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Traumatic Brain Injury

Void within

#1

My void from within and even these holes within me are not hard to understand. My difficult lesson is this void is difficult to act on, either I am in denial or I fight aggressively. These holes in my brain are a tyrant: opening up and closing down, struggling higher and slipping lower, feeling awake and then sleeping in my daydreams. I also feel like a creature of habit and it is difficult to remember anything beyond my recurring impulses, dreams and desires.

I realize the rhythm of acceptance. It offers a flow to it and it may be simple, opening up and letting go, but for some reason this acceptance feels like the wrong medicine. It is like I got to do something and if not I feel the shame in my “nothingness.” This acceptance is the possibly of change, even quickly, but my holes in my brain and in my emotions want me to fight these holes. The negative keeps rushing back in through my holes.

How does one not identify with these holes and not be yanked by impulses to fill these holes? Is there a taste of self-worth in these holes? If the holes let the light in, another way of expressing acceptance, why does my automatic forces want to work on this? Is acceptance no effort in my holes and I accept that I feel naked and deprived?

I can tell I am reacting here and struggling with my automatic forces. I just want something more in my reach, file the holes, and this is to much from the bottom. So this courage to accept is not primarily a feeling nor is it self-congratulation. It feels like being aware of my holes, even my aggressive feelings, without being alarmed by them. I accept satisfaction my holes, I accept my powerlessness and I also want to ignore what is wrong, even turn a blind eye to what I do not want to deal with.

So how is acceptance balanced without it becoming denial (refusal to fix the flat tire) or becoming overly aggressive (this powerful force to get the job done)?

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#2

Im in a awful place today…Your words have me looking inwards…I have no answers because Im drowning in my problems and thoughts…I will come back to this and hope I have any insite?..I feel your words, deeply.

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#3

Thanks davOD and I am sorry you are having a tough day. I like your keys for understanding, your unfailing insight, and you have this uncanny ability to see into the heart of things. Your ability to see is with insight and may you know we all appreciate your understanding and your support.

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#4

I find taking one step at a time helps instead of over thinking things. Personally I am finding the CBD oil very helpful. I spay it under my tounge. It is helping with my memory slightly (Early days) It also is with the retaining of information when others verbally communicate.

Even if I don’t feel motivated I push myself and have started waking up at 6am now since the CBD oil. I find I can get more done this way. We know how the injury affects us and I believe we can overcome this by shifting our focus. Not easy but possible, taking a day at a time.

I hope this helps you reach inner peace.

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#5

Danielle,

Wow, I like these words when you say, “We know how the injury affects us and I believe we can overcome this by shifting our focus.” I will admit that I have particular ideas and images of myself. And when I get extreme I will get stuck on a fixation, which will play itself out as this constant inner commentary of my inadequacies and how others have let me down. This creates suffering within hopelessness and then I fall into the black hole that drains life out. In many ways I am tired of this torment and this unbearable reminder of my alienation from life.

My nervous system is at a high pitch saying this, but it feels like the balance I am searching for within acceptance is dropping this need to “become.” My need to become creates to much suffering for me and I usually do not know which of my ideas are valuable or not. There is something in my mind that has an irrational element to it, a tainted thought process, which creates this perverse resistance to life. Then when I try to become I am little more than a madman and a crank.

In my need to become I get intense, like a stream of water from a fire hose that holds back a crowd. My mind gets overheated by my erupting aggressive impulses and I repel everything that might influence me. I will rant and rave or suddenly withdraw into a hateful silence. It seems my inner aggression is coming from this need to become and because I cannot become I counterattack this with more burning aggression. Then my aggression and my fear continue to escalate.

“Become” has always been this energy to develop myself and to be outstanding in some way. So to balance this acceptance is like accepting my limitations and accepting the painful truth becoming will never happen. Building a foundation on not becoming makes me feel I am going under emotionally, but it appears this is because I am caught in my suffering. The lack of purpose and achievement can make me suffer because it forces me to face my holes inside. So it seems rather than wallowing in my feelings and feeling life owes me something I need to drop this “becoming” and the suffering within it.

This is what I am putting together from you and I am putting this together from your observation “we can overcome this by shifting our focus.” It is like my focus needs to be off becoming and off my suffering. Also when I let go of my becoming and let go of my suffering I can feel the support of my heart. I also feel your support, which helps drop this terrifying attraction to the darkness, and your support appears from the fullness of your heart. I write about my heart and acknowledge your heart because it is a place I need to go. This heart can suffer and suffer deeply so I am wanting to focus on this higher state. Peace seems to be within this heart, seems to accept, possibly a work of art, an act of kindness, learning who I am not and learning to give myself away in the creation of goodness.

Changing the focus is to say you have brought something good and beautiful into my world. Also I do not mean my words emotionally or primarily a moment of feeling, as this is just a moment of touching your heart as you have touched me. Thank you and the significance of your presence, Danielle.

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#6

Thanks for your share.

