So many who lived through a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) have little nagging symptoms that just hang on. It makes sense that as a result of the remnants of that injury, sometimes TBI people experience a lapse in attention or were so focused on the task at hand that they hit their head hard enough to feel a functional difference.
Stone cold statistic: 70 percent of all brain injury survivors will have at least one, but probably more, head injuries in their lifetime.
That is a sobering fact for those of us who have been there and back and find ourselves once again walking through the fog of clouded thinking, looking for the way out.
If you who read my stuff regularly you know that I don’t tell many personal stories but this one is important not just because it happened to me but because it is a fact of life for other TBI survivors. So here goes….
About eight months after the first big bump on my head – the one that knocked me into a different world and ultimately on a new life path – I found myself, literally, running into a wall at full speed. I was angry, I was frustrated, and I felt like I could not breathe because some therapist (I can’t even remember who or what kind) told me I needed to settle. I was not going to get any better, she said, so I should probably stop working so hard. I was smarter at that moment than most will ever be, she explained, so what was my problem?
When I stormed out of her office, I was so focused on my outrage that I did not even notice the wall that was a few feet on the other side of the door…. Imagine forehead slamming into a solid block wall… and feeling the effects of taking 20 steps backward on my road to okay….
That collision set off what was, at the time, a horribly demoralizing set of feelings — ones that now, every time I find myself face-to-face with the wall (and yes, I still do occasionally), are the starting point and a place that I know I need use to find a bit of strength.
Yes, I do hit my head more frequently than most and I am probably also more prone to the fog closing than most but I also know how to work my way out – one step in a positive direction at a time.
I have come to terms with all of this and know that the more I focus on what I know makes me feel good, the better and stronger I will be.
For all of those who are right there with me, a bit of advice – find those things that give you joy and turn the spotlight on them. Hard work is not as a big a chore if you are smiling – even when working your way through a patch of fog.
Make those moments that make you smile the centerpiece of your life and the healing will follow.