25
Nov

Living with a brain Injury and Dealing with Stress during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. Thank you for making the decision to stop by to visit with me. In October 2009 I wrote an article series to share what I discovered about dealing with stress during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. What I share in this article may also help you to deal with stress as you interact with family and friends during the holiday season. If the information helps you, please let me know my friend.

To make read / watching and listening to the article more manageable, I have divided the article into 4 parts. I will included links to the additional 3 Parts of the article to read below, as well as links to the 2 Parts of the video presentation series of the article below. I would encourage you to read and / or listen to / watch each of the 4 parts of the article to gain the full benefit of the article series. As questions arise, send those question to me.

 Traumatic Brain Injury — Stress, Anxiety and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Part 1

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. A few days ago I received a request to write an article addressing stress related to the holiday season. In the following article I will address several of the factors that I believe impact the lives of brain injury survivors during the holiday season.

In 2 weeks Thanksgiving will be upon us, then 3 weeks later Christmas and a week later New Years Eve and New Years Day. For many families these 5-6 weeks — with the anticipation and preparation for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years — can be laden with anxiety and stress.

For many traumatic brain injury survivors the filters with in their brains — that monitor impulsive behavior and mood changes — are damaged at the time of their brain injuries. With increased stress and sensory overload — during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years — the brain injury survivor filters are taxed. Consequently, the brain injury survivor is more susceptible to impulsive behavior and unexplained mood swings. Consequently, the brain injury survivor may feel shunned and shamed around family and friends because of the invisible nature of their disability. The brain injury survivor may subsequently experience feelings of isolation and alienation.

My suggestion here would be to love and accept yourself and be your own advocate. Rather than feeling shame and shunned — because of your deficits and limitations — be honest and share your struggles with family members and friends.

Below are links to the other 3 Parts of the written article:

Traumatic Brain Injury — Stress, Anxiety and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Part 2

Traumatic Brain Injury — Stress, Anxiety and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Part 3

Traumatic Brain Injury — Stress, Anxiety and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Part 4

Below is a video presentation of the article. I have combined parts 1 and 2 in one presentation and parts 3 and 4 in the 2nd presentation. Click on the links and the video presentation (s) will open on You Tube.

Traumatic Brain Injury — Stress, Anxiety and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Part 1 and Part 2 Revisited Again Video Presentation

Traumatic Brain Injury — Stress, Anxiety and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Part 3 and Part 4 Revisited Again Video Presentation

As you listen to, watch or read my articles and questions come to mind, please send those questions to mind. All questions are good questions. In the event that you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.To do so, please use the below contact form. I will respond to your comments and questions.

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I look forward to hearing from you.

Craig

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11
Nov

Living with a Brain Injury — “it’s all up in your head” — Lest I be lulled back into Denial Video Presentation

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to have you around my table. Several days ago I wrote this article, Living with a Brain Injury — “it’s all up in your head” — Lest I be lulled back into Denial. To share the information with individuals who learn more effectively through watching and listening, I create video presentations of my articles. Today, I will create a video presentation of this article. Below is an excerpt from the article. If you have heard this “it’s all up in your head, or some thing similar, I believe that you will benefit from watching and listening to this presentation.

“Hello and welcome Back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to have you around my table. The reason why I am writing this article is to share what I discovered through my own process and journey of being told, “It’s just up in your head and if you just…then you would not be impacted by your brain injury”. If you have head this phrase or some thing similar, I believe you will benefit from reading this article.

Several days ago I wrote an article: Living with an Invisible Disability — Accepting Ourselves when Other People Can’t. In this article I shared how became aware of the impact that denial was having upon my life and well-being. In my experience,  I stayed in denial for many years because I internalized what was denied and defended surrounding the impact of the traumatic brain injury that I experienced when I was 10 years old. As I shared in yesterday’s article, once my external wounds healed, the impact of the traumatic brain injury that I experienced when I was 10 years old was no longer considered relevant.

Because I bought into the denial system, by my actions; I engaged in validating and defending the denial system that kept me striving in my attempt to overcompensate for what was not seen or understood. As a result, I found myself engaging in a cycle of justifying, answering, defending and explaining why I could not do more, to be more than what was being denied and what was expected of me. This ongoing cycle left me in loose /loose relationship with denial, myself and others. The loose / loose relationship with denial, myself and others that held me captive to a system that “promised” me freedom, yet kept me deceived. 

