How often have we heard someone say to us “one day at a time”? How often have we said it to someone else? It wasn’t until Isabella was a year post Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) that I truly understood the concept. I remember having plans that at one year post everything would be better. I thought that we would be “back to normal”. What I found was that one year post we were pretty much in the exact same spot we were the prior year. Yes there were improvements however there were also a lot of other issues just coming to the surface. Once I learned to truly live one day at a time, I found a huge weight was lifted off me. Two things that I had to learn in order to live one day at a time were:
- Let the expectations and worries of the future go. The unknown is terrifying. What will I do when Isabella is bigger and stronger yet still aggressive? Will Isabella’s dreams be achieved to a level where she is happy? How will we overcome her debilitating anxiety? Where will Isabella be cognitively, emotionally, psychologically a year from now, a month from now, a week from now? I started to realize that I had to have faith that the work I put in today will help Isabella in the future tomorrows. All I can do is try my hardest and give it all I have today. I know I did everything possible and that is all I can control. I had to let the worries of tomorrow go.
- Financial issues and bills will always be there. I remember staying up late at night constantly worrying about how I would pay this bill or that bill. I would have income spent long before it even appeared. What I had to learn was that worrying about money wasn’t going to change anything. It didn’t make money appear. All it did was cause unnecessary stress. I came to the realization that what I could do was actively work the resources that I had. I could plan for today and I had to have faith that the rest would work out.
None of us know what the future holds. Learning to live one day at a time has dramatically changed this journey. I have learned that I can’t plan for tomorrow. I can’t plan for a year from now. What I plan for is to do my best today to give Isabella hope for tomorrow. I have to have faith that my best will be enough.
“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” Elizabeth Edwards
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 9-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
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