Self Compassion, a Key to Healing Brain Injury

You Are Enough

“healing is not always about fixing what we perceive to be broken”

Do you miss the person before the brain injury? I know I sure did…and sometimes still do. One of the hardest parts of living with a brain injury is missing the person I was before the injury..

It was embarrassing to forget people’s names.

It was humiliating to not remember important dates, appointments and meetings.

It was crushing when I found out I was having the same conversation over and over and over again.

It was devastating to learn I was not the person I was before I had the brain injury.

And it was even harder when I found out she might not be coming back…ever.

For years I worked hard to get the old me back, and to fix everything about me that was broken. The harder I worked the worse I felt because I was not getting better the way I hoped. Sure, there were small improvements, but the big stuff, like getting the old me back, that was NOT happening.

I was tired of failing. I was exhausted from “being the change” and seeing no results. I was beaten up from trying hard to make things better when everything I did didn’t work.

I wanted to give up.

Why keep trying when I wasn’t getting better and nothing was working? All my resources were tapped. There was nothing left to give. Nothing was changing.

Ok…yes, there were some improvements.

It’s true.

And…

I still missed the old me.

And…

I still had major challenges.

After 5 years fo trying to heal myself and get better life was still hard, my memory sucked, I was scattered, overwhelmed, had a hard time with change, was forgetful, had constant headaches, was nauseous, dizzy and defeated.

Buried in shame I sat in dismay, curious what my next steps would be if I couldn’t heal myself.

There was only one choice left, really, and that was to focus on what I could do and place value on who I was rather than on everything I no longer was.

It was to hold my own hand when I needed guidance.

It was to be gentle towards myself when things were hard knowing I was doing the best I could with where I was at.

It was embracing myself with a huge hug when I felt alone, reminding myself that I would find a way.

It was celebrating the little wins every time, all the time.

It was being grateful for who I was and what I could do.

It was placing value on loving and taking care of myself and those around me as best I could.

It was to embody deep self compassion and practice extreme self care in the midst of drowning, feeling buried and being beat up.

I talk all about it in my TEDx talk, Brain Injury To Brain Upgrade sharing some of my biggest struggles.

  1. Watch it on Youtube

  2. Like it

  3. Comment on it - what part did you connect with the most?

  4. Share it.

Let me know how it resonated for you.

With love, compassion and grace,

Natalie