Admitting Defeat

I can be a very pigheaded when it comes to my abilities and I do not like admitting defeat. Today, after 4yrs of battling to return to work, I have finally officially resigned. I have had to admit to myself that I quite simply cannot return to my former role. I have spent the last 25yrs building up my skills, my education and my knowledge to bring out the best in my clients and myself. To now admit I am no longer able has been a HUGE hurdle, one I haven’t wanted to face nor accept. Today I faced it, but I still do not want to accept it. I mean, the reality is right there in front of me and has been for a while. I tried to push through it, that didn’t work, I tried to ignore it, that ain’t worked either, in fact probably did more harm than good. Over doing my own body’s limits has become ‘normal’, like I say, I’m very pigheaded. Today that ends and to me that’s admitting defeat.
I hate it.
Does anyone else have problems admitting their limitations??

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It does stink. Just remember that you are still needed. Due to all of your struggles, you have more experience and knowledge than a lot of folks do, when it comes to tbi, disability, and things of that nature. You have always been willing to give advice, or a willing ear, even when you were dealing with health issues that to me at least, unimaginable circumstances.
In my opinion, what is just as bad as you having to admit defeat, is that I know you helped many people at your job, and that is now over. I am sure you were very good at what you did. And I have no doubt that your clients could tell you were really trying to help, that you weren’t just there for a paycheck. People can tell when someone’s heart is in the right place, especially when they are needing help.
And yes, I have trouble admitting defeat, too. At the moment, I do not want to admit that there are some doctors appointments in other towns that I do not need to go to by myself. Even after getting lost. I wasn’t really lost. I just couldn’t find the right way to get where I was going. It was the peoples fault that made that dadgum hospital. Also, I am not happy with the makers of my gps. Yes, I do have trouble admitting many things. I hate it too.


See you call it admitting defeat, which is fine not the most positive…

This is why I say acceptance is the key…Do you morn, makes you mad, angry?..Why sure it does!

But when you finally find that place of acceptance it hurts less and the anger dont last as long…

So what Im trying to say without sounding mean is…Ive been there Ive never been close to get back to work…I so miss it…Yes the money was great…The commerodery the feeling of accomplishment, ect…

I think your the best person to make that decision!..I hope you can find peace and acceptance…

The very best to you as your discussion probably was the hardest thing you might of ever had to do?

Good luck friend, I haven’t forgotten the little things nor the big things… :slight_smile:


Well I understand. The most difficult part of of my injury after 3 decades in the work force with a mechanical engineering degree was finally accepting retirement! Completed my Master’s a year after getting out of hospital and then started on my Doctorate. I am now an unemployed Doctor! LoL I spent 7 years working on my Doctorate with a dissertation on diminishing discrimination of persons with TBI in the work force. Plan to eventually do a little bit of online teaching. Still accepting retirement has been difficult to say the least.


Bless you for passing over that hurdle, Merle, because just being mindful of what you’re able to do and what you’re not able to do takes a lot of Bravery and a lot of work. Now that you found what you’re not quite able to do, it’s time to find a passion that you are able to pursue and do :slight_smile: and you will feel very good :slight_smile:

It took me a couple of years to get over the major defeat of not being able to buy land in Hawaii, that had been my goal for five years if not more, and to have a farm and I researched farming and permaculture and living off the land and the Hawaiian culture for so long that it just took so long to admit that I’m not strong enough to live in Hawaii anymore and I can never afford it now and I can never even manage a farm anymore let alone live in a house that would take too much work to clean… But I’m very happy now that I really appreciate where I live, a gratitude Journal really helped me just realize how good I have it here :slight_smile: when you reprogram those neurons in your brain to be grateful and enjoy what you do have you automatically are happier after a while :slight_smile: everything becomes easier :slight_smile: now I’m pursuing the awesome challenge of just being able to move a little faster and do a little more every day. It’s been awesome. There are days when I still just have to lay down all day cuz I worked too hard, but sometimes I’m able to do like five things in one day and that is so amazing and feels so good :slight_smile: and I have been slowly taking some psychology classes that are prerequisites for an art Therapy Program I might pursue, but honestly I probably don’t want to spend five precious years of my life taking two classes at a time to get a degree… I want to help with what I’m able to help with now! And I volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club :slight_smile: and that is so rewarding I am so free to design my own programs to share with the kids:-) and the kids are so grateful :slight_smile: and the staff are so grateful :slight_smile: I love it! I’m just hoping to get strong enough to commit to doing it one day every week. Don’t give up, you will settle into your new body and your new limitations and you will find a way to feel balanced and whole and pursue what you like to in a careful slower-pace, just living a gentler life


