A friend sent me this 2-letter-text: “Happy Birthday!”

My birthday is actually in July. But I knew the meaning of his comment. He was honoring my other birthday, the start of my new life, the beginning in March 1996 of my adventure with encephalitis and epilepsy, my entrance into life “underwater.”

I rarely consider this date a birthday. It felt more like death than birth. But my friend is correct. The birth, the beginning, the start of a new life for me – and for my family and friends – happened.

When our brains change, we change. My brain changed drastically. Therefore, I changed. Drastically. 

Yet, here I am. Different but here.

And you? Here you are. Here but, in some way, different.

How have you changed? What unplanned event occurred? What unwanted illness arrived? What unexpected realty appeared? How have you responded? What have you learned? What can and should you do today to respond to your own “underwater” experience?

Process whatever birthday came your way. Refuse to deny it. Face it. Learn about it and learn from it.

And take the appropriate next steps. Give birth to your new life.

By gaining healthy perspectives and making the right decisions, our lives can become better – even when “underwater.”


To learn more about Chris Maxwell’s story, pick up a copy of his book Underwater.