Second Chance to Live

Sharing Hope in the Face of Adversity — One Piece at a Time

Traumatic Brain Injury–Second Chance to Live

Posted by Second Chance to Live on May 22, 2007

Hi, and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am glad you decided to stop by and visit with me. At the request of a friend, I will share some of my struggles as a traumatic brain injury survivor. I do not share this information to whine or complain, but to help others who are recipients of an invisible disability. My experience is unique to my process, however I believe you can benefit from my experience. The power of identification sets us free from the shadows of despair. (Please read my post, The Power of Identification). As I write, I use the principle of identification to guide me.

Through much of my life, I had no idea that I was a traumatic brain injury survivor, much less as a person with an invisible disability. As I have shared and alluded to in many of my posts, I internalized my despair and disappointment as a reflection of being a flawed individual. I absorbed the intolerance that I received as a quotient of being inadequate and defective. I practiced self-hate because I owned the messages given to me through ignorance. I spent many years of my life questioning the struggle of life itself. Unconsciously I believed that I deserved to be abused by people, because I did not know how to trust my judgment. I lacked self-confidence for a host of reasons, but mostly because I relied on others to validate my worth and value.

I bought into the notion that what other people thought of me was more important than what I thought about myself. Unknowingly, I attempted to overcompensate for my invisible disability through striving. I was driven to over achieve so that I might silence the inner wrangling of debilitating guilt and debilitating shame. I spent too much of my time attempting to answer, defend or explain myself to other people, because I feared being misunderstood. I sought acceptance through active participation in many different kinds of churches. Needless to say, I frequently found as much, if not more intolerance from religiously pious individuals. I also found myself in a love – hate relationship with God. These cumulative struggles — as well as other ordeals that I will not elaborate on for sake of time — motivated me to look for solutions.

So as you have read through my posts, you may have asked yourself some questions. How did the author of Second Chance to Live arrive at these conclusions? The answer is simple, but not easy. Every post that I have written has been birthed in the rooms of disappointment, discouragement, heartache, self-hate, self-sabotage, self-doubt and other menacing dark times in my life. I write from my journey as a person who has encountered many learning opportunities. I present practical solutions that have helped me and then share how I applied them to my life. These solutions gave me tools for living life on life’s terms, as well as providing a map to lead me out of my perceived despondency.

My emotional catharsis began when I realized that if I did not look for solutions, I would die emotionally and spiritually, if not physically. All of the material that I share in Second Chance to Live is from my experience, strength and hope as a person who has lived with an invisible disability. The practical solutions that I present are unique to my experience, however what I have learned can be applied to life at large. I believe that life is for living, not merely surviving.

As a person with an invisible disability, I have come to accept certain realities. Ignorance perpetuates itself like a bad virus and for some people it is a terminal disease. If I am waiting for someone else to change before I can hope to live the life I have imagined, I will be disappointed. And if nothing changes, it will remain the same. That is why I encourage my readers to get busy. So as you read my material keep asking yourself questions and then look for solutions, because you are the only one that can live your life.

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

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2 Responses to “Traumatic Brain Injury–Second Chance to Live”

  1. Craig, I think this is so true. Much of the positive conclusions we come to is birthed from a lot of pain. You’ve described it very well here and anyone that has endured a lot of sufferings in their lives can relate to your posts on some level. It takes a desire to change and grow in order to gain wisdom. If we don’t find solutions, death on some level seems almost inevitable. You inspire me to keep following my own dreams and to trust my own heart. Good writing Craig.

  2. Anonymous said

    Hi Craig,
    Beautiful writing! I am inspired by your honesty and courage to face my own self doubt as realizations of personal failures seem overwhelming. I think a disability of any kind can be a gift because you are forced out of mediocrity in order to survive. I am excited to read more of your insight and wisdom.
    Shine on!
    Joye

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