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The Injured Brain

The Injured Brain

August 14, 2017   -   Scott B Harris

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.

29 thoughts on “The Injured Brain”

  1. Hello Scott. Tru here. So great to see you keepin on keepin on. We have a few persons with TBI-based dementia in Dementia Mentors, but most do not stay active in the project. It seems like most persons with TBI do not continue losing cognitive abilities — but a few lose at the same time as they are recovering other abilities. How about YOU ? By The Way, i am on FaceBook at Truthful Kindness, if you want to connect there.

    1. The more I exercise my brain and meditate, the better I feel my cognition is getting. I’ve written a previous post on meditate you might like to read. Let’s connect on Facebook. I’m at The Injured Brain.

  2. First off I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Kent, first of all, thank you. I don’t really have too much clearing of my mind to do before a blog really but what I do, do is that I’m always thinking about ways I can say things. When a new idea comes up I will jot it down on a note pad or more often in my phone. I hoe this helps 🙂

  3. Hello there, I found your blog via Google even as searching for a comparable matter, your site came up, it seems to be good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  4. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with valuable info to paintings on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole group shall be thankful to you.

    1. Hi Scott I have shared your post on Whatsapp as I totally agree with you as to the importance of setting goals and what a life saver they can be. When I had a nervous breakdown at the end of 2013 I started doing crazy OCD checking rituals 10 hours a day till 5am in the morning. No matter how tired I was I had to do the 10 hours of checking it was ruining my life. But I was having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and started to set goals for reducing the OCD every day which I would write down in documents that were pages long because there were so many rituals. Even though the goals were modest like reducing checking the car from 1000 times a night to 900 it gave me a sense of achievement and stopped me falling into despair as I was becoming suicidal. Congratulations for having come so far with your brain injury I can tell you worked really hard to overcome it and thank you for following my blog. Happy Christmas Caroline

      1. Thanks for sharing this with me Caroline. A goal is a goal and it doesn’t matter how big or small it is as long as it brings a sense of achievement. Merry Christmas to you too.

  5. Lovely to meet you Scott! It’s truly fantastic and so constructive how you are channelling your experiences to help others, and as Servantsaint says, doing this work will be sure to benefit you too. Thanks for the follow, and i’ll be following back…

  6. Hi Scott!
    Thanks for following my blog and I would like to tell you that writing a blog yourself has incredible benefits. I started my blog only 2 months ago in sept and i find writing really crystallizes my thoughts and helps me think more deeply.
    Am sure wrting will have similar positive benefits for you.
    Wishing you well on your journey. I look forward to learning from you abt brain injury.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing something so very personal. I wish I’d had access to your viewpoints when I was researching one of my books, The Trial of Tompa Lee. It features a hero with brain damage — and despite this, he’s every bit the romantic hero. But although I had a former lawyer helping write the story, it was hard to find first person accounts of brain damage. Thanks for adding to our knowledge.

    1. That’s great Ed. It’s great to see someone taking an interest in the Injured Brain. I would love to read your book.

      My insight would have gone towards the puzzle but as the saying goes, ‘if you’ve seen one brain injury, you’ve seen one brain injury’. They can be so different in so many ways.

      I’ve just written a book also, about my journey and overcoming adversity. The book is due to be released early next year. If you follow my blog, I will be writing one about it when it’s out.

  8. Oh Scott, I am blown away by learning a little about yourself. All as a result of me coming here to offer my thanks for your recent decision to follow Learning from Dogs. Do you have a dog in your life? If so, please consider writing a guest post for me and my readers. Best wishes to you!

  9. Hi Scott,
    I hope to learn a lot from your blog on how you managed inspite of the brain injury, how you got through and what’s actually happening inside the head.
    Thanks for sharing and thanks for the follow.

    1. Hi @Smitha, I’m happy to read this comment and I really hope that I can educate and inspire you.

  10. As a carer for my husband with brain injury I look forward to reading your story and thoughts in the hope to help my husband

    1. Hi Janelle,
      I can’t wait to empty my brain into this blog to possibly help people like yourself get a better understanding of what is going on in our heads. A lot that gets said will be relatable and the interviews will give a different perspective that I can’t offer. Welcome aboard.
      Kind regards

  11. Hi Scott I have a brain injury after a car accident in 2009. I mountain hike daily or really often by the minute too and I liked the way you put that. This blog is a good idea ( not sure I know how to blog but I can learn it) I feel alone at times because others can’t understand and make comments like ” I’ve told you that before” or “I’ve shown u how to do that several times” and people assume I’m being lazy – if they only realised how hard I try all the time and it’s not that I’m ever lazy sometimes I just need to find another way to do something that works or makes sense to me. Good luck with your rehab and I hope your blog goes well Janet

    1. Hi Janet,
      I have been on a roller coaster ride since my accident and have found that many, many people don’t understand me either. Your words ring true in my ears and I’m sure there are many, many people that feel the same. This is why I would like to share this blog with everyone. If you would like, you can sign up to follow my blog. I hope you can relate to my words.
      Kind regards

  12. Great intro blog Scott. Can’t wait to read the rest of them. I’m sure that they will be helpful to many!

  13. Scott, thank you for sharing. Your determination seems to be matched with plenty of courage! I look forward to learning from you. Regards from Jill

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