Social events are so challenging post encephalitis and brain injury. They didn’t use to be. In fact, I used to absolutely love them, I used to thrive in them, but since a brain inflammation has had a good old play with my weird wonderful brain...oh how has that picture changed! Encephalitis has become the nemesis of social gatherings really.
How do they make me feel?
Social events are SO hard to manage. They are often filled with various types of stimulation and trying to keep up with all of them quickly becomes impossible. Too much chatter, the music adds to the mix, too many people talking back and forward and you soon get completely lost. On the few occasions where you manage to follow a conversation, you are either too slow to give your two cents worth or you don’t even bother because you know that you’ll be struggling to put your thoughts across. Anxiety kicks in. Your hands are shaking so much that you have to cling them together to try to keep them steady, your heart starts racing as if you are in a running race and no matter how much deep breathing you do, your injured brain has now fully taken over...your are losing control over your body and mind. Your thinking process becomes foggy and it feels as though you are stuck in one of those dreams that makes no sense. You are trying think of the right ending for that dream and to make it happen, but you only end up going round and round in an infinite loop.
So what is it about statues and social events?
When partaking in a social event, I often compare myself to a statue. You are there, but you are just there...not quite registering everything that’s happening around you. You can see snippets of life unraveling in front of you, but you can’t quite be part of it. You see and hear lots of things, but all you can do is watch and listen from a distance. Your lips stay shut. You remember all those past times when you used to be able to keep up, make people laugh and say clever things, but that is past tense, a fond memory from your past life. You’d sometimes like to try to move around so you can meet different people or entertain the room, but you are stuck in that one place over and over again. You may feel observed at times, but being a statue, you can’t do much about it. So you have to wear that new rock hard skin of yours like an armor and try your best to brush away any knocks that comes your way. But even in doing so, every now and again you notice the funny looks...they always hurt. Then, you’ll find that some people are interested in finding out more about the story behind the individual portrayed by the statue, while others will go right past it. Both are okay and have their place I guess!
A very tiny portion of the population can mistreat statues. They can be vandalized or disrespected, but some will also use them for support to help them stand tall when they feel weak. Remember to find your own strength in those you can help, not those who harm you. Just as a statue, you might be lucky enough to get unexpected visitors that will come to hang out with you. Birds are a lovely example of those unexpected visitors. You may then be privy to beautiful melodies that you wouldn’t have heard otherwise. Cherish those melodies, they are the ones you should truly care about.
You’ll find that once the busyness dies down, you are still standing, but you may also be left out in the cold, alone under the worst weather conditions or simply left in the dark. That will make you feel isolated and alone, very alone actually. Luckily, every now and again it will also translate to you noticing what no one else around you seems to be noticing...hold on to those special moments, they may become your solace.
When all is said and done...
Can you bring a statue back to life?
How do you ensure that the statue doesn’t just become part of the decor?
Some statues are a reminder of painful times and memories, how do you turn them into a positive to avoid history from repeating itself?
How do you keep the memory of who the statue once represented alive? And is it doing more harm than good to try to do so?
Some life changes are really hard, painful and sad...but I’m trying so so hard to find some way to move forward and to give a new meaning to the statue that hangs out in the corner of the room. Thus far in my life, I’ve been given the opportunity to see so many cool statues and monuments. As I look through old pictures tonight, I feel absolutely grateful and incredibly lucky to have witnessed so much beauty and history. It’s made me realize that no one can take that away from me, even though the memories of some of those pictures are a bit hazy. Tomorrow is a new day, may it bring new hopes and may I create opportunities for myself and my family to explore, appreciate and learn more about statues of this world!