• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Fatima Kojima

If you ask me to tell you the point in my life where my strength was tested most, I may not be able to give you just one answer. I could tell you it was the day I realized as a young girl that my father wouldn't be here on earth to help walk me through life, or I could tell you it was when I went through an eating disorder and wasn't sure I would ever recover from it. 

I could tell you it was from experiences from an unhealthy relationship or from when I at one point almost didn't have a place to call home. Or...  I could tell you it was starting from the day of August 12, 2012 when I received a head injury due to a concussion that has left me with life altering daily symptoms I must now live with.

Out of all the experiences I've gone through in life, the ones listed above being some of the most trivial, receiving my head injury will always be the one that sticks the most.  And why you might ask?  Well because, you see even though my father isn't here and hasn't been since I was 2 years old, I feel him with me.  I see him when I look at myself in the mirror.  I connect to him when I need him there for me.  With my eating disorder, I beat it.  I won.  My unhealthy relationship, I left it. 

I moved on.  Me almost being homeless, through the grace of God, circumstances helped to make that not become a part of my struggle.  But my head injury, acquiring post-concussion syndrome, anxiety and depersonalization/derealization... I'm still fighting through it.  I'm still surviving.  I'm still utilizing my strength against it.

As I say all the time, you watch a woman on a television show go through a panic over something silly and humorous, ending with her fainting to the ground, then poof! she pops back up as if nothing happens and begins preparing dinner for her family. 

That isn't the case in the real world for some.  For some of us we don't just go back to normal, to life 1 second before the accident.  Our lives are forever and completely changed.  We're sensitive to things we never had to be concerned of before.  Our emotions distressed over things we once never had a thought of and our mental health in a place we never thought it could possibly be in.

Through this head injury, my faith has been tested (and strengthened), my friendships have been tested (and some strengthened), my purpose in life has been tested (and strengthened) and my patience has been tested and strengthened.

I could dwell and let my life dwindle away like I did in the first two and a half years of my condition, or I could use every bit of strength I have within my body and fight against this syndrome.  Which is what I do. 

My life may not be the same as it was before the accident.  I may have to adjust my life in ways I never thought that I would have to... but my strength will get me through. 

My faith that has been restored, my close friendships that help to empower me, my purpose to give me something to live for and my patience to keep me sound, will get me through.

And if it can get me through, I don't know, I promise. That it will help you get through too!

Believe in yourself! Know your strength is stronger than your pain, and live the beautiful life you were meant to live. <3

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