Jim Bucsko

Writer & TBI Survivor

Maple Shade, United States

For someone with a short attention span, I read a lot. However, I admittedly do not finish most books but rather read books with self-contained chapters. Or if I read fiction it is a short story, my favorites being by Hemingway. And while I admire much of his work, my favorite Hemingway sentence resonates with me deeply:” The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” I, after all, was truly broken—both literally and metaphorically. In the car accident, I fractured my skull and even died (obviously resuscitated though). Plus, I lost someone who I loved in the crash. For some time, I felt sorry for myself, even telling a couple of nurses that I wish I had also died in the crash. At a certain point, however, I decided to rise up and recover from my injuries. The first objective was to regain movement in my left-side, starting with my left hand. I made the decision that while laying there in the hospital bed I would keep trying to move my hand. At first, there were no results. My secret goal was to be able to give the middle finger to my occupational therapist. A few weeks later, I rolled up to her and lifted my left arm with the middle finger extended. She hugged me and told me how proud she was of me. I've flipped off many people in my life, but this is the only time anyone was ever happy about it. Before long I was transferred to a TBI Program where I relearned to walk. About a year later, I began taking college classes, earning my BA in Professional Writing. The power of post-traumatic growth--an underappreciated phenomenon. Such circumstances are, after all, difficult, not impossible. As Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius put it, "Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; and if it is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach" (qtd in Greene 65). Works Cited Greene, Robert. Mastery. New York: Penguin Books, 2012. Print.

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