Monday, May 11, 2015

Sense of Family Knows No Limitations

“I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life.”
-
Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush reminds us that no matter what we are encountering in life, we can have a sense of family. Even though you may not be related by blood to everyone who surrounds you; there is a sense of family when you are surrounded by like-minded people who are pushing for the same cause.

The recovery from a traumatic brain injury can take on many different forms. I have found a tremendous amount of comfort in communing and listening to numerous different people share what is going on in his/her life. Depending on where the group discussion goes you are always open to asking one another any question that you may have. I enjoy attending support groups where there are many different periods of time from the occurrence of the injury.

My hereditary family has been nothing short of fantastic, yet there is a different level of comfort that comes from sharing and comparing with people who have very likely experienced exactly what you are encountering. I feel as though I have gained a whole second family in those people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury. This family comes from many different cultures and races. A traumatic brain injury certainly does not discriminate.

I am attending a wedding of my cousin this upcoming week, and I am sure that the people who are attending the wedding reception may look at me with raised eyebrows as I attempt to walk in my dress and high heels.

I believe that I have gotten to the point where I am okay with my gate and the fact that I may appear under the influence to many. As long as I know who I am, I am okay in knowing that many people may be unsure why my balance is compromised.

Nobody needs to know my entire story; they can assume what they wish.

I would love to hear who feels the same way as I do or who has had a similar experience where people may have made assumptions or judged them.

Thank you very much for reading.

~Noelle

Friday, May 1, 2015

Angels Among Us

There are always angels among us. Often times there are people who do beautiful things to aid people without recognition.

I would like to take a moment to recognize three people that have been instrumental in my recovery.

My mother and father have totally put me before themselves, and Carol Stillwell, a contact of mine who I have known for many years, put forward a large effort on my behalf. Carol worked tirelessly to contact many of her professional contacts to try and find me a position that would fit my skill set. I am forever grateful for the effort that she put forth on my behalf.

My family and I have sent many prayers of thanksgiving for the wonderful career that I am working in. None of this would be possible without my dear friend Carol. I would love to hear who has had a guardian angel who worked on his/her behalf. The people who are at the management levels of the company that I work with took her recommendation and in turn gave me an opportunity.

I feel wonderful that this position was begun as a trial and thankfully it has proved to work out quite well. My parents and I are both are forever grateful for the generosity and effort that Carol made on my behalf. I have tried to follow suit by making connections amongst my friends and hoping that a mutually beneficial relationship can ensue.

I feel as though I have grown an enormous amount following my injury. Sort of wish that I didn’t have to undergo the suffering that I did; regardless I am beyond appreciative for the way that things have worked out. I deeply hope that people understand how truly thankful that I am.

With a brain injury it is easy to not remember to say certain things. It is difficult that people may feel as though you purposefully lacked to give thanks, while in reality it may have been the lack of memory. I thank you all very much for reading and would love to hear what experiences you may have had with your memory post injury.


~Noelle

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hold fast to dreams

"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”

Langston Hughes reminds us to never get too bogged down in our everyday lives.

An individual should always be encouraged to allow his/her mind to imagine and dream. A favorite quote of mine is one that I found that says; “Keep your eyes on the stars, while keeping your feet grounded.”

A person should always be encouraged to allow his/her mind to wander. Imagination is a beautiful thing as long as it is not taken too unrealistically. The recovery from any type of a serious and life altering injury is difficult; a brain injury is certainly no exception. The main reason that I so deeply enjoy these support groups that I attend is that people join together as a community and share what is noteworthy that is going on in his/her lives. I think it is incredibly encouraging to here from others who are in your similar life situation.

I would love to hear who else has attended a support group for any reason and what his/her experience was. The caretakers are encouraged to attend as well and they often can share their thoughts in regard to certain topics. Differing viewpoints always make for a better rounded discussion. I am extremely encouraged for our support group to begin. There is always room for improvement in the discussion setting. I thank you very much for reading and look forward to any responses that you may have.

~Noelle


Monday, April 20, 2015

Dreams are Magical, Insightful and Surreal

“A skillful man reads his dreams for self-knowledge, yet not the details but the quality.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson captures how everyone should evaluate his/her dreams. Along the long and winding path of life everyone will have varying degrees of dreams. Emerson reminds us that the specific details are not what should be most important to a person. The quality and the overall feeling as to how a person is left feeling following a dream is what truly should be valued. If a person dreams that they are president, maybe they never will be president but rather they should take notice and consider how confident they are feeling. Perhaps the actual details are not the most important but rather the overall feeling of how well you felt in your elevated position in society.

