Hello my friend. My name is Craig J. Phillips. I am a traumatic brain injury survivor and a master’s level rehabilitation counselor. My traumatic brain injury occurred when I was 10 years old in 1967 when my skull was fractured in a motor vehicle accident. In 1967 neurological rehabilitation was not available so I was essentially on my own. I taught myself — with the encouragement of family — to walk, talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences. In follow up to brain and skull surgery I underwent several EEG’s and a battery of cognitive and psycho social testing.
The results were shared with my parents, but not with me. After I obtained my graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling my Mom revealed to me that the EEG’s and other testing — which had been done in 1968 — revealed that I would probably not be able to succeed academically beyond high school. I share this with you not to boast but to point out that people who have experienced significant brain injuries can be very high functioning and still have deficits and limitations. You see I also have had a long history of getting and losing job because of my deficits and limitations — that I had no idea were related to my traumatic brain injury.
You see I have lived with an invisible disability for nearly 42 years. For many of those years I bought into a denial system that enlisted me to believe that I should not be impacted by the deficits and limitations which were out of my control. Consequently, I spent many years fighting against myself. I continued to fight against myself until I saw what I was doing to myself. When I realized what I was doing to myself I began l to look for solutions. Through my process I discovered realities that have subsequently empowered my process and taught me how to thrive in life. Consequently, I was able to break free from a denial system that lied to me.
On February 6, 2007 — at the encouragement of a friend — I created Second Chance to Live to share the principles and strategies that helped me to break free from the denial system that sought to limit me. With my freedom I discovered that I could empower my process. I could learn to thrive in life, not merely survive because of my circumstance. Through out the past 2 years I have sought to share those principles and strategies — with you my reader — through the articles that I written and published on Second Chance to Live. For your convenience, I have offered a list of these articles through my Site Map http://secondchancetolive.org/site-map/.
Thank you for allowing me to share my experience, strength and hope with you. I have been honored by your presence. I also want to thank you for the kind comments and suggestions that you have given to me. Those comments and suggestions have been a tremendous blessing to me. In the days, weeks and months to come, please let me know if I can be of service to you. If you have questions or concerns, please send them to me. I will answer them and respond to you. And, if I may ask you a favor? In the event that you know of anyone who could benefit from my message of hope, would you please share my story and Second Chance to Live with them? I would love to hear from them. Thank you!
Once again, I want to thank you for being a part of my world. And remember that you are a gift to your world. You are a gift to me. Thank you!
Insist on yourself, never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you only have an extemporaneous half-possession…Do that which is assigned to you, and you can not hope too much or dare too much. Ralph Waldo-Emerson
All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA
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