Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to have you around my table. Thank you. Yesterday I received a comment to an article that I recently wrote and published, Creating after Brain Injury. As I thought about the comment some thoughts came to mind. Following a brain injury many of us ask the question. “So…Where do I fit?” Below I would like to share what helped me to answer that question for myself: So…Where Do I Fit Following My Brain Injury?
Here is part of the comment I received, “…. I can grow where my feet are planted” – what a concept!”
In an article that I wrote and published on December 5, 2015 Brain Injury and What Might Have Been I spoke to the question of “Why?” For individuals who experience traumatic or acquired brain injuries the question of “why?” travels in the wake of the circumstances that led to our tbi or abi. Many times “why?” unknowingly becomes an “under tow” for the brain injury survivor once their external wounds have healed. “Why” becomes the “under tow” that keeps us gasping for air as the waves of reason “pull us under”, time after time.
The “under tow” of “why?” gives way to a denial system that leads us to believe “its” all up in our head and that we need to snap out of “it”. When we find that we are unable to snap out of “it” denial becomes an adversary that mocks us for not being more. Denial then unconsciously sets us off on pilgrimage to prove that we are not impacted by what we can not accept about ourselves. Denial thus serves to keep us stuck. But thank God we don’t have to stay stuck.
Once the external wounds from my open skull fracture healed and my skull filled out the impact of my traumatic brain injury became invisible. For many years I unknowingly tried to fight my way out of a “proverbial brown paper bag”. Because denial remained the skewed “coping mechanism” for what was evident, but could not be defined; I found myself floundering. Floundering because I attempted to grow where I was not meant to grow.
But there was good news to come. Through much pain and toil I reached a point in my life where I could no longer deny what could not be changed. With my pain and toil came the catalyst that broke me free from the skewed “coping mechanism” of denial.
As my awareness and acceptance of my reality grew, so did the realization that I could indeed be empowered with in my reality. With this realization came a new freedom. A freedom to make different choices. Choices that would help me to grow where my feet were planted. In my e Book, Moving Forward Following a Brain injury I share information that helped me to act on these different choices. Choices that served to empower my life. Choices that helped me to answer the question, “So…Where Do I Fit Following My Brain Injury?”.
For many years I found myself feeling like a square peg in a world of round holes. My denial fostered the belief that there was some thing wrong with me by being a square peg. On February 4, 2011 I wrote an article, Feeling like a Square Peg in a World of Round Holes. In the article I shared that by owning myself as square peg, in a world of round holes; I could stop struggling to fit in. By doing so, I could begin to accept myself as an individual.
“Regardless of your lot in life, you can build some thing beautiful on it.” Zig Ziglar
Through accepting my reality and moving forward following my brain injury, I began to realize that I could stop comparing my lot in life to other people’s lots in life. I began to realize that I could stop focusing on what I could not build and start focusing on what I could build on my lot. Through accepting my reality and moving forward following my brain injury I began to realize that I could indeed build something beautiful on my lot in life. Through moving forward following my brain injury, I began to realize that I could indeed grow where my feet are planted. Through moving forward following my brain injury I began to realize that I could build on a firm foundation. A foundation that would reveal to me where I fit following my brain injury. A foundation that would bring clarity. A foundation that would reveal answers.
The answers and the clarity did not come “over night” but became clear to me with time. I share that the answer took time for me, so that if the answer (s) does not come to you “over night” that you will not be discouraged. Hang in there and keep searching. Don’t give up! The answer (s) and the clarity will come to you. You will find where you fit following your brain injury. You will learn to build some thing beautiful on your lot in life. Be encouraged my friend. More will be revealed to you and to me with and in time.
I can grow where my feet were planted. “Planted” in the realm of my circumstances by learning to accept who I am as square pegs. I don’t have to be like anyone else to prosper. I can learn to use my gifts, talents and abilities in ways that work for me. I can give to the people who want what I have to give. I don’t have to be anyone but myself. I can learn to how to grow where I am planted by accepting my “lot in life”. I don’t have to convince anyone. I can go about my business and let people believe what they want or need to believe. I can build some thing beautiful on my lot in life and be satisfied in the process.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” Howard Thurman
“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 have only an extemporaneous half-possession…Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau
To watch and listen to the video presentation of the article, please click on this link: So… Where Do I Fit Following My Brain Injury? Video Presentation
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