May Mutter

There's quite the topic for today.

Yesterday was the first time any such thoughts have ever crossed my mind.

I have debated throughout most of my sleepless night whether I will go public with it as it is such a personal experience. As you can see, I decided to go through with it, and here's why: lately, I've noticed a lot of posts in our TBI Tribe group regarding suicide. Everything from posts about giving up and not being able to deal anymore, to straight up "farewells". It made me realize how big this topic is for people in my shoes. If I'm going to raise awareness about brain injury and concussions, I have to raise it all - the good and the ugly. I'm not seeking attention with this post, nor am I seeking pity or sympathy. I'm seeking understanding from those who haven't been there, and am looking to bring hope to those who have. This project is my soul, so I have to give you a glimpse into mine to understand it. Here goes:

As my previous posts mentioned -you are no longer the person you were. You can't do any of the activities, you have a headache pretty much 24/7, you feel alone and worst of all, you feel like a nuisance to your friends and family. 

Having recently found out that I may lose my license, I'm no longer allowed in the kitchen unsupervised, and that I will unlikely ever be able to work again has put quite a damper on my mood. But what led me to these thoughts is the fact that all of a sudden I felt I wasn't good enough for my husband. Being in our mid 20s, I felt I am not enough and I can't give him what he wants. Sparing the details of that story, we decided to spend the long weekend at his grandparents' lake house. It's about a 1.5 hour drive and I silently cried the entire ride thinking about this. What set me off the most was the thought that if we just got in an would solve everything. A slip off the road, a ram into another car or truck, head on, T-bones. Whatever. I pictured every scenario.

Picturing it, out of nowhere, was like a punch in the face. And, of course, I had a panic attack and it just spiraled down from there. What's worse is that it wasn't just me in the car, it was my husband and my fur baby.

I finally thought I had calmed myself enough by the time we got there. Walking in and saying hello was easy enough... Until they asked how I was doing. Anddddd I just lost it. Most embarrassing way to say hello. I holed myself up in the bathroom and had another anxiety attack: full sobs, hyperventilation, and more tears than I thought were possible in one go. 

What calmed me down? Two extra strength advils, a gin and tonic and a meditation session. I was now a whole new person; apologizing for my break down and laughing it off.

Having slept on it, I'm scared shitless that this even crossed my mind. Ironically, I've spent this past week designing a tattoo - and I'm looking to get the green ribbon for TBI awareness with the word "unbreakable". I had also recently laughed off the thought when my psychologist asked if suicidal thoughts have crossed my head: "oh God no, not me" I giggled. That was 2 weeks ago. Which just comes to show how quickly it can change. 

That said, it also shows how quickly it can change the other way too. If you have a concussion or a brain injury, I can guarantee this has crossed your mind, or it will at some point. All I can say is stay strong. Keep your chin up, and look forward to what is yet to come. You will get through this. Think of the people who love you and whose heart you'd be breaking. You are not alone and we will get through this. That is my message that I have continuously kept sharing, and I do not intend to stop here. 

You are not alone.


  • Dear May,
    This August 7th it’s been 20 years since my auto accident that caused my TBI. My wife and I just this year have took a turn for the better. Finding these others on FB with the same problems that I/we have has helped out tremendously. We’ve realized that I was being a “jerk” on purpose and there was a reason why I was always tired and didn’t want to go out where there was going to be a lot of people around me.
    There’s was such a black hole in my family that I more than once thought about taking my own life. Feeling alone and outcastes. Friends all left me. Family didn’t understand what I was going through.
    Now though. It’s a hole new world that we are seeing. Understanding the side effects of TBI and listening to others stories with the same problem -it’s sad,but also calming to know that we are not really alone and I now know that I would never take my own life. I almost lost it in the accident (thanks EMS crew) and I have a lot to live for. My self/my wife and kids.
    Thanks for reading this.

    Jay Bailey

  • Hey May, Thanks for sharing – more of us need to share this and talk about it. Unfortunately, like you, this realization is scary, we get embarrassed and of course the dang stigma of “Mental Illness” rears is ugly head. I often thought – "I can’t tell anyone about this – they will think I am either nuts, say “there, there” or “pull up your socks”. Until someone has been there, no matter how hard they try to understand – they can’t. Bring on your support group and your project – I will happily be a part of it. (((Hugs)))

    Cathy Dowsett

  • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience.
    I am a mother to a TBI son. My son was 12 years old when he needed a heart transplant (due to birth defect). During transplant his vent tube clogged, he went without oxygen for enough time to develop his TBI.

    He is now 18 and we just was given the diagnosis of a TBI 1 year ago. My son isn’t clear with his thoughts and feelings. By you and others sharing I can understand my son so much better!!!
    God bless you and stay strong!

    Pam Bergfield

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