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.
I still missed the old me.
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.
Watch it on Youtube
Comment on it - what part did you connect with the most?
Let me know how it resonated for you.
With love, compassion and grace,