It has also taken me 18 months to realize how truly blessed I am because of the changes.
Weird. I feel blessed because of 30 strokes.
Well, I’m still around. And I have most of my physical abilities. My cognition when it comes to things like strategy, numbers and logic has been annihilated, however. And I gave up my car and driving for the time being.
I can no longer do the work I’ve been doing for thirty-two years. That career has been shattered. I won’t lie to you, I was in a pretty bad funk about that fact. But life finds a way.
I started writing again in rehab back in November 2015 at the insistence of one of my therapists. I could barely walk or speak, let alone hold a pencil.
I hated her for making me write, back then. My first journal entry was three words, scrawled almost illegibly:
“Fuck this shit.”
Now? Eighteen months later? Well, let me quote Stephen King:
“Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.”
And so it goes.
Last Friday, I was surprised and shocked to receive an acceptance letter to Emerson College–to their MFA program in Popular Fiction writing. They also threw a massive scholarship at me, to which I am eternally grateful.
The application was a bit of a lark–and like everything else lately, I had a load of help with the admission process. My wife, who is the most exquisite human to ever walk this earth, has been at my side–always encouraging, always helping.
I received four brilliant references from wonderful authors who I both respect and admire ( Matthew Munson and Dr. Bill Kirton from my show The Word Count Podcast, my friend, instructor and mentor, Richard Thomas, and World Fantasy and Nebula award-winning author, James Morrow). I submitted samples of my published work and an essay (the story of my writing rebirth after surviving trauma).
Four days after submitting my application, I was accepted.
This has been the culmination of recovery, acceptance, and a desire to take this “new cognitive me” out for a spin.
For all those who have helped me, I am forever in your debt. Know that I will do you proud during this next adventure.
Welcome to the class of ’19, you brain-damaged old man. You are truly blessed.