Following a brain injury, the individual may find themselves identified by the “event”. The “event” that is given a diagnosis. The diagnosis of a brain injury.
Once a diagnosis has been given to the “event”, the individual may find themselves identified with a “label”. A “label” that is connected to the “event” of their brain injury.
The “event” that then leaves the individual open and vulnerable to discrimination.
Once a diagnosis has been given to the “event” the individual may unconsciously begin defining themselves. Define themselves with the “event” of their brain injury.
The “event” that then is reinforced by a “label”, a stereotype and a stigmatization. In response, the individual may then find themselves experiencing discrimination.
The Impact of Discrimination
Such discrimination can be seen manifested through different behaviors.
Behaviors that can lead individuals living with brain injuries to allow other people to define them.
Behaviors that can lead the individual living with brain injuries to believe they are victims of their brain injury.
Behaviors and messages that in effect patronize, minimize, marginalize, dismiss and discount who we are as individuals.
Behaviors that can lead the individual who is living with the impact of a brain injury to believe that they deserve to be bullied.
Bullied into believing that there are no other choices. That the only choice is to assume the “identity” and the “box” of the brain injury.
The Good News
But the good news is that we no longer have to allow the “event” or a behavior to define.
We no longer have to made into a victim. We no longer have to be impacted by discrimination.
To define who we are as individuals living with brain injuries. Who we are and become in this life.
We can stand free of any label, diagnosis, stereotype, and stigmatization. We no longer have to be bullied by behaviors or messages.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life. Define yourself.” Robert Frost
I have friends who remind me:
Friends who remind me that I have choices.
That I am empowered to define who I am as an individual.
To define myself apart from the “event” of my brain injury.
That I am not limited because of a diagnosis or a prognosis.
Friends who remind me that I no longer have to limit myself because of an “event”.
Friends that remind me that I can stand free of a label, a stereotype, and a stigmatization.
That I no longer have to be impacted by behaviors and messages that, in affect discriminate.
As I have friends who remind me, let me remind you.
Let me encourage you to remember that you have choices.
To define yourself apart from the “event” of your brain injury.
That you are empowered to define who you are as an individual.
Remind you that you no longer have to limit yourself because of an “event”.
Remind you that you are not limited because of a diagnosis or a prognosis.
Remind you that you can stand free of a label, a stereotype, and a stigmatization.
That you no longer have to be impacted by behaviors and messages that, in affect discriminate.
Several questions that help me to empower who I as an individual living with my brain injury
Who is defining what I can do with your life?
How can I look at my circumstances in a different way?
Do I feel limited because individuals in society, their behavior and messages?
Do I feel like I am being discriminated and what can I do to empower myself?
With my limitations, how can I create what I would like to do despite my limitations?
Am I defining or allowing myself to be defined as an individual who is living with a brain injury?
Do I have people in your my who are leading me to believe that I am the “event” of my brain injury?
If I were not limited by limitations, what would I be doing with my life, well-being and relationships?
What can I do differently that would help me to realize that I am much more than the “event” of my brain injury?
Do I have individual in my life, who patronize, minimize, marginalize, dismiss and discount me because of my brain injury?
What steps can I take today that will empower who I am as an individual, not as an individual who is living with the impact of a brain injury?
My Encouragement to you
In the event that you are finding that living with a brain injury is defining you, stop. In the event that you feel discriminated against, stop. Take out a pen and a piece of paper.
After doing so, please take time to answer the above questions for yourself.
Doing so will help you to define yourself in a way that will empower your process and journey.
Doing so will change the direction in the way that you see yourself in relation to your brain injury.
Doing so will help you create your new normal apart from the “identity” of your brain injury and discrimination.
“If you change the way you tell your own story, you can change the colour and create a life in technicolour.” Isabel Allende
A Different Course of Action
A different course of action to create hope in your life.
A different course of action to excel beyond the “box” that discrimination limits.
A different course of action that will empower you to discover hope lost after your brain injury.
A different course of action apart from the “identity” of a label, a stereotype and or a stigmatization.
A different course of action as an individual living with a brain injury, but not defined by a brain injury.
As a result
We no longer have to doubt ourselves.
We can choose how we show up in our life.
We can have an active role in defining who we are in this life.
We can create our new normal through using our gifts, talents and abilities.
We no longer have to be affected by the misguided and faulty assumptions of discrimination.
Be Encouraged — More will be Revealed with Time
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein
“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.” Richelle E. Goodrich
“Never quit. Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can’t see it. Listen to your own drum and your drum only. It is the one that makes the sweetest sound.” Simon Sinek
“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” Carl Bard