Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

January 7, 2009

Amazed We’re Still Amazed

One of the challenges most TBI survivors commonly face is the nagging, taunting question of, “Why Me?”  The seemingly unfair “targeting” of bad fortune renders many of us paralyzed with anger and bitterness.   Why me?  Why me?  Why the *&%$ ME????

At some point, maybe each of us needs to ask, “Why not me?”

If we consider that 1,228,600 people get cancer every year, 1.4 million will suffer traumatic brain injury, 1.1 million will have a heart attack, 20 million worldwide will have a stroke, then we have to admit our chances of running into a life-altering event are pretty good.

And that’s not even counting the 2.5 million who have MS or the more than 2 million with Alzheimer’s.  That’s not factoring in deaths by car accident, drowning, homicide and the hundred and one other perfectly awful things that can happen to any and all of us.

I’m amazed we’re still amazed that this seems so unfair.  I mean, thank God it’s not Stage Four, can’t-do-anything-more-for-you cancer!  It’s not hard to find worse off when you decide it’s important to look.

The point is, there aren’t too many who make it to a hundred smoking cigars, having sex, drinking martinis and doing the Salsa.   People suffer.  There are losses. 

 Living with life is the price of living a life.  

I’ve been thinking so much recently  about how fortunate I am to be living here in Michigan.   Even when the snow keeps coming and the jobs keep going and my Lions keep losing…

I’m not naked (everyone else is thankful for that too), starving in some African desert (although I could stand to suffer a little bit of starving), hiding from raping rebels.  I’m not crouching in a bomb shelter five times a day in Gaza.   I’m not warming myself on some steam grate in the middle of a winter’s night in Detroit. 

I’m not amazed I got singled out by misfortune and bad luck and curses and whatever else we spit as nails.  I’m amazed I got to live!  I’m amazed at how fortunate and blessed and lucky and gifted I truly am.  Every single day I’m here.   And, even with my memory problems, I know I’ll never forget that.



  1. Thank you for this post. I was actually out walking last week and crying and asking “why me”.

    Comment by kazzles — January 7, 2009 @ 6:38 am | Reply

  2. Well, I think it’s normal and we’ve probably all done it. We just have to hope the anger and bitterness doesn’t serve us for too long and we decide to set it down and move on and rock our lives! 🙂

    Comment by karaswanson — January 7, 2009 @ 6:50 am | Reply

  3. As a woman who has inspired me already, through your book and your COMPASSION in becoming my friend, I am SO grateful (!) that you have sent this on to me. Bless you Kara, for everything you have taught us/me.

    With great appreciation,

    Comment by Barb G — January 7, 2009 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

  4. Not a comment about the blog (which is fabulous, by the way), but wanted to know about your book. Is it out of publication? I am a speech-language pathologist and my clients are TBI survivors. I have given away all of my copies of your book (none of which have been returned, ofcourse) and I haven’t been able to locate a copy for less than ~$200. Wow! Hope you are getting some of that!

    Comment by Heidi — January 7, 2009 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

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