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Traumatic Brain Injury

How have you dealt with letting go of who you were before your brain injury?

#1

How have you dealt with letting go of who you were before your brain injury? Letting go of who I was before my brain injury was difficult…but becoming who I am after the brain injury is actually exciting…yes even fun! (OK…I am an optomist so I pretty much ignore the negative). Once I was able to wrap my head around this truth: “My brain changed,therefore I have changed”: my relationships, interests, TV, music choices, etc all changed…(happy trails old me). Once I started letting go of who I was…I was trying new things, allowing myself alot of failures and celebrating success in new talents or skills.
I did not do this alone…and I am still becoming.Apparently…now I am blogger!

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#2

Its a difficult to let it go I dont like how I got it at all but othrr then that reason I have to deal with it ill always have it

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#3

I am dealing with that letting go. I also am a blogger. I am having to learn things all over which is the hardest thing to do. I challenge myself. Learning to let go of the negative though step by step. I know I will never be the same person who I use to be before my head injury. It does get tough at times.

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#4

Dparwaugh55, excellent comment of letting go step by step…realizing that becoming the new you does not happen overnight can be really frustrating. Step by step…great metaphor for healing!

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#5

Cojackbaby, I get your logic, we all have to find our way. Acceptance with a “healthy dose of reallity” can keep you in the TBI fight. Be proud.

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#6

Yohami…“two words”…mindful-meditation, great way to to “become”, let go, maintain and succeed in TBI recovery. It’s great your sharing this inspiring and positive way.

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#7

I am so glad that you are discussing this, for this is what my daughter is going through now and it is a key component to freeing yourself from a lot of frustration. TBI is so generous to give frustration in so many areas, any that you can eliminate is a blessing. Do you feel shame in this? For my daughter is ashamed to tell her old friends what has happened and what she is doing? Like it is a choice...I want so much to help her, but only she can do this part. May I ask how did you embrace it? Thanks for your openness.

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#8

This is a great topic...This had been my real pitfall...I was an electrian for 27 years, and loved what I did! I was working for our government and felt a real worth more than normal jobs....Loved my employer and even the guys I worked with! I got paid well, and it was challenging and took all my years of experience..

Now the thought of ever stepping foot on a job sends chills down my spine...I now am slow, my executive function horrible.....memory is just ok...My old self would run circles around me now!

It is a daily struggle, I don't drive, my bus doesn't serve my home anymore and have to move and really cant afford to do so....I ask to much of friend and even that drives me crazy...

But thank goodness to my coping skills that I have learned and some new found hobbies that do help some of the frustration.... I so miss my old me and old life...But I can not look back as that would only bring on sorrow and loss and then depression, and how would that help me?

So thank god for my therapists that have gotten me to were I am today, and I will plug along and live life one day at a time, stop and smell the roses whenever possible, and enjoy a beautiful day and fresh air, because that was something I didn't do daily....sorry for the semi rant, thanks for listening... :)

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#9

DavOD, thanks for your comments. It is difficult and frustrating to become…it sounds to me you are with new interests and hobbies. Your foward looking attitude is inspiring!

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#10

things change a lot, it has been 14 years since the start of TBI, and tho i do drive now, i dont work, and every day it is a stuggle getting my legs to walk and get me around. it takes a cane, and i still fall on a regular basis, something like 20 times i have been down in the last 6 months.

my memory is shot, but i do function fairly well as do my own bathroom duties, and can cook little.

it took me several years to finally come to understanding that i was never going back to work, but that has settled in now, and truth is, i nearly enjoy it.

i do a little church stuff, i read a lot, and since my memory is shot, i will finish a book on my Kindle, put it back on the carosel, and a few months latter i pull it out and i dont remember a thing about how it turns out, so i save some money.

i got a good woman, who has stuck by me , and still goes to work, so we do OK, just hang on, sort of get used to the new you, and learn to live with it.

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#11

Psychopo…to answer your question of how I embraced the new me: The best advice I can give you is also how I was able to let go so I could become…I fought back against my brain injuries: for a while I looked at my TBI as a school yard bully who I felt was picking on me…so I promptly punched the bully in the proverbial nose. (I wrote a note the best I could and gave a copy to my family members), Basically it said: I will not ask for help unless I can’t do something myself…and I committed to that statement. Along the way I ate a lot humble pie, failed, and retreated…but never did I give up. Everyone with a TBI has to make a commitment to thier own recovery…sure there is help and services but change comes from within. Perhaps your daughter could start with joining here, but is her that has to make that choice. Be patient, keep the faith and keep coming here, who knows she may see what your reading here and be intrigued.

