Category Archives: Stressed out?

People think you are stupid

People think you are stupid because you can’t think fast enough to defend yourself.
This happens to me at work all day everyday. People I work with yell at me and tell me that I have no idea what I am doing when there’s a perfectly good explanation for my action.

A perfect example of this was the other day at work, I am a service Porter and one of my jobs is to park customer’s cars in the back where the mechanics c can find the cars to work on them,I saw a spot open and was about to pull in when an employee took the spot. I waited till he got out and told him he couldn’t park there; that he should park in the back with the rest of the employees.

He got out and proceeded to tell me that didn’t know what I was talking about and to park in the space a couple spaces away from him.

So instead of parking in that space next to him (that would have been easier to pull in to) I chose a different one that made me do a 3 point turn to fit.

I did this to save the easier spot for a bigger car ex: truck. Big SUV.

I thought this was a smart move but when I got out of the car all I hear is “you don’t know what your doing” ” you can’t drive’

And when this happens and someone is being confrontational with me, it’s almost like my Brain shuts down n I have no idea what to say or why I did what I did, like I forget. Even though I know it was the correct thing to do.

Nobody looks at the bigger picture and think to themselves ” hmmm… Maybe there is a reason why he did it this way .”

No one has time for people with a Brain injury so that rather make you think that you have something wrong with you than trying to understand the logic behind the action.

A completely new person

Its amazing how you are one person and in an instant it changes.

For me I was a star athlete in high school and boy did my life change ever so much when I got into my car accident that day. The weekend before I was going to my junior prom as dumb and dumber (that’s right I went to prom as dumb and dumber-I was the orange one).

But anyways, I was this fun loving teen who everyone loved to be around and was an exceptional athlete; all that changed the day I got into my car accident. I woke unable to walk, talk, a different person than the fun loving teen that everyone loved in high school.

Now, I looked as I faced probably my hardest challenge in my recovery. Not learning how to walk again or learning how to direct my arm again but the identity crisis that ensued. I had no idea who I was. I knew who I used to be but I could not be that person any more. No instead, I had to find where I fit into society now and how to do it which most people accomplish in their early years.

All through out my time in college, I began searching for who I was supposed to be. “Who am I now?” is the question I often times asked myself.

The struggle was un-relentless and still to this day I am still not a 100% sure on where I fit. I can write well so I do that, this is pretty much my thought process when trying to find something that I can identify with.

It is truly amazing how fast life can change in a blink of an eye! you are one person one minute then you open your eyes from a month long coma and you now must be someone else.  Its not like you chose to be this person either, you have no choice. The person has been chosen for you.

It is up to us to either sit back and say I’m not going to fight to be who I want to be or who I am comfortable with or keep pushing to be who we want or who we were meant to be!

People just don’t get it

People just don’t get how severe a brain injury is…

Let’s say that you fall down and break your arm. Just your arm is broken, nothing else is affected. You can still walk, still talk, can still think fast enough to process conversations.

But let’s say you fall down and hit your head and sustain a traumatic brain injury.

Many people don’t realize how severe and how much your life has no changed. They don’t see the “invisible wounds”, stuff that no one can see.

Because if you fall down and hit your and get a traumatic brain injury, you not only hurt your head but you have now inflicted pain to your entire body. I don’t just mean actually pain but I mean now your life is going to be painful because you are trying to your body a certain way and you just can’t make it move the way you want it to.

You try, try and try but it just doesn’t work the way you want.

it’s up to us to rise above the pain. The pain of being another casualty to a TBI or ABI. WE can do it! Nobody knows what goes on or what we are going through but it is up to us to rise above it!

Job

Right now I am stressing out about finding a good job. No more of these dead end jobs that have no future. I need something that makes a good a mount of money and something I can see myself doing. With that being said I noticed how limited I am in what I am able to do. Having a brain injury makes things difficult and I always feel as though I can not do things as good as people without brain injuries even though I may actually be able to do it better.

It also does not help in how bad the economy is and it is very difficult getting hired for anyone. But, daily I sit back and bounce ideas around my head on jobs I would be able to do and do well.

A friend of mine who is a Federal Correctional Officer gave me the idea a couple years ago the I should apply to be a correctional officer. I truly think this is something that I can do and do well. I am not just looking for a job but I am looking for a career.

In today’s economy to finding a job that you can work and get a pension is tough. So I applied for it and have been contacted by several prison nationally. You never know until you apply.

The reason I am writing this post is to reach out to all of you survivors who are as lost as I am. I got out of college with a degree in journalism and quickly found out that this was not what I wanted to do the rest of my life.

