Welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am proud to say that I am a traumatic brain injury survivor. I am grateful for the struggles that I have encountered because I have an invisible disability. I am thankful for the all the lessons that my process has provided. My life is richer because I had to do the necessary work to be able to accept my reality and to live life more abundantly. I am fortunate to have been given the privilege to be chosen to be a traumatic brain injury survivor. My brain injury motivated me to live beyond complacency and lethargy.
My journey has given me hope amidst what I did not understand. I am more than, just for today. I am blessed when I go out and when I come in. I am blessed when I lay down and when I rise up. I am not limited by my limitations, nor am I stymied by the deficits that I am unable to overcome. My understanding and awareness is increasing each day and I am growing by leaps and bounds in my spirit, soul, and body. My ability and capability matures on a daily basis. I am invigorated by the possibilities provided by my disability.
I have not always had a positive perspective on life. When reality became apparent and I could no longer deny that I was indeed a traumatic brain injury, I was angry. My limitations and deficits seemed to be a barrier that could not be removed. I tried and tried to work around, dig under, jump over and push through the walls created by my brain injury. I spent many hours bargaining with the process. Although I tenaciously sought to find ways to work around my disability, I found myself starring at an ongoing series of impenetrable walls. Nevertheless, I continued to look for ways to circumvent the realities of my brain injury to my own despair. When I found that I could not do anything to change my experience, I became willing to accept my reality.
I had to grieve the loss of my expectations for the life that I thought I should be living. I had to be angry enough to be sick and tired of being sick and tired before I was willing to look for solutions. I had to wrestle with myself before I could accept my best. I had to go through a period of depression before I could surrender to the process. I had to come to the place of surrender to what is, before I could savor my progress. I had to be willing to die to my dreams, before the eyes of my heart could open to see that my dreams failed in comparison to what God has in store for me. I had to let go of the detrimental notion of perfection and trade that undermining message for the empowering pursuit of excellence.
Accepting my reality empowers me to stop believing that I am a victim of my circumstances. I no longer need to make excuses or seek to justify my presence. As I am empowered I realize that my circumstances are not meant to hold me back or to keep me down. I became an empowered traumatic brain injury survivor when I began to live life on life’s terms. As an empowered being I am willing to learn from all my circumstances and disappointments. I am empowered because I refuse to believe that I am my disability. My disability is not my identity. I am an empowered being when I look for ways to use my passions to create the vision that I have always had for my life in ways that work for me.
I may have a disability and that disability may have changed my life forever. I will give myself the time to grieve my loss. I know that my grieving process will take as long as takes. I will deny my circumstances as long as I need to one day at a time. I will give myself permission to be angry. I will seek ways to work around my circumstance for as long as it takes for me to accept my reality. I will then allow myself to be sad because I can not change my reality. If I find myself stuck in depression and malaise I will attend support groups and engage professionals. When I reach a place of acceptance for what I can not deny, be angry about, change or be sad about, I will look for solutions. My solutions will change how I see my reality. My solutions will express the passions that are an inherent part of my being. I will live life on life’s terms and use my circumstances for my good. I will not live a defeated life or be discouraged. I will mount up with wings like and eagle to fly. I will celebrate my reality and use my circumstances to enrich my life and the lives of that God brings across my path. I will be encouraged and empowered just because I am alive.
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