Never did I think I would write about the positive aspects of having a traumatic brain injury. After all, when I was first diagnosed with multiple TBIs and Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS), I felt alone, helpless, hopeless, uncertain of my future and how this injury would impact my loved ones.
Once I started doing my research, journaling daily and meeting other survivors /warriors, I had a premonition that something good, something powerful would come from this journey. The journey has given me the strength to re-evaluate my life and decide what I want my future to look like. Not how everyone else wants my life to be – the perfect, cute, feisty, can do it all, go-getter workaholic I once was.
Having TBIs with PCS has allowed me to reassess my past and how I would like to proceed. I no longer live in my ego nor am I defined by my career and accomplishments. Yes, I am proud of myself. I’ve left the game called “the rat race” and I’m not going back! I am 100% sure on that.
Through my recovery I’ve learned that certain aspects of my life MUST change for me to heal. I don’t lie to myself that a magical pill will save the day. I have bad days and that’s ok – if I’m not feeling well, I listen to my body and rest. I’ve also realized that my workaholism was an escape mechanism that isn’t healthy for me anymore (it probably was never healthy). I’ve accepted that I pushed myself too hard many times and I’ve made some poor decisions including my career and personal relationships. It’s been difficult to come to terms that I haven’t made the wisest choices in the dating/marriage arena. HELLO! Anyone home? I was dealing with MAJOR deficits and I didn’t know. Throw me a bone! The first step for change, in my opinion, is recognition of what hasn’t worked, accepting it and setting goals that are attainable.
In essence, I get to re-write my life. What I mean is that I am no longer identified by my job. I’m more vulnerable, empathetic and open. This has been no easy task! Thankfully, I have a brilliant therapist that understands brain injuries, challenges me, yet knows when not to push too hard. I have a roof over my head, an old vehicle that is paid off, organic food to eat and (dwindling) savings to pay for holistic treatments such as neurofeedback, biofeedback, craniosacral, hyperbaric (HBOT), spinal decompression, prolozone/oxygen treatments, occupational therapy and acupressure. Additionally, I’ve changed my diet, my supplements, and all health and cleaning products.
Rather than focus on my next home purchase (I love to buy old homes and restore them), a new suit or shoes, I’m focused on ME – my health has to come before everything else. It sounds so selfish since I have a long history of being a people pleaser! Through this journey, I have re-evaluated my “circle of trust” and let go of several toxic people, including family members and friends. As the saying goes, less is more!
Slowly as I rebuild my life, I know what I am working on: 1) my health; 2) my diet; 3) a daily, consistent routine; 4) exercise; 5) healthcare appointments; 6) my relationship with God and Angels and in time, 7) my life partner. Since I’m nearly 44, my dream to have a family will likely not come to fruition and that’s ok. God has a plan for me and it’s slowly falling into place!
Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel! My journey is in my daily work to heal myself. I will say, I’ve had to do a lot of brain recovery work and be honest about my past, my current situation and my future goals. I’m proud that I’ve accepted ME and grieved my old self. I’m a much more improved version! While many may not agree that a TBI has a positive outcome, I’ve chosen to focus on the positive and what the next chapter has in store for me. I truly believe that with the recovery work I’m doing and have done, people that I likely would have never met, have come into my life for a reason. For me, there is beauty through the dark and into the light after TBI and PCS. I’m driving my own life. I see and experience wonderful things on a daily basis and for that, I know my future is looking bright! The next chapter awaits…