I had a brain injury, & am having a tough time coping with the outcomes. Can you offer any advice?

Since my husband wrote the 1st year on my blog, u mostly hear about the physical changes…occasionally he addresses the emotional, but u don’t really see even a portion of what it was like emotionally!

The 1st year devastated me!  I had many talents, with a bright, promising future & many hopes & dreams–& all were crushed in a few hours!  I could no longer do anything I used to do, & I was baffled at why this happened to me…I was a good girl, who had never smoked, drank, or done drugs. Why me?

The year that followed was the HARDEST year, & I don’t know if I would’ve done as well as I did it w/o my husband reminding me of my faith!  When I started to doubt what I believed, my husband pulled me through & helped me rebuild my Faith in God. That is what makes me strong. Christ will make our weaknesses strong. So, my 1st bit of advice: check out http://www.comeuntochrist.org. I am serious.  The Book of Mormon helped me enormously!  It might give u hope, strength, & new dreams too.  Can’t hurt to see if it does!

At times I felt very alone, but I soon learned that God has never left me, & actually is either “carrying me” (like the poem “Footprints in the Sand”), or is making me stronger so I can face things.  I know God loves me & I believe that I was prepared to deal with the things that I would face, so I could become the person INSIDE that God wants me to be…& I believe u were prepared for things too!  He loved us enough to give this life to us…It’s hard, but u can do it…or God wouldn’t have given u those things to deal with!

2. I’m a big journal writer, & as so happy when I could type entries again in my journal. One of my 1st entries was a list of all the reasons I wanted to die. My husband is a therapist, & I thought he’d show me some sympathy…so it came as no shock when he challenged me to list my blessings instead!  “Yeah, right,” I thought sarcastically…”What blessings???”

Several years went by.  It took a case of head lice to get me started: I was the only member of my family to not get lice, since I didn’t share chairs with my family!  When I started listing the blessings from my stroke, I listed things that seemed silly or things I had heard my husband say over the years.  Then came the “hard stuff”: take, for instance, my medical condition called PBA–how was it a blessing to not have control over my emotions? But somehow I found a reason, & whenever I get frustrated w/my PBA, I think of that reason, & I am able to deal with things better.

So, my 2nd bit of advice: Write down your list of blessings! Here’s how: Think of something you hate. Then find a reason it’s good. Not what you think a parent or God wants to hear, but what YOU really think.  You don’t have to give anyone your list–it’s private, & for you. If u choose to share it, you can, but it’s up to you when you do share it, & with whom you share it.  But do make the list, & actually write the list.

Don’t just think about it…Actually WRITE it down!  Thinking is a start, but writing it down firms it up in your mind. Just thinking it won’t do a thing! Trust me-I know! For years, I just thought about them, but a change occurred when I WROTE THEM DOWN!  One of the greatest ways I have, & continue, to deal with things is by writing down my list of blessings.  I’ve found writing helps me ponder, soften my heart, & open my mind & heart so I can hear the spirit.  It took me years to write my list, & I wish I’d done it sooner because it changed my perspective on what I faced.   Don’t put it off like I did.

3. My 3rd bit of advice: never ever think “I wish…” or “I can’t …” or ask, “Why me?” Don’t dwell on what u have lost, or what was taken away!  Instead, see what u CAN do, & what u are learning to do. Move forward.  It sucks that it happened…Now go make the best of it!

All your memories are all there, & it may hurt u to think about them.  It hurts if u think, “I used to…” So, find a new way to do what u loved…For example, I was a big dancer.  At 1st, I thought that part of my  life was over, as I can’t walk or use my left arm…but I have found ways I can “dance”, & I often attend a Father/Daughter Dance at my church, where I twirl, use my right arm, & lean my chair back in order to limbo!  Yes, if I think of how I “used to” dance, I would get very depressed, but instead I think of the present & future. 

Another example: I also was an All State singer.  It was VERY hard on me for years to hear how I now sound as I “sing”.  I am still shy, but have adjusted: I started out signing songs in “jenny-ese” (my own sign language) as I got used to my new sound, & practiced matching pitches.  My singing has improved over the years, but I definitely am not the singer I was before!  Still, I give myself a pat on the back!  & everytime u complete a small goal, & u should give yourself one, too!

3 comments

  1. “Still, I give myself a pat on the back! & everytime u complete a small goal, & u should give yourself one, too!” What wisdom for us all!

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