Is trying even worth it now?

Tomorrow my family and I are moving into a new house (again, third time in three years). We will probably be living there longer now. (We kept moving because my step dad’s job. He’s pretty much at the end point of promotions since there aren’t many people above him now).

My mom has been I’m not sure what to call it…Saying I’ll find a great guy blah blah blah because I’m single and she’s a mom we know how that is. :slight_smile: But also she’s been like you never know maybe you’ll make friends.

Making​ friends as an adult is hard. Especially because I’m 21 and everyone my age is in college or working, that’s where you meet people. Good luck otherwise. Especially because we just moved to a small town in Texas around 2,000 people.

I just feel really pessimistic about the whole thing. Because is it even worth trying? I feel like it would be nice to not be so isolated but I know what “friends” mean in today’s age especially people my age. It means all the friends I don’t have who vanished when I got hurt. It means all the friends that stayed but recently drifted away from me because they have moved on in life and I can’t.

Friends now a days it just seems like good luck finding someone who won’t just leave or forget about you. Good luck finding someone who won’t just write me off and won’t understand what I’ve been through. People outside here don’t understand us tbi survivors. I don’t have energy for conversations where I pretend I relate to college test anxiety or the weather or whatever…

On top of all that my self confidence lately is just… horrible. Not even with all the things I can’t do I feel like a loser. I don’t have anything going on. Or to talk about. I have a brain injury hah that’s my life now. People make friends by common interests. I don’t have any interest in things because I can’t do any of them anyway.

I don’t know.
It also made me feel bad because now my step dad is around my mom basically told me not to be so hands on with the kids. (My little brother and sister are 6. I’ve basically been a parent to them way more than thier dad because he’s been both mentally and physically MIA the whole six years)

It really crushed me. It’s like I’ve been helping out this whole time and now you just want me to not? Don’t thank me ethier she just yelled at me about it. Like thanks for letting me know I’m apparently not even worth helping with my siblings who are in a way like my own kids or cousins or something as soon as my step dad is around who’s just been MIA. Cool.

So that further worsened my self esteem.

Sorry for the rant. Thx

I should add she still wants me to watch them and do things for them so it’s like what was she even meaning but whatever

Your whole life is ahead of you! What I wouldn’t give to only be 21 again. When I was 21 I was already having kids…had 6 of those and some 20 years later started graduate school. Spent just under 3 decades in the work force as a degreed mechanical engineer when I suffered my tbi. Life was over it seemed like. Was in a coma for a couple of months then rehab for 10 more months. Completed my Master’s degree a year after getting out of hospital. A few months later started my Doctorate. Almost 7 years later I finally became a Doctor. In spite of my TBI. Persistence is all I have to say…

Hey Caitlin,
First off, stop apologising for the rant. We all need a place to ‘let-it-out’ and this is the place to safely do it. Keeping that pressure inside can be the most self destructive thing possible. I know this cos I did it for a long time. A vessel can only hold so much pressure before it overflows or explodes. It’s much better to let it out in a safe environment, like here, than to let it build and build to a point of BOOM.
For me, at 21, I was a confirmed bachelor. Me and relationships just wasn’t going to happen. I had had relationships before, but they were very messy and I’d come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I tried, I’d be single. So I changed my outlook into helping other people and started volunteering, helping young people via a youth group. My, then supervisor, supported and assisted me with some of my studies and we socialised a bit. She was a lot older than me, in fact at the time she was twice my age, but we got on really well. So although I wasn’t actually looking for a relationship, our friendship bloomed.
So we’d been really good friends (with benefits) for about 8yrs. She then came out with “Do you want to get married”? My first response was to laugh “What? are you joking? What YOU want to marry ME? Are you $%^$# CRAZY? Marry me? You must be batshit crazy to even consider marrying me”. I told her she could do much better than me, but she disagreed. So the next week I went and bought her an ownership band (an engagement ring), got down on one knee and the crazy woman said “YES”. Six months later she was given a life sentence, a life with me, and we were married. That was 13yr ago and she has stuck with me thru all the medical crap that followed. I have no idea why.
So, for all that hunting I did in my younger years, that caused heaps of pain and anguish, just getting on with life actually bought me the love of my life with no hunting involved.

