Superman: A Look Back and Forward
By Joanne Phillips, MS, RD
Written September 20, 2018
In my world feeling strong is imperative. From the stem cell and PRP therapy, I was blessed this year with the normalcy and stability I so desperately longed for and since February 2018 I have been able to breath new life into myself.
The story behind the Superman balloon:
This Superman balloon was given to me by my 2 nieces Kasey and Bailey when I was in the rehab hospital in May of 2007. They were 13 and 10 at the time. They saw this balloon and said to my sister “Mom, we need to get this, this reminds us of Aunt Bo” (that is their name for me since they were little kids and they still use it to this day). I can remember them entering the room and giving it to me, not knowing how I would reflect on this sweet gesture in the years to come.
While I had my share of setbacks, it was the paralyzing emotional struggles from my brain injury that were my true kryptonite which would send me spinning like a top over and over again during my journey back. Just when I thought I had some level of solid ground underneath me, the emotional problems always came back with a vengeance. It was a relentless cycle.
During these very trying years, I have looked at this balloon that has sat like a small statue in my office countless times waiting for it to deflate. I would say to myself “when this balloon deflates it’s a sign for me to give up”, it’s pretty crazy what the voices in our heads can tell us and how we bargain with ourselves when times are difficult.
The irony? 11 ½ years later, this same Superman balloon remains FULLY inflated. I am so grateful it stayed strong for me throughout these years, representing to me strength and resilience even as the years continued to pass.
It’s now 2018 and today I just celebrated my 49th birthday. I have spent the last 11 years of my life digging myself out of a massive hole that challenged every fiber of my being. My 40s are almost over, this last decade of my life has been all about this accident, my recovery and my very survival. I should be angry about being “robbed” of these years but ironically, I am not. I finally have peace and clarity in this journey. It’s freeing. I am now focused on my path ahead and what I need to try to achieve in this upcoming decade of my life.
The book idea I recently put out there on Facebook, well, I have no idea how this is going to come together but I trust that if it is part of my true calling, everything I need will be lead to me to get this accomplished.
I am so glad my Superman balloon did not deflate, and Thank God neither did I.