Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to have you around my table. You are always welcome here. Several days ago I wrote an article in which I spoke about self-advocacy, Brain Injury and Self-Advocacy. In today’s article I would like to share some thing that has given me the ability to overcome adversity in my life. Some thing that has helped me to follow my dreams. Some thing that has helped me to create hope in my life. For many years I looked at life and living in an all or none and black and white way. Shades of gray were not even considered to be relevant. Instead, shades of gray only confused matters. These extremes fueled and fostered the belief that I needed to be perfect and to do more, to be more, to be enough. At the core of this belief was shame for not being enough.
In my attempts to do more, to be more to be enough I judged my efforts. I also found myself joining in with the criticism that I received for not meeting expectations. In the process I found myself trapped by perfectionism as I tried to keep people from going away. You see I had a tremendous fear of abandonment. My fear was reinforced when I did not live up to other people’s expectations. Instead of feeling safe and secure through my diligence, I found myself separated from people who I sought acceptance. Instead of realizing that I was trying my best, I found myself abandoned. In my early 20’s I found myself being asked to leave several churches. One for not meeting their expectations and the other for “unrepentant striving”.
These 2 incidents typified my experience living with the impact of a brain injury and an invisible disability. Either I was not meeting expectations or was told that I was trying too hard. As a result, I found myself both confused and frustrated. But I did not know where the to find a middle ground. So for the next 25 years I strove all the more in my attempt to be perfect to meet expectations. Nevertheless, my efforts crumbled beneath me one after another; as shared in Part 4 and Part 5 of my article, Finding Craig. In my experience I had to reach a point in my life where I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. I had to reach this point in my life where I could no longer defend the denial that kept me striving and going nowhere.
Through reaching this point in my life, I realized that some thing needed to change. I realized that I needed to face and confront my own denial. I realized that I could do nothing to change what other people wanted or needed to believe. With my realization, I began to grieve what I could not change. Through grieving my reality I began to realize that I could accept myself as an individual living with a brain injury. As my self-acceptance grew so did the realization that I could take a different course of action. A course of action that would work for me. A course that would help me to learn how to use my gifts, talents and abilities to enhance both my life and the lives brought into my life. A course in which I could run my own race.
With time, I began to realize that I no longer needed to compare myself to people, not running my race. With time, I began to realize that I no longer had to live up to other people’s expectations. With time, I was able to replace perfectionism with a pursuit of excellence. Instead of shaming myself (Should Have Already Mastered Everything) I began to realize that I could celebrate small successes. With this realization I began to experience hope. Over the course of the past 9 years I have shared what I has helped me to advocate for myself. What has helped me to follow my dreams. What has given me hope. In an effort to share what has helped me to advocate for myself and follow my dreams I created online resources.
In the event that you too have or are facing adversity in your life, I would invite you to use the below resources. These resources are available to you. They are without cost and free for download. As you use these resources and find them to be helpful, please let me know by leaving a comment. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
To access these resources, 2 websites, 10 eBooks and 2 You Tube channels, click on the below links:
You have my permission to share my articles and or video presentations with anyone you believe could benefit, however, I maintain ownership of the intellectual property AND my articles, video presentations and e Books are not to be considered OPEN SOURCE. Please also provide a link back to Second Chance to Live. In the event that you have questions, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions. I look forward to hearing from you. Copyright 2007 -2017.