I was lost and couldn’t figure out a good career choice and felt it necessary to find one as soon as I could so I could get out of my parents basement lol.

My advice to you is find what your good at/ enjoy doing and you will find your career path. I like working with people and people from that type of lifestyle interest me. So I find that this is a good selection of a career for me. Besides that after I put in my time I can transfer and go down south, away from the cold finally!

Become Spiritual

If you begin to feel stressed out or overwhelmed turn to the Lord. This was never really a big problem for me, not saying I didn’t get stressed out, but I was always spiritual in a way. When you become lonely and feel like you have no one to turn to, this is untrue!

You have and always will have God. He is there for you no matter what. Just because you cannot see him, he is there, walking beside you. He can help you in so many ways.

-help give you guidance/direction

-calm you down

-give you someone/something to lean on

-give you someone to talk to

-give you something to pray to

All of these things are things finding a faith can provide for you. I’m not saying you have to pray to the same God as I but I am saying find faith. When ever times would get hard I would remember as long as I kept my faith in God I would be okay because I knew God had my back.

Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Full Brain

Some times when I think too much or too hard about something I develop what I like to call a “full brain.” It feels like my brain has swelled to maximum size and there is no more room for any type of information of any kind. It is the strangest feeling. I really do not get this feeling any more but when I used to attend classes at UMass I would often get this feeling.

I think that it has to do something with that I wasn’t really interested in what they were talking about, it felt they were just cramming information into my skull just to keep it there. I think it also has to do with you are so tired from focusing and trying to pay attention and not miss any thing.

I would hate developing this feeling because it lead me to complete ignore people when they would try to talk to me. I wouldn’t being ignoring them out of hate, no instead I would be ignoring them because I would just feel like I could not devote the necessary amount of attention need to conduct a conversation.

My brain would feel “full”, like I had no place to put the information that would be giving to me during the conversation. You automatically become an “asshole” to others because they believe that you are unfriendly and a jerk. It is unfair but it is something that we as brain injury survivors must go through.

My solution: Naps. Shut your brain off for a little while. Let it reboot when you wake up. Think of your brain as a computer…you have just downloaded information (causing you to get the full brain feeling) shut your brain down for a little (nap) then restart it and you will feel energized (wake up from your nap).

Headaches/ Migraines

It’s something that we, as brain injury survivors, must live with. Excruciating headaches or migraines that just won’t go away. The pain is unlike anything that we have ever felt. These headaches occur when ever I concentrate too hard on anything, whenever I get excited or even when I get confused.

These headaches are annoying and a nuisance but it’s something that we must live with. The way I try to prevent these from occurring is I like to take naps to try and prevent my brain from working to hard. When I start to think to much is when I usually get headaches.

I like to think of it this way, my brain is at normal size before I start to think about things. As I start to think about things or begin to stress from things I picture my brain swelling and it gets so big that it begins to push up against my skull. This produces my pain/ headache/ migraine.

I do not know if this is true or not but this is what I in vision happening to my brain. I say again this is just what I picture happening inside my head. This allows me to believe that if I can make my brain swelling go down, before it reaches my cranium, I will avoid having a headache.

When I can feel my head getting what I like to call “full”. I try to stop thinking about whatever it is that is getting me excited. The only way I feel I truly can stop thinking is by going to bed. I try to sleep, even for a little, I usually am able to avoid having a headache/ migraine.

Sometimes they are unavoidable and you can’t fight it. No matter what you do, it just grows stronger and stronger. In these cases I have a solution that works great for me. RELPAX. Talk to your doctor and have him prescribe the prescription drug Relpax.

This makes headaches disappear for me. You take it the moment you start feeling a headache coming on. Right when you feel that first twinge of a headache you take the first pill. It’s almost as if it kills the headache from even maturing into a headache.

If you have a problem with headaches, please take my advice…get relpax!

Who Cares???

If people are going to stare at you who cares? If people don’t want to hangout with you, who cares? Developing this mind set help me heal. YOU NEED TO DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO. Remember this and you will heal a lot more and faster.

Nobody knows what it’s like for us, people can think what they want. They can think that we are drunk they can think that we walk weird or that run funny. Who Cares??

When I was in rehab I used to tell my mom that I had “no dignity left.” I would say it as a joke because that for me was the best way to treat my whole stint in rehab. It was the only way I could cope with the sadness of the situation. I didn’t have dignity, I couldn’t have any. Having dignity meant I cared what people though of me.

