You are finally getting your life back in order. You are alert and oriented, don’t feel like much and yet so much has changed. The world is very different in every respect of the word. Recognizing things and events is different. The people in your life seem different. You notice everything…lights and noise are the most bothersome!
It’s a new world with blinds. Sometimes the blinds are open and you have a clear picture. Other times the blinds are partially closed and you can barely see out and don’t know what to do. As you peak through the blinds, you make progress. Then they close on you. It’s that level of confusion that suddenly attacks you. Something you’ve never experienced before.
These blinds have no controls. You have symptoms simultaneously, and you try to control them. They are unpredictable, and you feel out-of-control. There is no controlling the symptoms. Now, you spend days, weeks, months and even years keeping them from controlling you. Where’s your friends?
In the beginning
- Everything has changed
- World is different
- Noise and lights bothersome
- People seem so different
- No control of symptoms
- Life becomes unpredictable
- Feeling out-of-control
It’s all new to you and NO one around you truly understands. Yet, other times the blinds are nearly closed and you are in a “fog” struggling to open the blinds. You simply don’t know where to go or how to get there. You can’t open the blinds. Extreme confusion sets in. It’s time to sleep! It’s a lonely journey, even with the best friends and family by one’s side.
If you had rehabilitation you are now on your own. If you have always been on your own for recovery and rehabilitation this has already been a long and lonely journey. You finally are looking for just someone that listens. Your friend may have been encouraging you and holding your hand when you were not aware early in your injury.
Now it seems that no one likes you. You don’t like yourself or who you’ve become! You’ve never worked so hard in your life. Every day is a challenge. You now challenge yourself, you challenge your friends, and you challenge your family.
- No one understands
- It’s a lonely journey
- I’m here, but alone!
- How do you like someone you don’t know?
- Didn’t know living was so complicated
As you struggle to exist, your family and friends are struggling to understand. They are depleted of both physical and emotional energy. They’ve been on a roller-coaster praying for you and believing you’d get better. Now, you don’t meet their expectations. You don’t meet your own expectations. It’s a hard tug-of-war!
- No one understands why you are frustrated and overwhelmed.
- Struggling to exist
- No one understands
- Friends struggle to understand
- Friends depleted of energy
- What were the expectations of recovery from friends?
- Don’t meet own expectations
- Who is the new you? Where to begin?
There is so much no one knows about brain injury, but the basics are explained to the family. They always give the worst case-scenario! Families are told “you will never be the same” … and they believe that! This prognosis puts you under a microscope and every fault you have is at the forefront.
Families and friends are exhausted and begin focusing on all the negatives. They aren’t looking at the leaps and bounds you’ve made over time. They are simply drained of their emotional energy.
They continue to compare you “before injury” and “after injury”. Is the problem yours? Is the problem theirs? As though no one else has faults! Now you have all the faults from the “before injury” compounded by all the faults “after injury, including everything someone else says about you. You become the problem regardless of how well you do! It’s a fact … no one believes you because you have a brain injury or an old brain injury. Now you’ve become vulnerable and are a stomping ground and target for blame.
- Family given Worse Case scenario
- Your Actions and reactions are under a microscope
- Friends are exhausted
- Friends focus on negatives
- Friends are drained of emotional energy and physical energy has taken toll
- Friends compare “before” and “after” injury YOU
- All faults become yours
Imagine everyone correcting everything you do and pointing out every single fault. That’s disturbing! All TBI survivors must have been angels prior to injury because suddenly all these faults become the focus. It’s time you write down the faults of others and compare. The list of your faults versus others might not be that different! Let’s protect ourselves. Speak up.
Have you been told you are “rambling on”? What if you asked that person if they have time to “listen”? Again, you would be blamed for being rude. No matter what you say is important. Maybe the real problem is that you can’t get to the point, and they don’t have time to listen! It is time people are less critical and step back and take on their own issues.
- Energy & Emotions – Part III: Choosing Your Emotions (justbreatheslowdeepbreaths.com)
- so much more (sacredlymundane.com)