Second Chance to Live

Sharing Hope in the Face of Adversity — One Piece at a Time

My Struggle living with an Invisible Disability Revisited– Part 5

Posted by Second Chance to Live on March 23, 2009

For context please read:

Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4. Thank you.

In August 2007 I wrote this 4 part series. In lieu of what transpired with Natasha Richardson and the subject matter of traumatic brain injury being discussed as an invisible disability — on ABC Radio San Francisco KGO AM 810 March 18, 2009 — I decided to reprint this 4 part series in its entirety.

My Struggle Living with an Invisible Disability

My interest is to empower individuals who are also living with an invisible disability — due to a brain injury or due any other type of organic, medical, psychological or mental health condition. May you find the hope and courage — by reading through this 4 Part series — to both love and accept your reality and yourself.

The perspective that I share with in this series is from what I have experienced while living with an invisible disability for close to 42 years. My goal is not to affix blame on anyone — as that does no one any good — but to share what has helped me in my process.

In my experience, denial kept me isolated and alienated from myself and other people — for many years — until I was able to begin to accept myself and my reality.

And now for the conclusion — Part 5

In these various scenario’s I seek to be kind and considerate, however I have learned that I need to limit the amount of time that I spend with such individuals.

My desire to bring about win-win outcomes teaches me to honor my limitations. When I honor my limitations I honor my relationships. Consequently, I have come to respect my limitations and value the abilities I possess. Because I have experienced the consequences of not respecting my limitations I made the decision to not place myself in a situation that would invariably produce a lose-lose outcome. In my attempt to provide a win-win outcome I decided to spend 2-3 weeks at the second location.

Through making the decision to spend my time at the second location, I was told that I never wanted to help the parties move in the first place. In reality, because I needed to respect my limitations, and because of previous information I received from the parties who will be moving, I made the decision to spend my time at the second location. The second location quickly became my priority because of love.

My prayer is that the matter I have shared throughout this 5 part series will be resolved in peace. Your prayers would also be highly valued. My struggle living with an invisible disability certainly has and continues to be a tool for instruction. I am grateful for the opportunities that my unique set of circumstances provides, because I know that my circumstances are not meant to keep me down but they are provided to build me up and point me in the direction of my destiny.

As an empowered individual, I can live life on life’s terms because I know that more will be revealed.

Update: I have since visited and learned a needed lesson. I need to limit the duration of my visits to 3-5 days. No one is to blame as it is as it is. By accepting this reality, I can practice live and let live.

I have also learned that when I do not respect my limitations — regardless of whether other people do — I set myself up for a lose-lose scenario.

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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

2 Responses to “My Struggle living with an Invisible Disability Revisited– Part 5”

  1. I find it so hard to live with an invisible disability myself ~ to me it is not concrete I guess if I cannot see it. How then can I expect those around to see it as well? There is trememdous guilt in not working when on the outside my body appears fine. My former colleagues, teachers as we are, should I guess see it as a learning disability. But we don’t teach our learning disabled students that they should just do the best they can because they will never acquire what is needed to be gainfully employed and they will end on disability like me. So many contradictions. Does a TBI and SAH really exist or am I just so severely depressed that I am easily tried, easily irritated, have memory loss issues with short term memory, have emotions that are on edge, feel as though I am not good enough in my need to be perfect for myself, have a growth hormone deficiency and the list goes on. I am a mess for me, my family, the few friends that I can count on one hand and I don’t know where to turn. My therapist thinks everything is affective and there is nothing neurological or physically wrong and that the brain injury has healed itself and she specializes in TBI. Does it really heal?


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