Let me explain:

To watch and listen to the video presentation of the article, please click on this link: Living with a Brain Injury — “it’s all up in your head” — Lest I be lulled back into Denial Video Presentation

In the event that you would also like to read the article from which this video presentation is created, please click on this link: Living with a Brain Injury — “it’s all up in your head” — Lest I be lulled back into Denial 

Video Presentation of the article that I speak to that helps me to not be lulled back into denial, as presented at the bottom of the article : Living with a Brain Injury — “it’s all up in your head” — Lest I be lulled back into Denial 

Living with an Invisible Disability — The Consequence of Denying My Reality — Part 1 Revisited Video Presentation

Living with an Invisible Disability — The Consequence of Denying My Reality — Part 2 Revisited Video Presentation

As you listen to, watch or read my articles and questions come to mind, please send those questions to mind. All questions are good questions. In the event that you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.To do so, please use the below contact form. I will respond to your comments and questions.

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I look forward to hearing from you.

Craig

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2
Nov

Finding Freedom to Love and Accept Our self as an Individual

I wrote this article in April of 2007. What I share in this article helped and continues to help me to love and accept myself as an individual.

The Power of Identification

Welcome back and I am so glad you decided to stop by and rest. You are a gift to me. I am fired up about a particular topic today. I have been fired up about this topic for most of my life. As a person with a disability, I never quite felt like I was enough or that I measured up. I never quite understood why I did not measure up until I began to understand the insidious nature of comparison. For too long, I measured my worth by the status quo. I allowed the measuring stick of other people to dictate how and what I thought about myself.

When I started treating myself with dignity and respect, I began having spiritual awakenings. One of these awakenings revealed that having a disability challenged the status quo. Although I sought to measure up to expectations, I found myself consistently falling short in my efforts. Living with my brain injury and my invisible disability left me clueless in my attempts to compensate for my real — yet unknown — deficits and limitations. In the process of my attempting to overcompensate I lost sight of who I was as a person. In the process, I became a human doing rather learning how to be in life.

Doing, instead of being became more important as I sought to prove my standing amongst the status quo. Even as I attempted to overcompensate through overachieving I had no idea how my brain injury and my invisible disability intrinsically impacted my world. What made matters worse was that I sought to defend the notion that my brain injury, invisible disability, deficits and limitations had nothing to do with my inability to meet expectations. In the course of defending my denial, I found that I was denying who I was as an individual.

In the course of maintaining and defending both my denial and the denial of family and friends, I grew weary in my attempts to prove that I was not an individual living with a brain injury, an invisible disability with real deficits and limitations. In my weariness, I reached a point in my life when I could no longer deny my reality. When I reached this place of despair — in which I could no longer deny my reality — I discovered a series of cause, effects and contrasts. I will share some of what I learned through examining those cause, effects and contrasts. This list is not exhaustive and can be expanded.

After you read my contrasts, get a pen and paper and determine what other contrasts you can add to my list. In the process of reading my cause, effects and contrasts and then developing your own list, you may find that you have been berating yourself for no good reason.

Identification as opposed to Comparison

Identification empowers, where as comparison minimizes contribution. Comparison asserts stipulation to inclusion. Comparison mandates that certain criteria be met. Comparison predicates acceptance. Comparison demands compliance. Comparison postulates performance. Comparison shuns that which is different. Identification encourages progress while comparison specifies and expects outcomes. Identification celebrates small successes, whereas comparison, by its nature seeks to invalidate. Identification encourages individuality and motivates self-expression. Identification cultivates creativity.

Individuality is not considered a threat. Status quo is dismissed. Identification empowers and motivates. Identification musters enthusiasm in the face of any discouragement. Identification breaks down the walls of isolation. Alienation is dismissed. Eccentricity is held in esteem. Self-respect, self-esteem, and self-worth no longer need to be qualified. Value and ability is accepted at face value. Identification seeks to reconcile. Identification promotes humility.

As I seek to identify with others I practice love and tolerance. Identification frees my humanity to explore apart from comparison’s dictates. Identification encourages individual expression. Identification encourages hope, where as comparison predicates performance. Identification encourages process. Identification promotes self-confidence. Progress is accepted as a function of seeking to accept both others and one self. As I love and accept myself, I am free to create with my being.

My being and worth is not tied to a specific “toy” or outcome. I no longer need to keep up with the Jones. I no longer need to chase after external validation. Identifying with others dispels my need to judge. Identification gives me permission to take risks and to scrape my knees in the process. Identification promotes excellence, not perfection. Identification frees me to stay in the moment and to live life on life’s terms. Identification promotes unity.

I am interested to know what other contrasts you may have discovered. If you have any, please share them with me.

