around ten years old, we went to visit my Granny up in Henley-On-Thames. Growing up this was quite a regular occurrence, but this one time has stayed in my memory for years to come. It was the first time I remember learning about consequences.

I come from a large family, where the majority of us are of similar ages, but I have always been the eldest cousin (excluding those in America) and somewhat of a leader.

My Granny lived opposite a busy road. We had gone out on a lovely Sunday stroll by the river, siblings, cousins, aunties and all.

On the walk back to the house, I decided that I wanted to race the adults home. All well and good if I had stuck to the path, and waited for them by the road, but no. For some reason, I ran up the path, out of sight and straight across a main road, with all of my younger siblings and cousins in tow.

Nothing drastic happened. We were all safe. But it was that day that I was stuck by the realisation of how my actions can have such a huge impact on those around me.

More recently, I have found myself completely dependent on other peoples’ opinions. I need to know that others will praise my decision, that what I choose to do is what they would choose, that it is correct.

But as I sit here today I find myself in an impossible situation. I have desperately tried to keep the impulsivity at bay, to speak to my loved ones and gauge their opinions, to think of each outcome and assess all the damage. But from all the questions I have asked, I have realised that there is no such thing as the correct answer.

I need to take it all on board and make my own decision once more.

All I seem to be able to establish is this: there is no possible way of keeping everyone happy, except to be happy myself, and to emit that happiness to all that I love.

family

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