by Mark Koning
Imagine being in a loving, easy-going marriage; having and raising two amazing kids, one boy and one girl; driving your dream car; being at the top of a successful career; being a part of a great social scene. Can you picture it? Now, imagine that in an instant it is gone!
Your marriage has become strained and frustrating.
Your kids now help take care of you.
Your social status and participation has slipped away.
You can’t drive anymore.
You lose your job to your own inabilities, or worse, discrimination.
Your life now seems to be consumed with yelling, hatred, confusion and frustration.
Depending on your injury you may have problems with understanding, communication, vision, headaches, fatigue, or more. If you haven’t completely decided to give up, life is a constant struggle.
Some people, friends, colleagues, even family, don’t understand what you are going through and look at you strangely; if at all.
We are told by some others that it is okay, even encouraged, to disclose. But no one really wants to hear it. They don’t fully believe you because they can’t see it; they say “you don’t look sick.”
Not very pretty is it? Is this what life with a brain injury is all about? Perhaps. Perhaps not. To some people I suppose it is. But it doesn’t necessarily take a brain injury to complicate life and present challenges. So I say to those people, survivors of the injury and the people without, if you believe those above (negative) statements to be true, than you don’t know brain injury.
Are there limitations and barriers to overcome? Yes. But regardless of any injury or disability, there will always be obstacles.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll
Can you imagine that surviving a brain injury can lead to serenity, an inner clarity, to a drive and passion, to hidden abilities?
It is true. I know people who make use of skills they never bothered with before. People have learned what true responsibility and accountability means. I know people who have developed better attitudes and have learned to enjoy. Things that are most meaningful and necessary are analyzed. People learn to slow down and appreciate not only life, but other people…… and the world could surely use more of that.
The brain is an amazing thing; it can change, adapt and learn new things. We are all capable of more than any of us realize. Don’t give up, just imagine!