They asked for help, and I served them revenge!

Hitanshu Sachania
3 min readDec 13, 2020
Love is give and take. A picture depicting two dogs holding each others’ leashes.

The extent of cognitive resources any task requires depends entirely on an individual. Some people are skilled enough to accomplish either harder tasks or more number of tasks. Some can do both. Others struggle with certain tasks but cruise through other tasks. There is no fixed, structured balance sheet here, but one thing holds — each task eats away from our cognitive resource pool. We must rest to regenerate what gets depleted.

I had a traumatic brain injury. Life tends to be slow for me. A few years ago, I believed I was inefficient at getting things done on time. Now I don’t blame myself. The injury took away from my cognitive resource pool, thereby downsizing it. You would think this realization might have helped me. Sadly, no.

I tend to need help. The injury slowed me, but life still keeps moving as quickly as before the injury. With a brain injury, you don’t wear bandages or scaffold any limbs. You look just fine to a bystander. How is anyone supposed to see an injured brain anyway! Worse still, it's hard for people to understand how the injury affects me, or if it even does affect me.

The catch is they can’t even understand that my injury affects them as well.

The hidden fabric of ‘give and take’ that holds many relations together is where I need flexibility. We help each other, knowing that the other has our back during a time of need. I need assistance more often than I’d like to admit. I am fortunate always to have someone by my side. Reciprocating to their help is my Achilles’ heel.

It isn’t that I don't wish to help. I love them and would always want to be of assistance to them. The problem is that for someone like me with a smaller cognitive resource pool, prioritising when to help someone is imperative. I’ve often hurt myself in not doing so.

The ‘helping and needing help’ phenomenon in our world doesn’t necessarily comply with the law of equal exchange. Don’t get me wrong; I will help others when they truly need help. More often than not, people subconsciously equate “hanging out” or “dining out” to the help they should be getting from me in return to them helping me out on an important occasion. These semblances of favour are what I must put low in priority. The result being me not helping people back, me not reciprocating socially, me being selfish.

Clipart of a person’s overworked brain.

This lack of being there for everyone most of the times is what I feel equivalent to taking revenge on them for being there for me. I understand this sounds sadistic and victimizing, but it's not. I’m not complaining. I’m stating it as a fact. Every time I skipped going to that cafe, or seeing that movie, or going here, going there, I felt a tad bit sad. It left the same bad taste that seeking revenge does.

Paradigm Shift

A few books and Japanese animes later, I don’t feel that way anymore.

A world that doesn’t accommodate our individuality and doesn’t celebrate each of us for who we are isn’t a world I would care for. It isn’t easy to help others, and I thank those who’ve stood with me in times of need. I’ll be there for you when you truly need help, but at other times, I must prioritise. The ones who’ve taken the time and effort to understand me (more importantly, understand my injury) have so far always accommodated me. It isn’t always easy for them, but they do.

If someone close to you is brain-injured, please educate yourself about brain injury. That way, you’ll naturally make your relation with them better.

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Hitanshu Sachania

[Computational materials engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Reading] = interests