Traumatic Brain Injury – Freedom from Isolation – Part 2
Posted by Second Chance to Live on April 8, 2008
Please read Part 1 for context. Thank you.
In the process of my transition from a counselor to a client I was scheduled to have an EEG – I had 2 done as a child – and a battery of neuropsychological tests. The results from these tests revealed that I had indeed been impacted by a traumatic brain injury. The results of these tests were revealed to me in 1994. I was 37 years of age at that time. Even though the results from those tests clearly showed that my life had and was being impacted because of my traumatic brain injury– I continued to buy into a denial system that would not accept that I was disabled because of my traumatic brain injury. Consequently I remained in my own denial for an additional 6-7 years from that point in time.
During those 6-7 years I minimized, marginalized and berated myself for the impact that my traumatic brain injury had upon my life. Consequently I continued to internalize disdain for myself. When the emotional the pain of denying my reality superseded my need to deny my reality, I made the decision to accept my reality. During the past 8 years of my life I have grown in the acceptance of my reality – that I am a traumatic brain injury survivor. I have come to realize that my deficits and limitations are not weaknesses of character or sin. My deficits and limitations instead have given me wings to fly.
In my experience, I needed to identify what my life was like before I sustained my traumatic brain injury, what my life was like at the time of my brain injury and how my life has been impacted in the time since I sustained my traumatic brain injury.
In my healing process I have had to look at every facet of my life. Through my academic training but more so through my commitment and participation in my own recovery process — through my involvement and active participation in various support groups — I have come to understand myself. I have come to recognize that who I am – what makes me, me – is specific to my body, soul and spirit. My body houses my soul – my mind, will and intellect – and my spirit. My mind, will and intellect directs my life while my spirit gives me the ability to connect with the God of my understanding and with myself.
Through my recovery process I am being healed in my body, my soul and my spirit. As I heal my energy is released to find creative expression through my body, soul and spirit
Through being an active participant in my recovery process and by attending healthy – solution oriented – support group meetings I have and continue to be healed in ways that once seemed to be out of my grasp. Along the way I have learned how to maintain my spiritual fitness so that I am able to remain conscious to my process. I have learned how to maintain conscious contact with the God of my understanding. I have learned how to be honest with myself. I have learned how to keep my side of the street clean. I have learned how to let go of resentments and unrealistic expectations. I have found where I end and where other people begin.
The obvious became apparent over time. If I had not actively pursued my own recovery process through attending healthy – solution oriented — support group meetings I would still be an angry, critical and bitter traumatic brain injury survivor.
Through my recovery process – during the past 22 years of my life – I have learned some valuable lessons. I don’t have to be alone in my process. I can ask for help. I don’t have to rely on my own understanding or on my ability to figure things out on my own. I no longer need to be limited by anyone’s denial, much less by my own denial. I can come out of hiding. I can maintain my conscious contact with a loving God. I can trust the process. I can learn from my circumstances. I can find solutions. I can live life on life’s terms. I can come out of isolation and I will heal.
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