My answer is to start accepting and stop thinking. I accept both parts of myself that can’t come to terms with each other. The story is usually that one part hates the other, or both hate each other, or some combination. And my solution is to be here with both of them and let them do their thing without me getting involved. I don’t have to get involved. They are two parts of my mind, but they are not me. So if they are not helping me, then I will let them have their playtime so I focus on more important things.

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#7

Occipital,

A very good reply Occipital and I like your observing mind without being caught in it. Before my brain injury and even after my brain injury I was always looking for the hidden element which provided a key to understand the whole. This can no longer work for me because my mental connections go haywire and it becomes this need to defend myself into feeling I am capable and competent. It is like I need to build myself up. Yet building myself up usually puts my mind into extremism and everything else goes out of focus. And because I am defending myself I become contentious and quarrelsome, even in my own mind.

I can say now, learning a new level of acceptance and the acceptance of my limitations is taking deep serenity. It appears to be asking a leap from the known into the unknown. The serenity is allowing the unknown hold its place and allowing the unknown its own place without my mind flipping into anxiety. The unknown is safe and even this void is safe. It is simply learning to be the master of my own mind.

My ego is so weak, which makes my aggression and impulses overpower my mind. It seems I need to put this smoke blowing ego on the line and to surrender it and teach it acceptance of my limitations. I can even feel my ego, right now, wanting to find hidden meaning and causes everywhere. Yet this is my ego’s denial and such a way denying my limitations. Then, when I get stuck in my trying to resolve my limitations my consciousness will be afraid of losing whatever I already have. So it seems if nothing “sticks” in my consciousness then my ego does not need to blow its horn. I do not need to feel this ego anxiety, then go into an emotional attitude of rejection and detachment, if nothing sticks in my consciousness.

There seems to be this consciousness where everything arises and disappears into stillness and peace. I am not there and maybe I am better at teaching my ego to accept my limitations, yet there is still resistance. Anyway thank you for contributing something worthwhile and allowing my mind to be more clear.

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#8

Syd you are introspective and very well spoken. What you wrote describes my experience, too. And probably a lot of people’s experience, brain injury or not. This battle with our mind and our ego is the most important one that we will ever fight because only then can we be… not happy, but at ease with our life.

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#9

first, thank you for such important thoughts. the struggle is so real, yet seems so private/personal. after 4 years since the accident i am learning daily that there are voids or a void. somewhere in that void is my lost memory, short term comes often in the middle of conversations. i find myself excusing myself and just not trying to finish the talk. spacey spinning sitting alone. it seems to be getting more prominent. yeah, it hurts inside. the confusion is standard. at 68 i suppose… what? hell, i don’t know. i think i do then i know i don’t. dammit. i feel like i am just whining. and i am. this is the hand, gotta play it, no folding on this one. it seems like to quit is to disappear. can’t just let that happen.

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#10

“…can’t just let that happen.”
And that’s around about where I got to too.
I could curl up in a ball and let it all over take me (and I did for a bit) but it doesn’t change anything. I had to confront it all, manage it the best way I could, then move on.
If I’d left it all it would just fester and become so overwhelming I couldn’t deal with it at all. That’s no good for anybody involved.
Well that’s what I had to do.

Merl

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#11

It’s been 15 years and I still feel like I have to apologize for myself. Constantly explaining how I have a TBI. And by saying that telling the world I am not capable of doing anything. That’s not the truth. I have come so far. I guess that’s just my way of saying I don’t want to do anything. Sure there are times I really can’t do it, but I need to look inside myself and say come on, at least give it a try. Only after I have tried will I know if I can’t do it.

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#12

Hey Sandi,
I think that’s a bit of an issue for many of us, including me. Initially I think it was a bit of a safety thing, Not so much that I’m not capable but more that I didn’t feel comfortable in doing something. But then it became ‘normal’ and even with things that I knew I could do I would not get involved. Eventually I worked out just how much I was missing out on and in real basic terms I was missing out due to my fear rather than a matter of ability.
I now try things a bit more, still realising my own limits, but not allowing my fears to set those limits. Doing so has also improved my confidence, sort of like "well if I can do ‘x’ then I could do ‘y’, so let’s give it a go and see’ In all honesty I’m only going to know if I get it a go.

Merl

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#13

Sounds like maybe you need to let yourself rest more often and longer when you are tired, and to not overwork yourself on things you want to get done… Because I used to not let myself rest enough and I used to overwork myself on things I wanted to get done, and so I never got the rest I needed. I was never able to heal after my muscles got tired or my brain got tired… And things just got worse and worse… Until I got help getting the rest I needed with hydroxyzine, and Tylenol …
I think you should ask your doctor about hydroxyzine :slight_smile: and just forgive yourself for your limitations, allow yourself to enjoy the rest you need and when you really want to do something just enjoy doing more relaxing things more often… like maybe watching a nature video slow down to half speed on YouTube for example, or just sitting down and dusting something instead of walking around and trying to dust the whole room… Or stretching instead of doing exercise…
Like I can only do aerobic exercise twice a week, and now that I limit myself and get the rest I need I feel better and I can actually do more on my two really active days of the week than I ever could you before :blush:
I hope this helps, aloha

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