I recently found this, and I thought it would be nice to share. I am obviously in a different space mentally in 2021, versus when I wrote this in 2006. But one can catch some of my thoughts when I had feelings of impulsivity. I was looking to getting beyond this injury while being hopeful about my journey. I believe I created this while I was trying to get my work life back together, while doing outpatient rehab.
BRAIN INJURY… (MY EFFECTS)
Being unable to pick the right things to say in difficult moments…
Remembering what you want while everyone else leaves you alone…
Accepting that you are different, even though you do not think so…
Intense frustration when you talk to people because you can’t speak fast enough to get your thoughts out…
Never getting people to understand your true feelings (because other issues have blurred their vision) …
In case of emergency, bang head on metal wall (This will resolve everything and send you back to where you WERE!) …
Never seeing things as you once did, but you can remember them!
Just because you cannot do one thing, does not mean you will never be able to do it again.
Use people who are close to you, so they can assist through all of the trials and tribulations of your current state!
Run again, throw with your left arm again, speak with a good pace again, and flex your muscles again!!
You cannot let ANYONE hold you back from doing what YOU want to do!
I think writing gave me time and space to get everything out of my head. I believe that writing is the reason why I feel much better about my recovery now. I have had time to reflect, question, and even research the things I went through. I also feel like those who said I should write a book after hearing my story, were only challenging me. Maybe they did not believe I was smart enough, strong enough, or even capable of writing a book about the things I went through on this ride called brain injury.
Many of the things noted above were the things going through my mind at the time. Brain Injury was very frustrating for me! I did not have much control over my body, my wants, my needs, nor my feelings. This was my expression of depression. However, I was always hopeful there would be a pill to take that would make all of my pain, sadness, memory issues, and frustrations go away. Well maybe not a pill, but a quick fix to hopefully resolve all of my issues and get me back to being normal.
Writing was my way to get all of my feelings out without having someone interrupt me or throw me off course. Many times, during my recovery I felt I was being ignored, or the things I said was not important to them when I tried to explain myself. When I was in rehab, I wrote a letter to the rehab staff to plead my case to be allowed to participate in driver’s rehab. This was perfect as I was able to get my feelings out without giving anyone a chance to tell me their side or providing other insight. Writing was my ‘freedom of expression’ where no one could stop my train of thought.
What are the Potential Effects of TBI?
The severity of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may range from “mild” (i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury).
A TBI can cause a wide range of functional short- or long-term changes affecting:
- Thinking (i.e., memory and reasoning).
- Sensation (i.e., sight and balance).
- Language (i.e., communication, expression, and understanding); and
- Emotion (i.e., depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness).1
My brain injury has been the most challenging thing that I have ever faced in life! Even though I am doing much better than I was 18 years ago, I am unfortunately presented with new challenges today! I guess I could look at my injury in two different ways… I can either complain, feel sorry for myself, or give up hope and stop looking to get better. Or I can be thankful to still be alive and continue to look for ways to help myself and others in the brain-injured community achieve an acceptable recovery.
“Potential Effects | Concussion | Traumatic Brain Injury | CDC Injury Center.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/outcomes.html. Accessed 5 May 2021.