Brain Talk: Feeling down about your brain injury

The other day I spoke with a fellow brain injury survivor who was feeling troubled. We all struggle at times and I’m happy this brain injury survivor came to me about what was on her mind because it’s important to let others around you know when you are struggling.

She said:

I don’t want to have a pity party but I’m having a moment where I’m so frustrated/hate my head injury because I feel like everyone is moving on with their lives/ I feel so behind and I feel very left out of regular things people my age do.

I told her I’m sorry you feel frustrated with your head injury and I understand where you are coming from. My advice is that you can only focus on your time frame and not what others are doing around you. Life is like a long story (hopefully) and every moment isn’t going to be spectacular. I think it’s important to appreciate what you do have!

I asked her to try an exercise for me. Think of 5 people in your life you are grateful for. Could be your mom, a friend, teacher, artist, whoever.

I told her to do this exercise because it’s an easy way to shine a bright light when you are feeling gray.

It’s easy for many brain injury survivors to feel left out because they’re often left a different person after their injury. Some now have physical, mental or speech challenges which restrict them from doing “normal” things they used to do prior to their injury.

We all expect life to be this big beautiful amazing thing, but we forget that it’s filled with many minor and insignificant moments. Sure, when you look at the span of your entire life from afar and admire your moments of adversity and triumph, life can seem pretty great. You may feel proud of the things you overcame. However, when you get sucked into the minor insignificant moments that at the end of the day, don’t matter and are not a part of your story it can throw you off.

Don’t let this happen. Think of the big picture and look at your life as a story of peaks and valleys. Admire yourself for the challenges you overcame and for the challenges you will conquer in the future!

I once asked my mom; do you think there’s supposed to be more to life?

She paused with a smirk on her face and said you know what your grandpa said? You work, spend time with family and friends and that’s it.

It’s a very simple perspective my Grandpa had, but I think what makes his statement most true is that he loved his family, friends and he loved to work.

Do what you love!

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