Getting Back to Normal

From Code Black Season 2, Episode 8 – “1.0 Bodies”:

Mike: I tried to come back too soon. I’ve been trying to get back to normal. But the truth is, that doesn’t exist for me, right now. I’m not the same, and I don’t know when I will be.

Mike says this after he experiences great difficult while working his first shift since being in a coma due to an accident and traumatic brain injury. While I have thankfully never experienced anything like that medically, this quote really hit home when it comes to recovery.

I have a tendency to jump right back into things when I get out of inpatient or partial. For example, I got out of inpatient last Tuesday, and went to work on Wednesday as if nothing had happened. Sometimes I think that can be helpful – I like my job and my coworkers, so being at work is a helpful distraction and also provides me with a sense of purpose.

However, I think something I need to keep in mind is what Mike says about normal not existing for right now. If I want to be successful in my recovery, I can’t really be normal right now when it comes to food. Normal people don’t go out of their way to eat even when they are not hungry, or plan things so that they don’t interfere with meals/snacks. But, if I’m going to follow my meal plan, I am going to have to eat when I’m not hungry, and I’m going to have to make eating the number one priority. Although I want to just be normal, I might have to do things like leave work early to make sure I get dinner in before gymnastics, or force myself to eat a snack even when I’m still full from lunch. Normal doesn’t exist right now.

The part about “right now” is key too. I tend to get really depressed because I think that my life is always going to be like this – I’m always going to be constantly stuffed, I’m always going to have to plan out meals and snacks. But, I like how Mike doesn’t say that he will never be normal again – he just says that he doesn’t know when he will be the same again. I’m going to try to remember this when I feel really down – that just because there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel right now, that doesn’t mean I won’t ever get back to normal.

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