So, now, family. Ohh this can be some of the hardest relationships to manage and maybe I’m not the best person to be commenting here, cos my biological family all lives in another country. There is a children’s book “Doctor Dolittle” and a character called “a push me, pull you” and this was how I felt with family. They’d pull me in when they wanted and push me away when they didn’t. Then one day when they pushed me away I left all together. I haven’t returned in over 25yrs now and I’ll only ever return for a funeral.
Something I have learnt through all of this though, is that although I tried to please everybody else and meet their expectations I lost sight of me. Now, I look after me. Sure now I’m in a loving relationship, but that love is reciprocated, so as much as I look after her, she looks after me too. This was very foreign to me initially but over time it has become comfortable and reliable. I found hunting for it, I couldn’t find it. But by letting go of the hunting aspect, it found me.
As a younger person, when people would make this next comment I’m going to make, I’d get a bit annoyed, but by no means am I trying to be flippant nor rude, so please do not take this comment the wrong way. But at 21, 40 seems lightyears away, but don’t blink because when you get to 40 you’ll look back and think “oh hell, where did all those years go?..” They really do fly by. You may think you have very little to offer (I did), but you have life experiences that very few people have. Depending on how you use those experiences, as a weight around your neck or a tool for the enlightenment of others of our reality, it really can make the world of difference both to yourself and to somebody else, someone who one day maybe in exactly the same place you are now. There are people out there just starting on this hellish journey we have endured. They can easily fall into some of the massive holes we, ourselves, have navigated through. I found by focusing on self I’d become selfish. But by focusing and assisting others my world opened up and unseen possibilities become visible.

You, Caitlin, have the knowledge to help and in the process you may just help yourself.
I did.


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Caitlin you mustn’t give up on life. My counsel is stop/give up on trying. If and when it happens, and feels right, go for it, if that never happens, that’s okay too. I was married for 6 years before my car accident, and 7 after. He decided to divorce me when my accident destroyed his car but held on for exactly open year longer than before my accident to save his reputation. It was better for so long, then worse for longer. Many people who can handle/deal with a partner who is handicapped for just so long. My experience has not made me desire to give up on life, but to take it as it comes. I was injured in 1995. I have considered giving up before, but not seriously in years. It has been claimed by some that I’ve come as far as i ever will in rehab, which made me defiant. I will never stop getting better. Just live your life, taking it one day at a time. Do your best today, without grieving over yesterday, because it’s over, just got learn from it. Tomorrow is always a new day.

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Thank you all for the kind and helpful replies. :slight_smile:

Hah I already wonder were times gone honestly. It slips away from me.

Sometimes it just feels like I’ll never have any control over my life. Which hah oh hey right now I actually don’t.

Even if I could start doing things again I wouldn’t even know how to start anymore. Everything is a hurdle. I can’t go in public with getting overwhelmed​. I used to love to read but now it gives me migraines. I wanted to travel. Now that’s a joke. I used to want to learn every language I could. Can’t do that now. I wanted to go to college. I can’t even remember simple things. Everything I wanted out of life I can’t have now.

I know people say never say never but I can’t live in a cloud of optimism. People don’t understand how limiting my limitations are. Everything I loved I can’t do. Everything I used to do that made me who I was is gone. It’s not coming back any time soon if ever.

Yeah, I’ll get better little by little. But I can’t plan my life around little by little.

I admire those who can be optimistic but my life’s been too crazy and hard to be. And that was before my injury. Now? It’s not happening.

I wish I could just do things in life and let things happen. But I can’t do anything besides sit and spin at home. I’ve tried going out. I really have. I can’t make my injury just turn off so I can be human again though.

I’m rambling.

I’m just tired of not having control. And yeah baby steps. I’ve tried. It gets stomped out. By my family, by my lawyer, by life.

It’s not I want to give up. It’s just trying the last 4 years has made everything worse not better. I have ambition I have drive. But I feel like I’d be happier if I didn’t. If I could be fine with living with my parents, not being able to work, and doing nothing all day. I really wish I could just be fine with it.