Thank you for working to help us have less discrimination and get more understanding from others :slight_smile: that’s beautiful

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I had/have big problems accepting too Crash, I think that’s part of that denial thing. But the reality is sinking in. I say ‘had/have’ because some days and tasks are easier and with some I stumble a bit. I had a big problem with the actual resigning as for me that was admitting defeat. I knew it had to be done, but by not resigning I still had a job to return to. This gave me something to aim for, the return to work. Admitting I can’t…and probably never will …$%&#@&%@&#$%…and all those other nasty words. But its done now

Thanks Aly. And that’s a big part of me coming on here initially. I have previous knowledge of working with people and although I’m not (Physically) doing the job now, I can still assist others by sharing my knowledge as a worker assisting people with disabilities and as a survivor of a TBI, I suppose in a way it gives me a different perspective, not just hands on but a first person view as well. It was much easier standing on the outside looking in, but now being on the inside, ohhh yuck, I don’t like this. Now I clearly understand when people say “I don’t like the new me, I want the old me back…” ME TOO!!!
I do still drive, but minimally, I have a co-driver (my wife). And like you, it’s not me who gets lost, the damn stores keep moving :grinning: Or it’s my co driver’s directions :joy:. But It’s not me :confounded:

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davOD, after my first and second surgery I pushed myself and I did eventually get myself back to work, and even after the third op I did return on restricted duties. For me it was like proving to myself that I could return, sort of like “I’ve done it before, I can do it again”. But I’ve pushed myself and pushed some more, only this time the body is pushing back and telling me “Laydown or I’ll put you down” and it has. If I over do it today, by hell, I pay for it tomorrow. It has now been 4 years, and I think I’m over the grieving bit, I can’t push myself anymore. I feel the actual resignation was admitting that defeat, to be honest I think, inside, I’ve known for a while but didn’t want to acknowledge that I knew. Stupid? I know. But I’m a male :laughing: , it’s just easier to ignore.

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LeilAloha, Bravery? nahhh, just shear pigheadedness :grin: Some people, like me, don’t want to admit that they are fellable. As a young bloke things weren’t easy, if there was a right way and a wrong way to do something, I did it ALL the wrong way. But I survived all of that and thought, “well, if you could get thru all of that alive and not in prison, nothing can stop me…” I was studying when they first diagnosed an issue and I completed my studies, had surgery and returned to work. Things weren’t great but I ignored issues and pushed forward. I had further goals and continued in that direction. But now, well, now that’s all gone. Now there is something that can stop me and I have no control. That lack of control scares the crap out of me and sitting here writing/typing this out, I think that’s the first time I’ve admitted that to myself. It’s the lack of control I hate. My life plans have evaporated, now what? My self balances are all out of whack. AAAHHHHHHH NOW WHAT???


I want to respond to your question, “Does anyone else have problems admitting their limitations??”

I naturally always understood power and physical determination as my ability to fight against my limitations and the ability to get things done. I was never very good at shaping events or making the environment conform to my vision, but I could fill in the void by working hard. Something within drove my body into the ground from over working and now my cells do not produce enough energy for my muscles. Also it appears my brain does not communicate properly through my autonomic nervous system, as my body does not relax when it needs to or when I exert myself it is fight or flight response. It is this constant exhaustion, even after a night’s sleep, and dragging my body around in this flu like symptoms and my brain is in this constant fog.

Being a workaholic, I wanted to relentlessly exercise my power and wanted to persuade myself that human limitations do not apply to me. From what I can see now, work inflated my ego and once it was set in motion I could not stop working. I felt I needed to push forward even more because of the limitations of my brain injury. I was constantly in confrontations against others, the “ugly-duckling” who was working hard to compensate for my physical and mental limitations. I even needed to be the superior person of a stronger will and I had trouble backing down because my pride was at stake.

Now I am forced into this “waiting room”. It feels like I am forced to trust the emptiness and darkness. It is as if life had suddenly been drained from me. My hope I had has also suddenly vanished. The only response I have had is this deep rage, my wife asked me to leave last year, and then this deep crushing negative self-consciousness. I felt nothing in the world which I could identify with, nothing true or valuable I could believe in, and now nothing left. My cancer even brought on more meaninglessness, then more insecurity and powerlessness.