As you listen to, watch or read my articles and questions come to mind, please send those questions to mind. All questions are good questions. In the event that you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.To do so, please use the below contact form. I will respond to your comments and questions.

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I look forward to hearing from you.

Craig

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16
Oct

Moving from Fear to Faith — Making Peace with God

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. Yesterday I published an article, Moving From Fear to Faith — Solutions. In the article I shared what I discovered that helps me to move from fear to faith. In my experience, what I share in this article is a gentler way. You see, for many years I viewed this process as an all or none, black and white affair. Either I had faith or I didn’t have faith. My all or none, black and white mindset had fear attached to the outcome. What I mean by having fear attached to the outcome is that if I wavered in faith, I did not trust God and could not please God. God would as a result abandon me, as did other people in my life who I did not please. The result would be that I would experience feelings of abandonment and alienation.

Through my recovery process I discovered that I transferred the feeling of abandonment and alienation — that I experienced when I did not please people — onto my relationship with the God of my understanding. As I had done many times in my relationships with people who I could not please, I found myself alienated from God or striving to keep Him from going away. As with my efforts to people please and approval seek with the people who I sought to keep from going away, I often felt alienated and isolated from a loving God who longed to be “there” for me. Through my recovery process, I discovered what kept me feeling abandoned and alienated from God. Through my recovery process, I discovered what interfered with my ability to draw near to God in my time of need.

In July 2007, I wrote a 3 part article series to share what I discovered through my recovery process that helped and continues to help me to move from fear to faith. What I share in this series helped me to repair my misconceptions and misunderstanding surrounding my relationship with the God of my understanding. I would like to share this 3 part article series with you. I have also created a 4 part video presentation of the article series. I will include links to both the 3 part article series and the 4 part video series below. I divided the series into 3 parts and 4 parts because of the length of the article. I did so to make reading / listening / watching  the article series more manageable. Please let me know if the information in the article series helps you to move from fear to faith.

The good news is that a loving God is an ever present help for us in time of need. The good news is that we do not have to be limited by a black and white / all or none thinking. The good news is that we no longer have to be bullied by fear.

Click on each Part of the article series and they will open for you on Second Chance to Live.

Making Peace with God — Part 1

Making Peace with God –Part 2

Making Peace with God–Part 3

Click on each Part of the video presentation and they will open for you on You Tube.

Making Peace with God Video Presentation Part 1

Making Peace with God Video Presentation Part 2

Making Peace with God Video Presentation Part 3

Making Peace with God Video Presentation Part 4

You have my permission to share my articles and or video presentations with anyone you believe could benefit, however please attribute me as being the author of the article (s) video presentation (s), and provide a link back to the article (s) on Second Chance to Live. In the event that you have questions, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you. Copyright 2007-2015.

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I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day.

Craig

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29
Sep

Taking Care of Myself — How to Empower my Relationships Video Presentation

Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to have you around my table.  Yesterday, I wrote the article Taking Care of Myself — How to Empower my Relationships. Today, I would like to offer the article in video format for individuals who learn more effectively through watching and listening. To introduce the video presentation I will include an excerpt from the article below:

“Over the past day and a half I spent some extended time with a friend who I had not seen and visited with in several years. It was good seeing him and catching up, however I began to realize that as the time went on, I became fatigued.  In my fatigue, I found that I had been short with him several times. As I realized that I had been short with him, I asked him to forgive me for being short with him. He forgave me and our conversation continued. Although overall we had a good time visiting, I realized that in my fatigue, I needed to end our time visiting. Yesterday morning my friend called and left a voice message.

On the voice message he said that he wanted to get together for lunch, before heading out of town. Upon hearing his voice mail message, I realized that I had been taxed to my limit through the time I had already spent with him. I decided to not call him back, however during my quiet time, he called and I answered the phone. Knowing that he wanted to get together for lunch, I told him that I had become fatigued and needed some down time. He validated my need to take care of myself and I thanked him for understanding. Once I got off the phone and as I recharged my batteries, I realized that by taking care of myself, I created a win / win outcome and in the process, empowered the relationship.”

To listen to and watch the presentation, please click on the following link: Taking Care of Myself — How to Empower my Relationships Video Presentation

In the event that you would like to read the article from which this presentation is made, please click on the following link: Taking Care of Myself — How to Empower my Relationships

As you listen to, watch or read my articles and questions come to mind, please send those questions to mind. All questions are good questions. In the event that you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.To do so, please use the below contact form. I will respond to your comments and questions.

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I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day.

Craig

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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 Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND