Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Just Keep Moving

“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise you will have the gift to affect other people.” - Jim Rohn

Communication is a wonderful tool that can make your life so much better. I had an experience over this past weekend where I truly felt what it was to have matured and to handle a situation with grace.

A friend of mine and I went into a bar to hear some music and I was approached right after entrance by the door bouncer who said to me, “You have already had enough to drink, I’m sorry but you have to go.”

I calmly showed him my disabled identification from my wallet and told him that I would gladly take a breathalyzer.  My friend was very upset when I told her what had happened.

I explained calmly that I understood that they were far more familiar with overly intoxicated people trying to enter a bar then people who had sustained brain trauma.

When my friend saw that I wasn’t overly upset by the occurrence we decided that we would leave the establishment and have a good night. I credit the way I live my life with giving me the ability to respond calmly and matter-of-factly in this occurrence.

The vast majority of people have no familiarity with a brain injury. It can present as so many other occurrences. Since I do not and cannot live my life embarrassed of this injury; I was able to go on and enjoy my night with my friend without my night being tainted. I do not fear returning to that establishment because I feel that I handled myself calmly and that now they may know better. We have to be our own advocates.

Calm and reasonable explanation goes much further than an emotion riddled hasty response. I am sure that there are countless numbers of brain injury survivors that deal with this type of occurrence on a regular basis. Now I know that perhaps a bar setting may not be the best, but I wanted to listen to some music. Sometimes we have to decide that we are going to perhaps endure some misunderstanding, yet decide that the evening with our friends is more important. I decided a long time ago that I was not going to be a hermit.

I like to get out and I advocate for others to go out and take part in activities. I attended a Rutgers basketball game this weekend also with my father. It is wonderful to get out and experience things. We have only this one life and we are responsible for making it worth living. I am going to include a picture from a get together that I attended at a friend’s meetup group. It is all about taking advantage of events that are scheduled and making a life worth living.

I touched base with another survivor who feels invisible as she is proceeding through life. I tried to encourage her and get her to realize that she is choosing to be invisible. We have to take responsibility for our own lives and get busy living!

I thank you so much for reading and welcome any thoughts that you may have!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Believe, and the world is yours

“New Year, new you.  The body achieves what the mind believes.  Believe in you and the possibilities are limitless.”

   - Noelle McNeil


A new year is among us and we have to believe that we are capable of great things. What are you going to accomplish this year? I am going to keep working on sharpening my memory. I feel enthusiastic about the things that I am now able to accomplish. Things get better with practice and everything becomes easier with every successful attempt.

You have to believe in yourself and what you are capable of achieving. We have to know that we are special and we are capable of wonderful things. We are all capable of having confidence and interacting with many people. I feel that life gets better when you interact with others. We can push ourselves in the gym and encourage ourselves to stay with our fitness routine and our diets. We have to challenge ourselves to attempt and accomplish more. Daily we should witness our lives getting easier. Continue to reach out to others and share what makes life easier for you. We can come together to collaborate and share ideas. The more people sharing leads to a far greater collaborative pool of ideas for our population to draw from. New Years is a fantastic symbolic way for us to compare our goals with others. I get to share my goals with the patients and residents that I interact with. I love hearing feedback from others as far as how they believe that I am setting my goals. I am a huge fan of sharing my ideas with others and especially elders. These people have been on the planet for longer than I and they are more than willing to share their ideas and opinions with me. I learn from my interactions and they were absolutely correct when they were telling me that every new thing that I try will get easier the more times that I do it. I am preparing to fly myself again later this month and I recall how fearful I was the first time that I flew myself. It seems as though it is old hat now as I have done it several times. It is still not my favorite thing to do myself, but I have proven to myself that I can do it. I enjoy making conversation with those that are sitting around me and hopefully I will come upon somebody who enjoys social interaction as much as I do.

I am so thankful to all of you who have followed along with my weekly blogs. I hope and I pray that I am reaching others who are seeking a way to connect with others. Life after a significant life event is forever altered and I know that it is helpful to connect with others who are in the same boat. Perhaps you also have found that you connect better with someone who has also been through a significant life event his/herself.

~ Noelle