For the past nine years I have been living with my brain injury.
Although I have achieved so much since my near-fatal accident in 2008 and it may appear to some that my brain injury is an all but distant memory, that is far from my reality. It is still a mountain I hike every second of every day; it is there during every interaction I have with every person I meet, and in every situation I find myself in. On the surface, it probably seems invisible, as my brain has repaired enough that I can articulate my thoughts and emotions. This is why brain damage is called the invisible illness. But as you will discover when you read my blog posts, it has a huge and constant impact on my life.
Hopefully my words will help people understand a little more about what is going on inside of the heads of all of us who live with a brain injury, and raise awareness in the brain injury space.
The true stories in this blog might inspire you to take on new challenges yourself. I want to show what can be achieved even when life kicks you in the guts, knocks you down a peg or two, and laughs hysterically at your misfortune, as I will talk about the goals I have achieved and what I am still striving for. I will show you what’s possible despite the odds, and what you are capable of, even if you have major challenges in your life.
My whole recovery has been built around goals, and I believe that they are life’s roadmap to success.
The talented and caring staff at Epworth Rehabilitation, where I spent three years, taught me this. Every therapist I worked with during my time there showed me the importance of always setting goals, as do the therapists I work with now. If every professional has told me to do this, it must be because it works, right? Right! I owe so much of my recovery to the goals I set for myself. I will be blogging about the ones I’ve achieved and different ones I set for myself each day, as this is a practice I still follow and it keeps me going.
Throughout this blog I will also be interviewing other people who live with brain injuries of all kinds, to get different perspectives on the challenges that they face every day. I am looking forward to sharing interesting information about the brain and some of the things that have helped me on my long, sometimes lonely, road to recovery. I say lonely not because I ever felt a lack of support – the support I received was and continues to be incredible – but lonely in the sense that I am the only one who knows what is going on in my head. Yes there are health professionals who have a better idea than most, but it’s only an ‘idea’, and an ‘idea’ is only the beginning. I hope to show what life is actually like with a brain injury, which you might find useful if you work with or love someone who has one. I will also share the stories of other people who have a brain injury too – we all have different experiences.
I am not a health professional. If you need expert advice, please go straight to a doctor. I am writing as someone who lives with the debilitating effects of a brain injury and who is able to talk about them in a way that gives others an insight into what they are really like.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.