I can relate to everything you’ve said (as probably everybody here can). I joined a gym, and found that exercising kept me from dwelling on what I could no longer do. Find something you CAN do.


In reading through what you wrote, here is one thing you CAN do: you are a talented writer! Many, many people post TBI can’t write well at all–words, sentences and paragraphs get jumbled around. What you’ve written is clear and expresses emotion! Everyone replying is doing so because you drew them in with your words. I bet you have a million things you would find it fun and interesting to write about. Publishers look not only for a good story (that’s necessary of course!) but also for an interesting background in the author. Your TBI is a blessing when it comes to that because a publisher can use it sensitively to show what you’ve lived to tell the tale about. Hang in there!

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Hah thanks. My writing is pretty good but I’d have a hard time proof reading. I’ve never seen myself​ as an author. I guess I could try it. I don’t have much else to do. XD

Thank you all for the comments.
I’m going to try to do something different when I can but, uhg life makes doing something different​ difficult. I dunno what different would be but man, I have to start doing some kind of something or another. XD

Sorry I just make words up st :slight_smile: But when I was reading your post you said that you may want to write a book, or bio, or whichever?
I had an MVA 81101, and have been writing a bio since my extended time in numerous rehabs/hospitals. I will insert a small part of it, but email me at rickyd227 at gmail com. ya get what the email really is?
Uh Oh, my other computer kinda went bye bye, got my hard drive bent up, so I got a used computer from a estate sale sale and haven’t added the bio yet, but will try soon I hope. Email me and in the mean time I will try to upload it.

You can always have someone else proof read it! Often thats actually helpful. I really hope you will give it a try. You have nothing to lose in trying and perhaps much to gain!

Hey Caitlin,
“I’m going to try to do something different when I can…” ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC CAITLIN!!! I think that’s a great place to be. A starting point.
"…I dunno what different would be…" none of us do Caitlin and for each individual it will be different. But for me personally doing nothing was driving me crazy. So I needed to do ‘something’ (OK so often the ‘something’ I do was too much, so I needed to tone it down), sitting in my own headspace going over and over what I couldn’t do, simply reinforced my predicament. I need to do something physical, BUT ( as I learnt) in moderation. This was part of learning my new limits, it was horrible because it showed me that I just cannot do as I once could. It was only by proving this fact to myself that I finally recognised it (notice I didn’t say ‘accept’ it but rather recognise.)

I truly believe that this ‘hellish journey’ we are one is (thankfully) very unique. Very few people are unlucky enough to have any knowledge of this reality. And then to be able to document it appropriately, that takes skill. If you Caitlin have those skills then YOU DO IT. It can be very cathartic for many people. I’m not a great writer, but I draw. I must admit it has been a while since I have drawn, but I found that to be cathartic and it occupied my mind and gave me a sense of peace.


Thank you both. And yes! Doing nothing has been driving me crazy lately. Good because means I’m bored. Bad because I still can’t do much but might as well try. :slight_smile: I know my limits pretty well I’m just getting sick of living in them.

And Merl drawing is great! I used to draw before and after my injury. I don’t now much because being creative is hard but still :slight_smile:

i found myself in the same situation. it’s been 22 years for me, and i have discovered that I CAN WRITE! Not with an actual pen, but with a computer. To this day, I am physically limited as to what I can do, but I CAN WRITE! I use words to express my felings,. I have trouble speaking, but I CAN WRITE! You can too, I can tell. It may not be easy, but if it takes time, that’s okay. My attitude is what else is there to do in my free time? I do therapy during the day when I’m not on vacation like I am now, but during my free time, I CAN WRITE! Keep a journal, write your feelings down, your daily life, explore your thoughts about whatever you wish. You don’t have to ever share, but I eventually got to the point where I began writing on-line, so sharing with the world. I began by sharing with people I was close to, but then became confident enough to use what i’ve learned through my experiences to try to help others in situations I have faced. You know, as does everyone who has experienced the crap life tends to throw, that life is often hard. Write it out, including any solutions you’ve found/tried, and share it. Writing is good for you. Keep it up.


Karyn, I clicked on the “like” button, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough to express how happy I am for you. Writing is an incredible therapeutic device, and it’s wonderful that you’ve discovered that you have access to it!

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