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June 2017 Jackie Beckwith

June 1, 2017

 

Jackie Beckwith - June 2017

I can't be more thankful then I am right now! It has been just over a year now since my brain injury happened. I have been through many ups and downs as a result of this experience. Thankfully, I have had the most amazing support system: from taking me to therapy, to doctors' appointments, to parties, playing games with me, going on walks with me, or just a friend to talk to.

Over the past year, it has been a learning experience. Before my brain injury, I would work to keep myself busy. Since my favorite thing to do was work, I worked three part-time jobs as a bartender and a server. I loved being able to talk to tons of people. I believe this is what made me love my job so much. Unfortunately, with the brain injury I received, talking to people I don’t know has been difficult. It is now hard for me to just talk to someone I don’t know or don’t know too much about.

So what happened? I got into a severe car accident, and I lost my license due to the accident. Thanks to this experience, I have had to rely on my family and friends to bring me wherever I need to be. This is hard because before my accident, if I got tired of the place I was, I would just go for a drive. Now I have to wait until whoever is driving me to be available to bring me wherever I need to be. It’s hard because I never had to wait on anyone before and I could go or do whatever I wanted. Although it has been a traumatic experience for everyone who knows me, I would like to give a special thanks to my family, friends, boyfriend, boyfriend's family, and especially my bosses.

I can't even explain how lucky I am to still be here and not only that, but how well I'm functioning. The doctors didn't even think I would be doing this great. I had to learn how to eat and drink again, how to walk again, and I still struggle a little with my left arm and left leg, but it’s much better than it was. I cracked just about every bone in my face, including my nose. I broke my foot, my ankle, my leg, my pelvis, a bunch of ribs, and tore the skin off my left knuckles. And, I got this brain injury.

A lot of people ask me why I'm not as emotional or upset with life. Yes, I am stressed I can't drive or work, but I'm extremely lucky to still be here. My car accident was a life lesson but part of me is happy it happened. I feel like I learned a lot more than I would have before. I realized my support system is amazing and I have made new friends. Seriously, I can't thank everyone enough.

If I have learned one thing, it is that drinking and driving and speeding is not worth it. I always drove too fast, and I’ve cracked up my car a few times before. I had bought a brand new car the year before and now it is totaled. I will never drink again, because of the problems I have gained from the experience. I gained a brain injury, one of the many things I received, but I have relearned how to do everything. It has been a long and hard lesson, but worth the experience to me.

The biggest thing I have learned from this is I am going to share my story with everyone. If I can help someone change their decision about drinking and driving and about speeding, I am going to do it. It is not worth the lesson. I know in high school they told us not to drink or drive, but they didn't really tell us or show us why. I am going to be that person! The main thing I hope you get out of my story is if you need help or a ride, call someone!