So, the 13th (of September) was the 1.5-year (547.5 days, if anyone was wondering) anniversary of my accident, but I didn’t even notice. It’s not that I’m crazy busy but if I’m being honest, I feel like the only thing that’s progressing at this point is the time.
I’m talking about my face. It’s time for this part of my recovery to be over.
The sun rises. The sun sets. Every day, I feel like I am just waiting for this last remnant of my accident to crumble to dust and blow away with the wind, just like everything else had. But every day, it doesn’t happen.
When I was first recovering from this accident, everything moved pretty quickly. I made such extreme progress in such a short amount of time, but I feel like now I’m just sitting on my hands waiting for my face to catch up with all of the other milestones I’ve reached. Because of this accident, I am truly living each day. That being said, there’s a voice in the back of my head that whispers how much sweeter this will be when I’m back to ‘normal’.
I use ‘normal’ loosely. I’m talking about being truly myself again, the outside Amber matching the inside Amber. Internally, I bear the same scars you’ll see on my collarbones, my throat, my face. But when I look in the mirror, I still don’t look like myself. I don’t look confident, fearless. I feel those things, but I don’t look those things.
It’s not even about feeling ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty’; it’s difficult to put into words just how unnerving it is to look in the mirror, knowing everything that you are inside, but not seeing it. It’s like my reflection is wearing a paper bag over her head, but I can’t take it off. I just have to have faith I’m under that stupid paper bag. This has nothing to do with how I am treated by others, this is purely an issue I have created for myself that I have to get over.
I get pins and needles sometimes, or itches, or electric-shock feelings, but these sensations I have learned don’t really go along with any remarkable progress. It feels like every time I see some progress, all that activity goes dark the moment I take notice and begin to have some hope.
Haven’t I earned my stripes yet? I could choose to be bitter about the fact that I have to be strategic about what heels I wear to an event so I make sure I don’t look like a massive klutz in front of people who don’t know me. I could choose to be bitter about the fact that I’ve burnt my forehead with my hairdryer because I didn’t feel that it was too close. I could choose to be bitter about the fact that I have to ask my friends to repeat what they said what feels like 1000 times.
But do I? No. But I’m tired, man. I’m ready for this to be over, I’m done with ‘recovery’. Being bitter is easier than fighting these demons, but it will suck the joy out of my life. And if I can’t hang on to that, then I’d have nothing. So I buy heels I only would have deemed fit for an ‘old lady’ two years ago. And deal with the awkward forehead burns. And crack jokes about my deafness. I am beautiful because I am strong, and because I have been through hell and back but haven’t let the fire consume me.
Sorry this was slightly more morose than usual and quite delayed, readjusting to my school routine has been a rollercoaster, especially with all of this extreme weather we have been having! Thanks for reading all the way to here if you made it this far.