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November 13, 2013

30

Mood Swings

by Amy

After a brain injury, you’re gonna have VERY little control over your moods.  It’s indescribably better than it used to be but I still have problems with this.  Sometimes I’m a horrible bitch, sometimes I’m unbelievably mean.  But now I would like to think I’m rarely like this.  Maybe people still think of me as a bitch but I DON’T CARE!  Now I can change my mood within minutes with meditation.  The first year after my event this kind of thing was out of control.  I couldn’t help it, I had zero control over what I said or the way that I treated people.  I can’t keep apologizing for it, it is what it is.  It gets better.  There are very few people who I called a friend prior to the stroke that I still call a friend to this day.  Yesterday I was in an area of town that ex-friends of mine opened a store.  That’s what prompted this post, I consider LOTS of people to be ex-friends.  For everyone reading this that doesn’t have a brain injury – if you ever experience a brain injury, GOD FORBID, but if you ever do you better hope that your friends are willing to stand by you through all the mood swings.  The majority of people in my life were not.  When I got sick, there was an outpouring of support.  My hospital room was overflowing with cards and flowers.  Well, most of that support was fake and not genuine.  Now almost 3 years later I can count on one hand the number of people from my old life that are still in my life.  Those people are NEVER getting rid of me.  I would go to the ends of the earth for them.

Please go here for a better, affordable alternative to learning Transcendental Meditation.

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30 Comments Post a comment
  1. oc1dean
    Nov 13 2013

    But we like your bitchiness, moar, moar. I managed to keep my college friends everyone else dropped away.

    Reply
    • Nov 13 2013

      I kept 1 college friend and 2 high school friends, everyone else is a new post-stroke friend.

      Reply
  2. Nov 13 2013

    Amy, girl, you don’t KNOW bitch. In my case, though, 90% of my friends were real and remain so now. Even strangers have become friends, and many slight friends are even better friends. I got far more support than I ever would have expected; Tom says it’s because of the person I’ve always been. And I came baaaaaaack!!

    Reply
    • Nov 13 2013

      I had lunch with a friend who hasn’t seen me in almost a year on Friday and the first thing she said to me was “oh my god the old Amy is back!” That was nice to hear.

      Reply
      • Nov 14 2013

        Wow! How cool is that. I told zack the other day that he was coming back… He has a long way to come believe me… And he said that he was noticing it to. But, in the beginning, and I think even now, he still doesn’t realize the extent to which he was “gone”. He even told me the other day that he never thought he was different but that he realizes now he is/was. Which actually makes me more hopeful. Even though it is sad. Did I mention that brain injuries suck!!!

        Reply
        • Nov 14 2013

          Brooke, the same thing happened to me … Not a clue I was a zombie until much later. I used to ask Tom why people looked so sad when they visited; he would tell me that they were sad to see me so changed, and I would insist I was the same person.

          Reply
          • Nov 14 2013

            no way! so good to know! how long did that last? Did you snap out of it slowly? tell me more!!

            Reply
  3. Nov 13 2013

    I think I got dumped today by a friend of 20+ years. I just spent the last six months listening to her bitch and moan about a “medical crisis” that just went on and on no matter how many times she was told it was nothing and it turned out to be – you guessed it – absolutely nothing. But I was a good friend and I listened. And now that she doesn’t need my medically trained ear anymore, she can’t be bothered to visit with me because she’s “going out to lunch with her other girlfriends and seeing a lot of theater”. I told her lunches were hard because I’m pretty tightly scheduled during the day with therapy but anytime for dinner was good and Steve would drive her home if she didn’t want to take the subway but that just wasn’t good enough. I was never mean to her so I don’t know why she’s doing this It really hurts but I’m sure this is all too common a scenario. Good to read your post Amy – thanks – I don’t feel as alone.

    Reply
    • Nov 13 2013

      I don’t think I was ever mean to people either, except my parents, oops. My thing was that I just didn’t want to see anyone, I isolated myself. Some people I guess took that to mean I don’t want to see you anymore ever.

      Reply
    • Nov 14 2013

      Yep, it’s not you, it’s them. You’re definitely not alone. I have become very distant with many friends and non-friends with others. Most of those whom I became non-friends with weren’t that close before OR, like one of them, is the neediest person on the planet. I have no time for needy people right now, I am needy, and if you want to fuss and whine about how bad your life is because you don’t have a husband or a boyfriend or whatever it is she wants then move on along because there are WAY bigger things in life. And “ain’t nobody got time for that”!

