In his book The Night-Side, Floyd Skloot defines a purpose for his words. Notice Skloot’s honesty: “This book is a meditation forwards and backwards over the losses and gains that accompany long-term illness. Some of its pieces follow one another like chapters in a novel, others connect more associatively, like poems in a collection. It is finally an account of change and, I think, growth.” These pages flow in a similar current.
Change. Growth. Words we often use but rarely merge. Especially when change equals pain, sadness, grief, hurt and an ongoing adjustment to life. We all relate. We experience changes unique to us, our own, private changes. Changes noticed by others and changes ignored as long as possible by ourselves. Changes that finally, when allowed, bring growth—spiritual and relational growth, growth in thinking of others as we learn from ourselves, growth through the shrinking of ourselves.
In his book, The Thorn in the Flesh, R. T. Kendall writes, “Know that God has allowed this for a purpose. Accept it…as being from a loving God. Then come to terms with it. Don’t pretend it’s not there. Admit that it probably won’t go away—at least, not for a while. God could remove it, yes, just like that! But, apart from divine intervention, come to terms with the likely fact that it is there to stay.”
This book collects my confessions about the growth pains and gains resulting from permanent brain damage. As you read it, write your own version. Confess your own changes, your own growth.
Whatever your condition, join the journey. Enter the experience. Be aware of reality. As you critique and confess and compare, here is the dare. Stare at me and my life to see where you are. Think of receiving help from others, of giving more when there is nothing there to give, of living. Really living.
This book is my effort to come to terms with life, with change, with a me I never expected to become. To come to terms with a me who forgets, who struggles, who doubts. I offer my own honest recovery, and I ask, What is this sad season of your life teaching you? How can your weakness make you strong?
 Floyd Skloot, The Night-Side: The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Illness Experience, Story Line Press, 1996, p. xiv33
 R. T. Kendall, The Thorn in the Flesh, Charisma House, 2004, p. 87
– From Chris Maxwell’s book about his illness. To read more, purchase the eBook version of his book Changing My Mind: BUY HERE