You can carry on the confidence with you into the workplace and as you associate with different people throughout your day. Sometimes people utterly dismiss the dreams that he/she has had because they seem so unrealistic and therefore many see them as totally inapplicable to their everyday lives. Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us that people who are knowledgeable and well adjusted do not always take dreams literally. There is often much symbolism that a skilled man can interpret and evaluate in relation to his life.

Earlier on in my recovery I used to have dreams where I would fly around the skies along with superman. Obviously these dreams were totally unrealistic but they were a clue into how great I was feeling at the moment. Similarly there were times when I would have a depressed dream where I was unable to rescue a drowning puppy. Neither one of my recurrent dreams made much sense as to being any bit realistic; I was able to evaluate how and why I may have had the dreams that I did. I would love to hear some interpretations from others who have had notable dreams. I thank you very much for reading and look forward to any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

The Future Is Better Than The Past

The procession through the recovery of a brain injury is multifaceted.  It is important to always keep dreaming and always keep your head up. A quote by Patrick Henry states, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” A person can always improve; yet it is far easier to improve when there is a definite direction. I think that the draw of having an enmeshed congregation is to compare stories and experiences and learn what has worked for others who are in a similar situation to you.  Whoever stated that knowledge is everything truly knew exactly what they were referring to.  Books are wonderful in their own right, but personal interaction and advice is instrumental and in my opinion invaluable. I would love to hear who has been able to compare recovery stories with others and was able to learn a new methodology that he/she wasn’t aware of. This is in large part why I attend support groups. I am always looking to assist others in their recovery process. The recovery from brain injury is unique to every single person, yet there are always certain likenesses amongst the recovery process. The only way to know who has gone through what you are or have gone through is to ask and encourage sharing. I always learn many things by listening to many survivors compare “battle stories” and hear what has worked from them. I learned about the various uses of Botox injections from professionals in the field who have treated many who have had my similar vices. Communication is a necessary and instrumental part of any relationship. A deep and true friendship is built upon a free flowing communication. I am so interested to hear any responses that you may have.
Thank you for reading,
~Noelle

Monday, April 13, 2015

Commitment Leads to Action

A brain injury is truly an all encompassing injury. Vast improvements can certainly be made, but they require a deep rooted sense of commitment in order to achieve. A quote by Marcia Wieder simply states, “Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dreams closer.”

The ups and downs that coincide with a brain injury make it very necessary for an individual to have 100% commitment to his/her cause. The people whom I have met that are progressing far in their recovery have an unrelenting sense of commitment.

There is an overwhelming sense of honor that can be felt when a survivor witnesses a fellow survivor who is earlier in the recovery process. It is for this reason that I choose to continue in my support groups and continue attending workshops that provide a wealth of knowledge to those hoping to learn more regarding his/her injury. I have a definite commitment to learning as much regarding my injury as possible.

I would encourage all survivors to attend a support group. It took me nearly ten years before I was finally ready to stop denying my injury. No matter how hard I tried to always live a life “away” from my injury and disability, I finally feel as though I have come full circle by engaging myself in our traumatic brain injury population. I would love to hear who else has seen a change in his/her willingness to engage within their disability population after some time.

Only those who have traveled along your same path can truly relate and empathize when you have gone through a traumatic brain injury. Support groups are offered for nearly every affliction or hardship in life; I never found myself attending any support groups until I was afflicted by a traumatic brain injury.

I thank you very much for reading and as always I look forward to any responses you may have.

~Noelle


Saturday, April 11, 2015

You're Never Too Old to Dream



“You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.” C.S  Lewis

While it is very easy to get in the rut of your regular routine, C.S Lewis encourages us to never stop imagining and dreaming your future. Certainly it is very tempting to stay with a usual routine, perhaps part of your routine should be to allow yourself to dream and imagine. 

The mind is a beautiful thing which should always be encouraged to expand and flourish. Many people including myself feel that if you are not busy living, dreaming and working towards goals, then you are not truly living. 

Many question a person’s intention if they are not seeking to expand his/her horizons. There are many who believe that imagination and dreams are a large portion of what life is about. It is important to never stop absorbing new things as you go through life. 

It is incredibly inspiring to learn of grandparents that are still incredibly knowledgeable on daily events and activities. My grandmother used to stay up to date on political debates and she would form well research opinions based on her finds from several different sources. 

I believe she was a true example of exactly what C.S Lewis was referring to. Every person should never lose his/her desire to learn and expand. 

There is always a limitless amount of things for people to learn and absorb. An individual should never lose the drive to further expand his/her wealth of knowledge. 

 I would love to hear from anyone who has a thought on this concept. I thank you very much for reading.

~Noelle