The Purpose of Life (pt.3)
…. It may have seemed that I had pretty much buttoned up the question of “What is the Purpose of Life?” in “The Purpose of Life- Pt.2”. I know that I felt at ease with my conclusion being to #1 Serve a Purpose, and #2 Have a Purpose. Unfortunately, today I have come to doubt the finality of all that:::
(note: I would never downplay or belittle other people troubles or trials in life. Never. Everything is relative) Most “normal” people are able to navigate through life making decisions- some big, some small- that guide them in the direction of their desired destination. Sure, they may have obstacles and hurdles in their paths, but nothing that a little determination, intelligence, and drive can’t overcome. Ironically, these folks are sometimes given the “inspirational” label! WHY?! Probably because these are often the leaders who write self-help books telling the World that they are the masters of their own destinies. After all, that’s what we want to hear, right?
Unfortunately, the true inspirational heroes are often, perhaps usually, unable to tell their stories, whether that be for Medical, Financial, Demographic, Social, or other reasons. Are we the absolute “masters of our own destinies?” These real heroes will resoundingly say “Hell no!!!”- and I echo that sentiment. We are all human beings. We CAN’T create. We can only respond. The reason why they feel this way is because they have been the Victim of Cataclysmic events which have rocked their worlds in varying ways and often devastated their resources and destroyed parts of their very foundations!
In fact, I know lots of people just like this. Are they heroes? Yes. To some. But they would not be good in front of a podium, or addressing crowds, or public figures. “And why is that Daniel?” Because, I see these people on a bi-weekly basis when I visit my Head Injury Clinic (just to appease my psychologist that I’m perfectly fine and that they can continue with the same medications to regulate my mind). There are dozens of head injury victims who receive in-house treatment. There are many walkers and wheelchairs and an entire home-ec setup to train everyone to walk, talk, think, make scrambled eggs, etc. to help them attempt to regain independence. There a many missing limbs, bandaged heads, and even some gruesome newly grafted skulls out in the open. Then there are the ones who look just fine, until I see their eyes and there is just nothing going on in there. It’s a really sobering and eye-opening experience.
This is mainly because 13 years ago I was in terrible car crash and received a major closed head injury. "That could so easily have been ME!" I went through all the same rehab and therapy, but I recovered quickly and was back as an iron worker within 3 months. I take a lot of pride in proving all those doctors wrong. They said I might never walk, or talk again. They said that I was exceeding expectations but they weren’t sure it could continue. They said I “might” be able to be independent someday. They said that I would never be able to hold a job. My fire raged to prove them wrong. I don’t remember the first 21 years of my life. All I know is from that crash going forward. Thus, I built my new identity entirely upon 3 pillars: 1. Faith, 2. Family, and 3. Drive. The Drive to prove all the bullsh-t doubts and prognosis’ of my doctors wrong. Drive as in not allowing this event to control my life- I wanted to be “master of my own destiny.”
Every Spring and Fall, when the daylight changes here in the Eastern Time Zone in Western Michigan, I still, 13 years later, experience lots of trouble with side effects from the head injury. The main one being, I can’t sleep. For weeks. It’s a long story, but once I met the Devil. He threatened me and literally touched me, and I still see and hear him during those weeks, every time I close my eyes. This sounds crazy and far-fetched, but it’s not- this life is all about Perception, and I’m able to See and feel the Devil- not within me, but assaulting me (not that I have a choice!). I've been rather discouraged lately and feeling stuck in a monotonous, dead-end job. But it pays the bills, and it’s really easy. WELL, the Devil decided to attack me at work last week and I had to bail out early, in a panic, 3 days in a row. I was terrified and even pondered if I truly WAS sane, or if I was going crazy. I scheduled an appointment with the vice-president, who also serves as HR, to try to avoid getting fired. Now it’s pretty darn hard to get fired from this place, but he acknowledged that the meeting was in fact needed. In the nicest, kindest way, he pointed out that there was no easier job, or more lenient employer that my current job, but that I needed to do something- to consider my options- because they couldn't accommodate my inability to be dependable much longer. Then he kindly dropped the hammer and told me that I was a “perfect candidate” for Total Disability. He even went so far as to say that he would almost be offended that he was paying Social Security taxes if someone like me, who truly needed it, didn't claim on it. DAMN!!!
Maybe this doesn't strike you as a big deal right away, but remember that my entire sense of being and of self worth was built on those 3 pillars. And now I’m being told that I’m basically unemployable- crumbling one of those foundations.
What REALLY kills me is that I realize that I’m not a hero. That I’m no inspirational dude who laughed in the face of head trauma and beat all the odds. That I can’t speak out for those poor victims of head injuries. Why? Because I AM “those victims!!!” As of today, September 3, 2013, this is the devastation left behind by that 1 cataclysmic car crash: I’m 34 years old, single, flat broke, renting my parents basement. I’m in the process of becoming unemployable and going on Total Disability. And these are the ensuing health issues that now handcuff me: head injury side effects, bipolar, narcolepsy, anxiety disorder, insomnia, damaged pituitary gland, and whatever pops up next (yes, narcolepsy AND insomnia! You think life's jerking me around?!)
In short: I AM A HEAD INJURY VICTIM!!!!!
Do I sound like “master of my own destiny?” Do you think this is what I would choose? Do you think I did something (or didn’t) that “attracted” all this to myself? If you do you’re f……………. No, this just happened! Sh-t happens!
So this time I’m not giving advice or acting like I already know. This time I’m asking. I'm asking for your help!
“What IS the Purpose of Life?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”