Maria (42) suffered a head injury at age 18 after her boyfriend ran her over in his "big" car outside her parent's house. She was in a coma for two weeks and was often told by Doctors and Specialists that she would not be unable to achieve things taken for granted by those without a brain injury. "Don't expect to pass school cert, they said, and so I did and then I went on to University." Maria laughs.
That is not to say Maria's injury didn't effect her. At 19 she was thrown unwillingly into the New Zealand media spotlight, depicted as a "brain injury" fallen victim to a hoax tarot card reader. Maria had taped all their conversations, over eighteen months, because she had problems recalling their sessions and it was those very tapes that became vital in an inevitable guilty verdict.
Maria then went over to the UK. "A twelve year old in a nineteen year old's body."
To listen to, she doesn't come across as someone with a serious brain injury - aside from forgetting what she was saying every now and then and getting confused about the difference between a niece and nephew. Then again, if that's the only symptom then maybe I have a brain injury as well and .. hell, didn't even know it! Would I know it if I had one? (Looks sideways at child sitting on couch...would she even tell me?)
Maria stayed on well after the 10pm shut off for guest speakers and around the time "the Nutters" come out to play. We had calls from others suffering brain injuries, a poem from another member depicting her time "in the dock," and a rather arrogantly rude call from some fowl mouthed tosser, which Mike handled with matching finesse.
There were discussions on "Zero tolerance for drink driving" by those convicted of drink driving, victims of drunk drivers, and those struggling to maintain their sobriety.
An interesting discussion started up about disassociation and whether this was a by-product of Maria's brain injury or/and an amazing survival skill by all those suffering post traumatic stress disorder and a debate about whether alcoholism was a symptom of mental illness of whether you could "just be an alcoholic."
"An addiction is an illness. Alcoholics don't FAIL cause they are unable to to drink socially - "control" their drink. They are allergic to alcohol. No one with diabetes would be expected to socially overcome the need for insulin shots.It's a dis-ease, something that puts the body "ill at ease."
"I have just heard Mike say what i quoted a few times. Gives the suggestion that addictions and can not occur without issues/insecurities/short comings also occurring simultaneously in ones life. Alcoholism and addiction often develop because of other issues people are having but this certainly isnt always the case. For many alcoholics and addicts, the only issue they have is that they are alcoholics and addicts."
"Yeah i hear you XXXXXXX (and good on you for cleaning up!!) but i think you may be missing my point. Rats in a clinical settings form serve drug addictions – rats will push a leaver TEN THOUSAND TIMES simply to receive a tiny dose of methamphetamine. I don't imagine these addictions from from anxiety, social pressure, low self esteem or problems with the wife :) This suggests that not all addiction is the product of underlying issues."
The Nutter's Club is broadcast every Sunday at 8pm on Radiolive. Podcasts of all shows are available onsite.