#BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth: March Musings on the Brain Injury Journey

17 Mar

 Every March, I find myself thinking about the brain injury journey. Right now the whole idea of recovery is front and center for me and so many I speak with.

I was at a brain injury event a couple weeks ago and a young stroke survivor who, pre-brain trauma, was a teacher at a community college, asked me how long it took before I felt I recovered. Without hesitation, I surprised myself and replied:

You know what? I still feel like I fake it every single day.

Using the word recovery to represent an epic journey filled with big shifts that lead back to some idealized state makes me uneasy.

I guess some have miraculous healings and sudden flashes of recovery.

My brain injury journey was never about those big changes or the Earth-shattering breakthroughs. It was about small, breathtaking moments – ones that just seemed to materialize that represented another step forward.

I imagine that at one point I realized that the key was paying attention and noticing all the tiny shifts that added color, quality, and a bit of humanity back into my life. If I blinked I missed them. So, more than anything else, I needed to be present, with eyes wide open, to use these small shifts to move forward.

Meme.steps forward CO path.rec

As Mary Lanzavecchia, my valued writing partner and co-author, and I prepare to release our first joint effort, An Insider’s Guide to the Injured Brain: A workbook for survivors and those who support them, we have been diving deeply into recovery and what that means. We know that the process of writing An Insider’s Guide and creating the exercises to support the concepts lead us both to a new level of recovery however, that too was slow and sometimes painful.

Meme.whoyouarenow.rec

So this March here is where I am.

I am more than good enough for today.

Tomorrow I anticipate being even better.

Imagine what next March will bring.

How do you view recovery?

 

12 Responses to “#BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth: March Musings on the Brain Injury Journey”

  1. Doreen McGettigan March 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

    I view my recovery as an ongoing process where I now focus on keeping my brain healthy and moving forward. I still tend to occasionally get depressed when I remember how much time I lost but it’s getting easier to focus on moving forward.

  2. Helene Cohen Bludman March 17, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

    One small step forward each day and maybe an occasional step,backward, right? Little by little you have made your way. So proud of you and so grateful you have shared your wisdom with the rest of us.

    • Ruth Curran March 17, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

      Partners in the healing process — friends like you to lift me up and keep me headed North — make the journey a cherished adventure. Thank you Helene.

  3. Cathy Lawdanski March 17, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

    Your books sounds like a fabulous tool to help many!

  4. Carol Cassara March 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    What a service your book with Mary will be! I’m very excited to see it, Ruth!

    • Ruth Curran March 17, 2017 at 4:19 pm #

      I am excited to have you read it! Thanks Carol!

  5. Lois Alter Mark March 17, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    You are so much more than “good enough,” my friend. The work you’re doing is amazing and important, and I can’t wait to read the new book. xo

    • Ruth Curran March 17, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

      Thank you Lois! The work is about those who support it and you, my friend, are a such an incredible support!!

  6. Cathy Sikorski March 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

    I am anxiously awaiting this book as you know, Ruth. As a caregiver for a brain injured friend, I know exactly what you mean, “Recovery” for a brain injury may be the very definition of ‘baby steps.’ What frustrates me often is that the outside world wants to believe that the brain-injured person is fine ASAP and therefore misses the continuing struggle as well as the small victories. Your book with Mary will be a godsend to many!

    • Ruth Curran March 17, 2017 at 6:16 pm #

      You know I feel that frustration with you Cathy. Your brain injured friend is lucky to have you by her side — surrounding her with hope and laughter. Doesn’t get a whole lot better than that! Thank you for beautiful words.

  7. Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski March 17, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    Recovery takes time but so much can be learned in the process. Your book sounds fabulous and so needed for so many people.

  8. Tam Warner Minton March 19, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

    You are an inspiration to so many! Keep doing it, you are an amazing woman!

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