You can’t care about what people think because you become more worried about what people think of you then the task at hand. For example: you are practicing walking but then you start thinking about how you look when you walk and this leads you to lose focus and fall.

After having a brain injury I know about how hard it is to focus/ concentrate. Heck, multi-tasking is completely out of the question. 5 years removed from my accident and I am just beginning to be able to multi-task.

So when you are practicing the correct form when you walk and you begin to think about what other people may think about your walking. Your brain cannot be in two places at once. I would often lose my balance and fall.

Caring about what other people think can also lead to you being stressed out or worse even depressed. Caring about what other people think leads to expectations and if you do not reach those expectations you may feel down on yourself, no matter what you have accomplished.

You need to just forget about other people for a while and concentrate on you. WHO CARES WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT YOU, they do not know what you are going through or how far you have came!!

Run With What You Got!!!

This is one of the most important posts on this blog. Finding happiness is a struggle everyone with this injury struggles to achieve. The hardest thing for most of us survivors is that we are stuck wishing that we were like we were before our injury ever occured.

You cannot dwell on the past, because thats exactly what it is the past! It happened, there is nothing we can do to change that. It is over and done with, as unfair as it may seem, but there is a reason why we have survived. Not many people get to talk about their experiences after having this injury. REMEMBER WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES!!!

You must remember that you are lucky and every day that you are alive is a blessing in itself. I know for me, there is no medical explanation why I am alive. But I’m here and I’m using my knowledge of what I have learned to help others.

I think it as being the reason God saved me. He wanted me to help others and that is why I can do everything I can do so well. I can do every thing as well as or even some things better than people who haven’t had this injury.

For the longest time I would stress myself out about playing division baseball or why I couldn’t get the perfect body. I would forget where I was coming from, forgot what had happened to me.

Then I learned something. If I didn’t have it then I just didn’t have it or if I couldn’t do it then I couldn’t do it. See, I was caught up in if I work real hard everything will come back to me, everything will go back to the way it was before the accident.

I learned that because I couldn’t do the things of old that I had improvise. I had to become a different person. Not completely different but enough to conform to my limitations and “RUN WITH WHAT I GOT.”

I began to think about what have I done that no one else has done or what knowledge do I have that no one else can share. I began to embrace my injury, began to write a book about my experiences hoping to help anyone who had this injury or was dealing with these type of injuries.

As I was finishing up my book, I thought to myself “why do I have to wait for my book to be published to help others.” I created this blog, facebook group and pages, and began to friend others dealing with the same problems that I face.

Now, I am happy. I am happy because I am not fighting with myself to try and be something that I’m not or that I was. I AM RUNNING WITH WHAT I GOT!!! It feels great to help others and I am really good at it (at least I like to think so).

Please remember this tip during your recovery. You will save your self from depression and disappointment. This may be the key to your recovery that you have been looking for!

Naps

NAPS are going to be your best friend during your recovery. I know they were mine! When ever I would get annoyed by people, when ever I would get tired of trying to focus both mentally and physically I would tell my self that I needed a nap.

Naps are great because you go into your nap as one person and come out a totally different person. One who is rejuvenated and ready to take on what ever the day brings.

Your brain swells when ever you concentrate to much or do to much (have a long day). This causes you to have headaches. When you take a nap your brain stops thinking about all the stressful things, you were thinking of before.

The swelling goes down, you also get more energy. You wake up from your nap without a headache and with energy to listen to what others have to say and energy to do physical things.

Naps help me with everything. I used to do rehab or go to the gym and work out hard; come back home and go right to sleep. I wouldn’t even have the energy to take a shower!

But when I woke up from my nap, I could take on what ever task the day would bring.

I take naps when I’m bored. Instead of watching the television or something I will go lay in my bed to pass the time. I love it because you recharge your battery but you are also in a stress free environment for that time period.

I take naps even before I’m tired. A couple months after my accident, if I was going out and I knew it was going to be a long night, I would take a nap before I would even go out. Almost in a effort to make sure that I went out with a fully charged battery.

Naps helped me through out my recovery, I suggest you take them as well. I mean I still take them. I may be almost fully recovered but I don’t think I’ll ever be recovered enough for a nap. I love naps now when I take them I hardly ever sleep. I usually just end up closing my eyes, but it passes time.

This is unlike when I was initially recovering from my accident. When I was tired I would lay my head down and I would fall into a heavy sleep. Nothing could wake me. When you need sleep, you need sleep. Don’t deprive your body of what it needs.

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