Intensive laser therapy in Adelaide was the beginning of my recovery from brain inflammation, while we were all excited about my positive response to the treatment, the clinicians cautiously suggested a few more months of laser at the Sydney clinic.

Everyday the laser drained a little more inflammation from my skull, allowing the swelling to decrease and my brain to become a little clearer. With more space in my brain, I began to get a sense of where I was in my life and with that’s when the grief hit me.

Emotional Healing

I’d be so out of it for half a year, my brain shut down, all I could manage during this time was to lie around, resting my heavy head and listen to audiobooks.

I felt everything had slipped away from me; my life, my home, my livelihood, my biz, my independence, my hobbies, my community, my friends, my sense of self even. It had all changed in a split second when I crossed the finish line at the triathlon back in January.

“You might mourn for the loss of those roles, but you’ll know you’re better off because you’re more genuinely you”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, author of Of Grief and Grieving.  

I didn’t feel I wanted to let go of any of my roles, I was so happy doing all the fun things I was doing in my life prior to the brain injury. So far I had been dealing with the physical aspects to this injury and I realised I also had to look at the emotional parts.

An Old Friend

Since my brain was more inflamed on the left side, the thinking brain, all I had access to was a little bit of my right brain, the feelings brain. Without my left brain, buzzing away with self talk, ego driven dialogue I descended into a deep part of myself, my emotional and spiritual me.

While sitting in my garden, staring at the winter blue sky, I filled the empty void in my brain with positive psychology.

I dug out my Marianne Williamson books, like an old friend, well worn and bright with highlighters from my daily readings after my divorce two years previously. She talks about hardly remembering the pain of this night, it’s true we move on from situations and feel better, like my divorce the heartbreak had faded but yet while this injury was so fresh, raw, I was still in the moment of loss, it’s hell.

Suffering helps us develop a taste for sweetness, a talent for happiness and an appetite for peace.


Marianne Williamson, Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment

I knew I’d get to peace with the new me, eventually but I wasn’t ready yet.

Fear of the Unknown

No one could tell me what my prospects for recovery, so I was petrified of the future. I felt so changed by this experience, had the taste of mortality and loss of brain function and health so fresh and real to me.

I’d forfeited a return ticket Europe in the summer to visit my cousins in Croatia. I’d forfeited my first Half Ironman in Wanaka entry, and my first off-road  Adventurethon in Clarence Valley entry.

I’d lost my chance to represent Australia at the World Age Group Championship in front of a home crowd on the Gold Coast. I stood down as president of my triathlon club and left the community of hundred members. I’d closed my biz and let my staff go.

I had so many unknowns constantly taunting me.

Would the laser continue to work?

What would my life look like after this treatment?

Would I ever regain my cognitive function back?

Could I ever run my own biz again?

Could I ever drive again?

Would I ever be able to compete in triathlons again?

Could I ever ocean swim again?

Mermaids and Sarah
So many unknowns – would I ever swim again?

Marianne Williamson has this exercise her book, Course in Miracles, she suggests during times of grief and sadness to write a letter to God, so I did that.

When everything is lost, there’s not much else but to let go and surrender and see what God has to say. 

My Letter to God

Dear God, I surrender to you, the previous thirty years of my life. I thank you for your mercy and love, through times of self discovery, I’ve come to know a deeper understanding of who I am.

I surrender to you the questions in my heart for the next year in my life. I pray you use me for a conduit for good, enable me to be all that I can be in your light and love.

Dear God
From my diary

I surrender my uncertainty about my life work and expression, my biz, my clients, how and what I should put my energy towards. I surrender my uncertainty about lifestyle, location , where and how I live. I surrender my future, showing me the path towards love and acceptance.

I surrender my hobbies and passions, and how to best express my love of sport, exercise, movement, community, connection, nature and love. I have no idea how the pieces all fit, I am willing to you dear God to take care of the piece of the puzzle.

I surrender the details to you, allowing you to guide me to a higher existence and peace within myself and my world. Help me focus on the only journey that matters, my own, and stay focused on being a conduit for your love.

Amen.

God’s Reply

Sarah,

I hear you heartbreak and see your tears, the pain you feel from the losses of last year, have been many, lost friends, life, livelihood, opportunities, travel races, fun, hobbies, passions.

And yet in your sadness, in the darkness, I ask you, hold on, trust me, there is much in store for you. Just as you trusted me when getting divorced, a new bigger life was waiting for you.

Dad god

Now again, I have plans for a much bigger wonderful life for you. I needed you to stop, it was not productive, to burn it down, release old, busy activities, for now the time of self discovery in those areas are over, you learnt all lessons needed.

Next steps is to embrace this laser treatment for a pain free life. You needed time to rest and heal the injuries of last eight years, I could not let you go on like you were. A painful life is unsustainable and not what I had in plan for you.

Take my mercy, take my love and rebuild your heart to a bigger life. I needed you to stop, rest, release the path you were on. Don’t fear not knowing what to do, I have much in store. I take your fear and love you.

Dear god 2

I will release to you many blessings as we go, day by day. Blessings I’ve sent your way already, a loving family, support and peace. A restful place to recovery, healing treatment, friends and community. I’ve healed you from pain in your body and brain, trust what I’ve already done for you – so more healing may come with ease.

I created you as my perfect creation and I continue to guide your life path. I need you to step out of the way and let healing happen, in body, in heart, in mind. There is love all around you, let it in and let it grow. Much more is on it’s way, trust in me.

Trust the process.

Expect the best possible outcome.

Rest in my mercy.

Rest in love.

It’s possible.

You are perfect.

You are a miracle. This is a true story.

I love you.

God.

Thanks for listening

mermaid tail