      Reply
  4. barb0803
    Nov 13 2013

    Julia, most people don’t know how to deal w someone who went from vibrant to disabled. Can you talk to your friend about her distance? While she was hypochondriacking (yes, I’ve coined that word), did she expect something more from you than listening? Maybe, given your long-time relationship, she thought you could read her mind.

    Reply
    • barb0803
      Nov 13 2013

      Oops, a better word is hypochondriacking-yakking

      Reply
      • Nov 13 2013

        I love that word, way too long for Words with Friends.

        Reply
        • Nov 14 2013

          So true, but YAK is great!

          Reply
  5. Nov 13 2013

    I’ve suffered enough indignities without having to beg an insensitive bitch for friendship so I guess that’s a no, I’m not interested in talking with her. I don’t have the time or the patience to deal with anyone who can’t deal with my disability.

    Reply
    • Nov 13 2013

      That’s exactly my atttitude right now. I don’t have the energy time or patience to deal with insensitivity of any kind.

      Reply
      • barb0803
        Nov 14 2013

        I’m tempted to contact an old friend I used to work with. Just after the stroke, she called me and reamed me for someone hung I did before the stroke. I’m not justifying my behavior, but I think she’s a beezie for lacking compassion. Should I contact her and apologize?

        Reply
        • Nov 14 2013

          No, I really think you should not. If she had the audacity to call you and yell at you after this then no, you’re much better off without her in your life.

          Reply
          • Nov 14 2013

            Amy, thanks for the advice. I feel badly about what I did, but I really just abetted the person who actually did it. I would probably try to justify it that way, but that would make her mad at HIM too, in addition to me. He doesn’t need that, so I’ll leave her mad at just me. She probably doesn’t want to resurrect it either. You’re right: that IS the right choice.

            Reply
  6. Nov 13 2013

    You’re not getting rid of me? Well that’s great because I’m not going ANYWHERE. if it was up to me, you’d be here in Florida right now 🙂

    Reply
    • Nov 13 2013

      I’ll be in Florida for a few weeks as soon as that kid pops out!!!!!!

      Reply
  7. Nov 14 2013

    You find out who your true friends are after a brain insult. Most of my friends had died or faded into the wood work long before my stroke with my husband’s illness. Like you I can count on one hand how many have stuck around, but those friends are golden.

    You are going to FL? Are you driving or flying?

    Reply
    • Nov 14 2013

      Oh God I’ll fly. 2-3 hours is my driving limit.

      Reply
      • Nov 14 2013

        Shucks! I was going to saw pop in and say hello when you pass through GA. My limit is still an hour, but then an hour’s drive will get me to Savannah or Jacksonville too.

        Reply
  8. Nov 14 2013

    I have mood swings! A friend (actually more like a big brother or dad figure) told me the other day that I am sometimes hard to talk to at church because I seem so angry all the time and no one knows what to do. I told him that “heck yeah” I was angry! Just look at my freaking life. I hate, hate when people tell me not to be angry because, “it won’t solve anything.” I am not trying to solve anything, I am having a real and valid emotion that absolutely anyone would/should have after these sorts of episodes. I told him that and his wife (my good friend) quickly corrected him. Seriously? If you can’t be my friend because I am struggling with some anger right now then, move on along and I sincerely hope the stuff in your life never hits the fan. His wife is one of my only friends whom I can be real and honest with. I can throw a fit with her and she isn’t scared. We NEED that after going through this kind of hell. With that said, I do NOT want to be bitter, bitterness and anger controlling your life is also hell. It just makes everything worse. But that is something that you have to decide for yourself, and someone hinging your friendship on whether you decide to not be angry or not isn’t going to help your decision in the matter. I think it very well may make it worse.

    Reply
    • Nov 14 2013

      as most people know, for love to be love, it should be unconditional. I have friends who, no matter how badly behaved I am, still love me. BTW, the best example is my husband.

      Reply
      • Nov 14 2013

        It sounds like you and Tom have a great, great relationship. That’s what I want, I wanna be best friends with the guy I choose to spend my life with.

        Reply
        • Nov 14 2013

          Yes, we have a wonderful relationship: We were friends first, through college (same dorm freshman year), then started dating after graduation when we both moved to the Boston area. It took only a year to realize we would be together forever – since we are getting through this stroke-shit together, we can get through anything.

          Reply
        • Brooke F.
          Nov 14 2013

          I, too, married my best friend. It was the best decision I have ever made. I am so glad you didn’t (and haven’t) settled! It will be worth it.

          Reply
    • Nov 14 2013

      Well said Brooke!

      Reply

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