This Halloween it has become very important to celebrate the ability to step out of the disguise. Children enjoy getting in disguise and enjoying asking for treats from neighbors. That tradition is wonderful and very accepted and lighthearted for children. Halloween has a slightly different connotation for an individual who is still coming to terms with a sustained disability as a result of an accident. In the support group that I will attend next week to learn about the lives and times of people who have sustained brain trauma, it will be interesting to see if this topic is approached. I have been fortunate in many ways in regard to this recovery; I am very truthful when I am conversing with other survivors how this was both a blessing and a curse. I allowed myself to step away from reality for many years.
At this point I finally am able to step out of disguise and be who I really am. Ideally, individuals (specifically children) would be able to separate reality from a silly celebratory day where there are parades and candy is given out to many smiling faces. Every year I am getting closer to the ability to step away from my own internal battles and step into the norm of society. I spoke for medical students and was very frank regarding the true implications of having a very much “hidden injury”. Even though my gait is off and such would be noticed to the lay eye, the unseen portion of this injury is by far the most difficult to deal with. Every aspect of a person is on the table in a recovery. I hope and pray that every person who sustains a disability knows that Halloween is a day about children getting candy and wearing costumes, nothing more and nothing less.