My partner got his moderate to severe TBI (frontal lobe and occipital areas of the brain) May 30, 2016. He returned to work in Dec of that year, which was too early given his injury and he lost his job within months. Too much to remember, too many situations that reqyired impulse control, too many executive function challenges and too much general focus and quick understanding required. Its been an uphill struggle ever since.
The goodness in 2020 for him and us was s-l-o-w-i-n-g down! Being home brought a new balance to our lives. It took away many distractions that were keeping him from making more progress. In 2020 he:
- Slept more and slept more deeply, which helped his brain heal more
- Ate healthier. I moved in again in March and he’s back to eating a really healthy diet rich in foods that fuel the brain and memory.
- Quit wasting time driving around tiring himself out, getting his road rage activated and generally wasting time. It helped him manage cortisol spikes by not continuing with this bad habit.
- Faced personal limitations by hiring a career coach who helped him really SEE with his own eyes via video sessions what he looks like/acts like in front of others. Once issues were identified, he worked with the career coach or his counselor to work out the issues.
- Plenty of uninterrupted time to focus on important activities.
The outcome for him was being offered a job late in November with a small company (~100 employees) in his area of expertise (finance) and really excelling quickly at it! I’m so proud of him exercising his indomitable spirit and believing in himself even when I had doubts because of the TBI. What I learned from watching him is we all have two choices: 1) accept our limitations and do the minimum going forward, OR 2) learn what others think are our limitations and quietly challenge the ones we choose not to let BE a limitation. That has to be done daily from within, improving ourselves a tiny bit each day. Think of it this way: if you need to move a heavy object from one side of your driveway to the other, you might not be able to shove it there yourself all at once. But if you can strain and move it 1" today, 1" the following day, and 1" the day after that etc then over the course of a month or so you’ll succeed in moving that heavy object from one side of the driveway to the other! Think of this next time you want to improve something about yourself and be encouraging with yourself instead of being hard on yourself. Progress takes practice! That is what I learned from my partner in 2020.