Last fall, though, I began to accept my powerlessness, my rage diminished and there is now better energy between my wife and I. My finally accepting my powerlessness is still creating this void inside, an emptiness, and yet gradually I am becoming okay with it. This acceptance seems to be offering serenity and a certain peace. This acceptance is also giving me confidence to rest in hope, which seems to help this ego death. My acceptance is now moving into letting go of my mental activity that defines objects and divides my experience into different categories. This releasing my states of ego identification and gradually being released from being caught in the web of illusions is learning acceptance, serenity and now letting go.

I will also say this acceptance, serenity and letting go does feel like the god of peace, ignoring it all, and warding off reality rather than dealing with it. Mystified, so to speak, is my ego death. Yet I say thanks Merl for allowing me to feel the pits of hell and helping me find a higher stage of consciousness in words.

Hey Syd,
There are some very strong parallels for me in some of the things you mention and I know I have stated previously about me going down some very dark paths. Alcohol and drugs being a common theme for me. But, for me it was a form of escapism and I also used my work as one of my escapes. I would compensate or rather over-compensate by keeping myself occupied elsewhere so I wasn’t rattling around in my own headspace. Initially I knew my body’s limits, but post surgery/ies those known limits are no longer known. I wanted to stretch my limits or as I told myself ‘Build up tolerance’, only to find myself burnt out to the extreme. It was my wife who could see what I was doing to myself and she simply told me to ‘stop’ (Damn it, I didn’t think anybody else could see it, but she did).
I had every intention of returning to my job, hence why I hadn’t previously resigned. But the actual fact of ‘Admitting Defeat’ was partially my own arrogance, partially fear and partially guilt. The biggest part though was/is losing my ‘escapes’. Now I’m left “… rattling around in my own headspace…” and for me, that’s not a good place to be 24/7.


Yes, Merl, I hear you, as the mind spins around and then my mental connections go haywire. The greatest thing I receive from you is being a misfit and your unshakable confidence within this state of being. For me I use to hide, be embarrassed for existing and shrinking back from contact with people, then clutching onto what little I had. You leadership, though, makes the inner junk come out, mainly because you know a TBI and know what it is to look for someone else to help. Being human is a thousand mishaps, disease and loss, and yet being real seems to be our best support. So thanks for your support and allowing yourself to be supported.

Like A Steamroller is my favorite way to describe that old version of my self. I guess the new is going to be gentle. That is fine. What is your new version Merl?

My new version Occipital feels more like a lazy sod. I’m not participating in activities which I used to enjoy. I’m not doing tasks that need to be done and although its the fact that my body simply is not able to, that doesn’t help my psych. Don’t get me wrong, some days I can push it to the side and get on with it (well, I try to) but my pain is a constant reminder of my limitations.

Merl if I mention the term “new normal” do you have enough energy to slug me in the shoulder?

That is a joke. I am making a joke. I think it is funny. Also I live far away from you. That is another joke I am making because of the distance you couldn’t slug me in the shoulder either.

At least forgive me for my poor sense of humor haha.

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All’s good Occipital. It’s all new anyway, but far from ‘normal’ and I think that’s the same for many of us. I think the term ‘our new reality’ is better than ‘new normal’.

And as for the slug in the shoulder… …come a bit closer and I’ll donate you a slap round the ear :grin: :grin: :grin:
But All’s good. You are forgiven :slight_smile:

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Yes Meri, Admitting you can’t do what you once did is a major problem for me. I am also 4 years now since my TBI. Unfortunately, my husband and I were self employed and our lives (businesses) stopped on the day of the car accident. His injuries were physical and mine TBI and broken bones. Thank goodness we wern’t both TBI. I look at him and see he is “normal” and has all his mental abilities. He takes such good care of me and keeps reminding me it is OK not to be who I was. I still have lots of issues with my injury, even thought I came to terms with it a couple years ago I see myself still shying away from my old friends and activities. Don’t let this happen to you. Keep on staying connected. Yes, we can’t do what we once did, but we are here for a purpose and are role models for many. Bless you and your path.


“…Don’t let this happen to you…” DOH. Too late. Most of my friends were workmates and without the work contact they’ve all gone. I do have other friends but some have shied away. A couple have gotten on with their lives. Believe me, I think this is great, just not so great for me. But then we all move on I suppose, it’s just I didn’t. I am very thankful that my bestest friend stuck by me, my wife. I haven’t figured out why, but she’s still here. I did ask her why and told her she could do much better than me, but she disagrees. She’s crazy, I can tell you that honestly.

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