Hi, and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am so glad you decided to stop by and visit with me. You are always welcome at my table. I received a comment today from a parent of a son who experienced a traumatic brain injury several months ago.
She wanted to thank me for the material I wrote in yesterday’s post, Traumatic Brain Injury and Limitation. I have been thinking about her comment and wanted to share some reflective thoughts with you. My motivation is to encourage you to be gentle with your process.
After I became aware of the significance of my brain injury, I went through a grieving process. I wanted to deny the significance of the injury to my brain. I then spent time being angry over what I became powerless over, my limitations and deficits. I then spent time attempting to disprove to myself and to other people the significance of how my brain injury impacted my world. When I realized that I was indeed disabled because of my brain injury, I went through an extensive period of depression and sadness.
An Ongoing Process
Please understand that the conclusions and the encouragement that I share in Second Chance to Live did not come over night. I transitioned through a tremendous amount of discouragement, disappointment and emotional heart ache over the years before I was able to embrace what I share with you. For more insight into my process and journey you may read my 9 Part series, My Journey thus Far. I still have my times of discouragement and depression, but I realize that I have a future and a hope. I have come to realize that the dark clouds pass with time.
When I reached the stage of acceptance in my grieving process I began to accept myself. The process of accepting who I am – as a person who is a traumatic brain injury survivor – helped me to stop fighting against myself. The process of grieving the loss of my dreams, hopes and expectations released me to live in the now. When I let go of how I thought my life was supposed to look my eyes slowly opened to reveal my reality.
Accepting my reality has given me a new hope, released me to dream again and has given me the courage to trust that I will be given what I need and that I will fulfill my destiny. When I was able to accept my reality I was able to begin looking for solutions in spite of being a traumatic brain injury survivor. Through my process, I have learned to take advantage of the opportunities that become available to me. Although I may not have the big picture, I have learned to feel my feelings, to trust the process and to trust a loving God who cries with me when I cry.
I have also come to realize that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Determination, persistence and tenacity have become my close friends. I no longer see my limitations as a limitation. My deficits have become the possibilities of my creativity. My disappointments are being turned into my dreams. I am encouraged to learn from my present circumstances because I know that they are leading me to my destiny.
I would encourage you to grieve the loss of your dreams, your hope’s and your expectations. Those loses are very real. Denying what has changed because of your traumatic brain injury survivor will only protect you for a time. Your anger is justified by what you can not understand. I have been there too my friend. I have felt like a man in a very dark room attempting to find the switch to turn on the lights. Your sadness is warranted and welcomed through your experience. You will learn to use your anger for good.
The good news is that you will find your switch and you will learn to thrive. You will learn to use your gifts, talents and abilities to fulfill your dreams. You do not have to compare your journey with anyone’s journey. You are on a road of wonder and you will find your way. Please read my post, Following your bliss…regardless. You are learning wonderful lessons my friend. Those lessons are preparing you to fulfill the dreams you have always had in your heart. Take comfort my friend, more will be revealed.
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