“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you still can come out of it.” ~Maya Angelo
Maya Angelou helps people understand that for people to truly know themselves they have to struggle and show perseverance. A brain injury certainly is riddled with many challenges. A survivor must make a conscious decision to not give up. Struggles are a natural and necessary portion of life. In the moment a person who has encountered a brain injury has to know. I find the short term memory to be extremely challenging on my state of mind. By considering where I have been and what I am going through, I realize that indeed struggles are helping to shape who I am. I share small struggles with several residents that I visit so that they know that it is not unique to them. The struggles at times seem ongoing, but so then are the accomplishments. An individual needs to keep a tally of the successes that they have accomplished.
A notation of accomplishments can help an individual to stay on track in regards to the recovery. A brain injury is unusual because every day has its challenges. I am nearly ten years out, yet my short term memory will forever be a challenge to me. Stressful situations provide a larger hurdle. Currently much of my family and many friends are away on vacation. One would think that I (at thirty years old) should be fine. I am fine but I am a bit stressed. I have found myself forgetting things more than usual. As with any struggle that I encounter I am making sure to stay on track and continually remind myself that I indeed will get through this as I have gotten through many other difficulties. There is a common theme that I have taken note of over the last several years. I do feel stressed when my routine is disrupted. I would love to hear who else has ever shared this experience. Joining onto support groups I am hopeful that every brain injury survivor can find a network of other survivors who are going through many of the same issues. There is comfort and strength in numbers.
No brain injury survivor should ever feel alone. There are numerous support groups. The rise of the internet has led to the creation of many avenues for survivors to seek others like themselves. I thank you very much for reading and would love to hear any opinions or suggestions that you may have.