January 9, 2020
A note to self (and perhaps to other facial trauma survivors): don’t watch old videos of yourself. It’s not solely that I look different, rather that seeing my former self speaking properly, moving my mouth, emoting with my eyes, wrinkling my forehead, looking familiar, normal, dare I even say beautiful, was gut-wrenching. Just as I was beginning to think I’ve made minor progress, such a sight negated those feelings, only confirming the startling degree to which my face, features, skin, shape, tissues and muscles are not even remotely the same since my accident, though miracle surgeries, expert medical care and ongoing treatments have and continue to help tremendously. This has nothing to do with what anyone else sees, how they may view me, others’ perceptions of my injuries and healing, fear of judgement or anything of the sort; this is about who and what I see, recognize and know, which has shifted in dramatic ways. Acceptance of that does not come with haste, simplicity or ease.