It is difficult to remember what my perspective on life was in my earliest years other than happiness and amazement at everything new (like most young children I suppose), but I can tell you that since my hospital stay in 1978 at the age of six and then into my teenage years, and all throughout high school, it was Survival. Survive the confusion; Survive the chaos; Survive the frustration; Survive the classroom lectures and tests. Aside from this though, I must admit that my life was also full of many great times with some pretty awesome friends, plenty of memories to carry with me that make me smile. But still, Survival was how I saw everything.
"How can I get through this and do well?"
That question, for me, applied to school classes, friendships, home life. I loved life and everything about it, but I didn't understand.
There were few times that this perspective changed to fear; fear of losing; missing out; being alone and misunderstood. This perspective was shared by want; wanting to fit in; wanting for people to think I was cool even though I knew that what I said (when I said something) and what I did, was not.
In college, my early twenties, is when my perspective changed once again, and it brought back confusion. Survival confusion, like before? Yes. But more off balancing. The questions in my mind were
"Was I crazy or was this world crazy?"
"Learning Disability, what?"
And a few years later, "Brain Injury, what?"
Coming to an understanding after so many years of what I was living with first brought about a perspective of anger (Toward the doctors? toward my family?) Anger was placed on everything in my life. But soon that anger was replaced by a serenity; and I realized that this was perspective I maybe should of had all along.
"Did my misplaced perspectives keep me from seeing and feeling?"
Perhaps it was all of those different feelings and outlooks that got me to this place. Confusion, frustration, anger.... the challenge of surviving, was and continues to be all still there; but it is not all consuming. The light is beaming through the trees. The fog has lifted. Because of knowledge gained, because of self awareness, because of compassion, I can live in peace and see the beauty.
The draining heartache that society can be still often throws a shadow over things, but I have found ways in which to keep myself from falling. As difficult as things may be, as much as life can suck from time to time, I have realized I am Survivor in so ways; and that the prevailing darkness that occasionally skews my perspective, can itself be overshadowed.... by me.
We can all change our perspectives to keep the darkness away..... this is what I think; this is what I hope.