Growing up, I always made it my mission to learn the date of births of those closest to me so I could at least wish them a happy birthday when their big day arrived.
Every time there was also a FIFA football World Cup, I always used to enjoy buying the Panini sticker albums which accompanied football’s top tournament.
One of the things I would do was read through all of the dates of births of the players to see who they shared a birthday with.
One player who stood out to me was Brazilian maestro Romario at the 1994 USA World Cup when the diminutive striker shone by helping his country to their fourth triumph. I then took great pleasure in discovering he and my sister shared the same birthday at the end of January.
Even now, after everything to have happened to me I can still perfectly recite each one of my family and closest friends’ birthdays. I’m a stickler for dates, years and details.
One date, I know for sure, will never be forgotten
March the Second, 2013.
This year will be the six-year anniversary of my bleed on my brain.
Six years ago, my life and the lives of everyone I love changed in an instant.
It's cliched I know, but in many ways it feels like a lifetime ago, in others only yesterday. As time passes you think life would get easier, you say less, cry less, notice less. For Amy and I perhaps the only one we do less of is say. Although as Amy can testify, every now and then I just need a big old cry. It is usually sparked by some emotional moment on an E4 program!
Amy and I are by nature private people. We have become masters at hiding the effects of my brain injury from everyone. A rare few have seen us fall apart.
The funny thing about time is it doesn’t stop. Six whole years have passed, friends have bought houses, grown bigger families, gained promotions. They have lived and laughed and loved. As everyones worlds and lives got bigger and fuller, we said less. Our tale seemed less epic, less life-changing, less important. In a way we liked it that way, we gained normality. We could ignore our bad luck and just survive everyday. We fit into the crowd.
But the truth is our lives have not got easier, each year that flies by is not full of achievements and good news in my recovery. I’m not sharing - today is the first time I shaved myself or today is the day I walked to work alone, because new achievements like this are not as common. I’m not improving everyday like I was at the beginning. Our initial adrenaline to survive has diminished - probably due to sleep deprivation!
We have tried to be like everyone else, get married, start a family, relocate. But the honest truth is our life is hard. Six years of hard work has not provided us with the life we lost. We have had some incredible achievements and we do have so much to be thankful for, I am in no way ignoring that fact. We have, I’m sorry to break this to you, the most gorgeous child ever on the planet as our son, but we cannot provide for him the way we want. We have amazingly supportive family but we cannot rely on them forever.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s about time we said more, share more because being silent and trying to ignore the events of six years ago isn’t working. Our life has changed, we have changed and perhaps now is the time to accept we are not done talking about it. My brain is me and its broken. It has stolen so much from me, I am ready to take back some space and share more because someone out there, maybe just one person, might need to hear what I have to say. I want to prove to Reggie his Dad hasn’t given up, he is driven and determined to use the awful thing that’s happened and make a difference.
Welcome back to From Reporter To Supporter 2.0