Uneasy Acceptance

In Music, Poems, Recovery by Emerson Jane BrowneLeave a Comment


It just occurred to me that all this may be permanent. 

That sounds very silly because Dr. Winslow and others have repeatedly told me that this may be all the brain healing I am going to achieve. 

Of course my response to Dr. Winslow and the others is sort of a quiet rebellion and determination; much like my response back in 1979 when Doctors told me I was going to lose 75% of the use of my hand.  I was not willing to accept that prognosis and fought like hell to get the use of my hand back.  Anyone who knows me now would never even be able to guess which of my two hands/wrists was injured severely.

I have not given up hope.  I still think that I can achieve a lot more improvement.  I am still working doggedly on getting the referrals to the help I need.  I have an appointment to be evaluated at CORP TBI group at Harborview in mid May (the soonest I could get in).  CORP TBI stands for Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program [for] Traumatic Brain Injury.

But this realization is different from being told something by doctors or other health care practitioners.  It’s like on some deeper level I suddenly got it that this really may be as good as it gets.  I may forever be stuck with this sort of mental deadness at certain times of the day as well as some of the other disconcerting attributes.  If I have seen about as much improvement as I am going to get that is sobering.

In the previous post below I mentioned that I had gone looking for a quote in the Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide which then led to me reading the guide.  Well this current post was why I was looking for the quote in the first place.  Here it is:

The next phase is what I call uneasy acceptance.  This is when head-injured people learn where they stand and what their limits are.  They’ve learned after many failings and many times of paying for it, that they can only handle a limited number of hours of work or play.  They’ve learned to keep a consistent schedule and will stick to that schedule.  For example, they can work six hours a day, but realize that 8 hours is too much.  They’ve learned to say, “I have to deal with this head injury.”  Does this mean they like it?  NO.  They’re not happy about it, but they’ve learned to accept it.  Often individuals in this phase begin to use words like the “old” me and the “new” me.  Many of their old friends are no longer with them, but they’ve found new friends.  They’ve moved on to new relationships, maybe even new work, and they’ve basically said, “People have to like me for what I am.”  That’s “uneasy acceptance”.2

Hope and “Uneasy Acceptance” are sort of coexisting in me; not at war with each other or vying for attention.  If anything the “Uneasy Acceptance” is jumping around in the stands rooting Hope and Hard Work on to greater and greater improvements and achievements.  It is like Hope and “Uneasy Acceptance” have become allies. 

With the possible beginnings of “Uneasy Acceptance” I find myself searching for the “Delicate Balance”.I guess it is sort of along the lines of the well known Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

When I wrote the words “Delicate Balance” I went looking for Tom Dundee’s lyrics to the song by that title – which is why I had put it in quotes in the first place.  I am going to put the lyrics in right here because they turned out to be even more fitting than I had realized.Therefore, I am putting in a short YouTube of Tom Dundee singing the song as well as adding the lyrics.

Utrecht Blue Wheat_cropped

Deep within there is a vision
That time is nothing but space,
And between every minute
and mile that is in it
Somehow there is a beautiful place.

And its all such a delicate balance
That the sport of infinity gives,
Expectations we have
can lead down the path
Where that devil discouragement lives.

I dreamed I was barer than naked
And it scared me so bad that I called,
“Help me back to the prison,
with the chains of the living”
Although nothing had hurt me at all.

And its all such a delicate balance
As it turns through the circles of air,
To worry does nothing but steals from the loving
And robs from the pleasure that’s there.

Deep within there is a feeling
That love and understanding’s the door,
And honesty is the key that was given to you and me
To open it and so many more.

And its all such a delicate balance
Takes away just as much as it gives,
To live it is real, to love it is to feel
You’re a part of what everything is.




    1. The wonderful cartoon “Tis better to have loved and lost your mind” at the start of this entry is by Jeff Gregory of Jagged Smileand is used with permission.  I love his blog and his cartoons!


    1. Glen Johnson PhD, Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide, p. 67 (approximately) 


    1. The Serenity Prayer is most often attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr
    2. “A Delicate Balance” is by Tom Dundee. Tom died April 18,2006 from brain injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident he was in coming home from a gig. Tom, we miss you.  “A Delicate Balance” is available on multiple CDs that can be purchased on Tom’s page at CD Baby.



Emerson Jane Browne
I am Emerson Jane Browne. I write about Brains, Apps, & Productivity, and many other aspects of Life. I speak to TBI support groups, speak and teach workshops at tech, music, and writer conferences. I consult with organizations on strategic planning and building a strong community.