In the event that you have not already read part 1 of this article, please do so at this time as Part 2 builds upon Part 1 of this article. Thank you. To read Part 1 of this article, please click on this link Traumatic Brain Injury, Labeling theory and Societal Stigmatization Part 1
Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Thank you. In Part 1 of this article, I shared how labeling and societal stigmatization impacts the individuals. I went on to share how these behaviors in effect serve to subjugate the individual living with traumatic brain injury to a proverbial box where they are left to feel practically minimized, marginalized, dismissed and discarded.
In Part 2 of this article, I want to enunciate several truths. In my keynote presentations and the workshops that I participate in I make one thing perfectly clear. We who live with a traumatic brain injury are not our traumatic brain injuries. The incident that led to our brain being injured was just one incident in life. Our brain injuries are not who we are, they are just something that is apart of our lives. They do not define who we are in life. That truth frees us to dream.
Although the injury to my brain impacts my life, I can still live my life to the full. When I find myself feeling any self-pity, I need to remember that I have choices. Although people may want to place me in a box — by labeling or stigmatizing who I am because I am living with a brain injury — that is not my problem. That is their problem. Normal is relative. Consequently, I can learn to thrive within my own normal. I do not have to make excuses for my normal.
What I have found within my experience is that life is made up of pieces and ingredients. My job is to learn from those pieces and grow in my ability to combine the ingredients of my experience. That is what I am seeking to do with my life. I am not any label or stigma that people may want to place on me. Instead, I am a uniquely qualified individual who is learning how to thrive within the normal that makes me a vibrant individual living with a brain injury.
The bottom line is that I only get one life to live in my normal. Consequently, I need to stop judging myself by the standard of normal that other people may set for me. I need to continue to walk on the path that makes me normal as a traumatic brain injury survivor. I need to celebrate what I can do within what makes me normal and I need to use my set of circumstances to empower both my life and the lives of individuals that make them normal.