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#12

Tgbtbi…great comments…making a life that you find rewarding is key!

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#13

LouisaC, Hi, thanks for the props. Glad to see your visiting here!

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#14

Ninibeth, thanks! Yes there are many great helpful people out there. I have yet to meet and survivor who did it on there own. For the first 2 or 3 years of my TBI I had 2 lists…people who suck and great people. The suck list filled up pretty quick…Eventually I just threw it out. The great people I made efforts to thank them…a card, a letter to thier boss expressing thier great staff, homemade soup delivered to them etc.

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#15

I love this book, and the perspective it gives on letting go. The audio version is relaxing, too.

http://www.amazon.com/When-Things-Fall-Apart-Difficult/dp/1570623449

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#16

While recovering, I watched a documentary that followed different people as they approached the end of their life. Some were wild drinkers, some made kites and flew them daily as meditation. But what I learned of that film (and from the people in it) was that whatever I wanted, I really had to do it by myself. (Unless I really needed help) But I'm talking, getting up in the morning (I wouldn't because I was feeling sorry for myself - I realize some people literally can't get out of bed in the morning, but at a certain point, it was just because I was so sad and wanted someone to "help me" to "care enough to come through."

But I realized.... I'd never survive with that mentality. And no one would want to be around me, either. And I made lists, I made calls, I walked, I cooked.... even though it was hard. But I survived. :) And now I feel like I am more capable of things, even more than before because I was stuck in this "waiting" mentality.

Not saying "I did it all on my own" that's not true at all. I had lots of help. But... there just came a time I couldn't be bogged down with the "old me" thinking. And used this an an opportunity to have a "new me" mentality --- someone who takes charge of her life, even when it's hard - especially when it's hard.

Sorry if I just said the same thing 5 times.... hope it made sense.

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#17

Singing turtle, excellent share! Your attitude is great! It also speaks of the “Law of Attraction”-ie…good thoughts bring more good thoughts, one step leads to the next step…All very positive. When we help ourselves in recovery, we open our selves to new opportunity for growth. It is also very empowering to our self esteem…
and when others see us trying they want to help! Regardless of the results of a TBI and how much help you may need…keeping a positive attitude will push you further along the recovery path, you are a good example of that!

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#18

Lots of really good feedback to this post. Thank you to all that posted. Our stories our important and how we overcame challenges is empowering. Some shared they still struggle…me too, but it gets better. Some are a bit lost, they are confused, not sure what this whole becoming thing is about…I totally get that and find my self confused at times as well. Awareness that your confused is awareness…thus means, guess what? It means your making progress. Keep sharing, keep posting, your not alone!

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#19

As a recap, after surgery, and the hemorrhage there was a lot of recovery to wait on, and as the drug aspects wore off, I was more cognitive of who I was and what I had gone through. Yet it wasn't until working with my therapists and physiatrist that I became aware that my life would not be the same, it seemed so surreal, that team of specialists had to convince me, that I had survived not only brain surgery, but a subarachnoid bleed as well, which typically would result in death. So as the tests and exercises became more challenging, the obvious fact was that my life was not going to be the same, I was 48 at the time, playing hockey, biking, guitar, working out, working in the forestry dept, reading, writing, etc,etc.

I was told told that as time passed I might find a lot of these things difficult to reintegrate into my life, no more hockey, biking, or dangerous activity as I was told I was one headshot away from certain tragedy. I didn't believe any of it. However, I went to play music(guitar) with an old drummer friend of mine, something I did weekly prior to the "brain thing". It became immediately apparent that my faculties for playing guitar were not at all there. Bless my friend who has known me since 7th grade, as he patiently played along, while sensing my frustrations. The therapists urged me to continue to TRY! as my brain can relearn these kinds of things, it may not sound or feel the same, but it CAN do it. Now here 5-6 years later, they were right, however, all of the hard physical stuff I would do, is well behind me, as that kind of activity always seems to cause setbacks and increased intercranial pressure, head and neck aches, and wasted days of getting over them.

So while leaving behind old passions was a difficult thing, starting new ones has been a great source for inspiration, once an adrenaline junkie, I now enjoy sitting in the lawn chair with my wife and the dogs running around, taking long walks, reading, learning, gardening, silly things like that.

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#20

Yeah I am too a blogger and I share my story about how my brain injury all came about. It does change ones life. I have lost a lot after my brain injury. My brain don't work as good as it use too after my brain injury. That's life at least that is my life. I go with the flow. I have many frustrating days.

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