Life after Head Injury: Finding my Purpose
For years I’ve been collecting my notes and thoughts about life after my brain injury. I’ve been writing it all down and saving it, so I can recall it when needed. When I was talking to my husband about lacking a professional aspect of my life right now, I started thinking about my purpose and what currently drives me – and it’s two things (1) my children and family and (2) my recovery. What can I do with all of this experience? How can I help people with all of this knowledge?? This is how “Remember This” started. I would love for my years of tips and tricks to be a cheat sheet to those newly diagnosed. On the flip side, I could certainly benefit from hearing from a new network of resources. I am always looking for new ways to survive!
I am a little less than one month in and I am learning how incredibly hard it is to blog, especially since I get sidetracked and distracted by another blog when I want to be working on mine. There is SO much information out there to read and digest, and so many great resources amongst every day people. Since I am constantly trying to be better, I am always reading and researching the newest thing that’ll help us survive and make our life easier, and now here I am trying to organize it all in an easy to follow way for a person that is in my same shoes. I want to be a one stop shop for a newly diagnosed post-TBI parent, trying to navigate life beyond their injury.
To my Followers and those that have been commenting and emailing me- thank you, thank you, thank you, you are an inspiration. Your feedback is forcing me to persevere and I am so very grateful. As incredibly hard as it is to manage my health, children and now blog, it is more rewarding than I ever could’ve imagined and I am so appreciative to connect with this new network of people, which further supports me in this crazy ass post-TBI parenting life.
In planning my blog launch, my plan was to set small, manageable steps for myself. I didn’t want to get discouraged and wanted to make sure I achieved smaller goals before I set my sights on larger ones. My first goal was to hit ten posts before I started promoting my blog and I’m there- this is my tenth post. I did however, share one post, “You don’t look like you had a head injury…” way earlier than I initially planned because it was filled with a lot of emotion and passion- and I knew it was a common gripe of people recovering from a concussion. What I didn’t anticipate was reaching over 500 people over the course of two days and all of the “thank you for sharing our experience,” comments I received. Some of your stories even brought tears to my eyes because despite my memory challenges, I remember what it feels like when I was initially diagnosed, and reading your words brought me back to such a frustrating time in my life, one that was filled with angst, worry and a whole lot of pain. But here I am, years later, living and learning from this journey and being a Mom to three incredible children, who wouldn’t have been in my life if it wasn’t for my accident. So keep on, my newly diagnosed friends, it sure as hell hasn’t been easy, but it does get better.
The purpose of my blog is to share my story with those that don’t know me. I want to connect with the people that are just like me, TBI survivors and parents of children that are learning to survive past their TBIs and PCS (post concussive syndrome). Being a parent is hard in any capacity, adding a disability makes it trickier. In discussing my goals with my husband I told him how I thought it is best for me to keep this blog to myself, and that I don’t want to promote it amongst my family and friends because they are not my target audience. Our family and friends were aware of my accident and as time goes on, it becomes an even more distant memory for them as they become wrapped up in their work, school, children and families (as it should!). Other than a few hours when we get together to do something, they don’t see all of our behind the scenes strategies that allow us to be successful with our three children, because they don’t need to live that way. I want to reach the families that are like us, struggling to balance their health and chronic pain with raising an army of their own. I also didn’t want sympathy. I don’t want people to treating me any differently than they currently do, because I have been extremely fortunate since my accident- I can honestly say I don’t think I lost one friend or family member due to my circumstances. They may not understand them, but they have continued to accept me and respect the boundaries I have for myself.
So I’m starting out a little bit behind in terms of Readers, because other than my husband and Mom, no one I personally know knows about this. I haven’t shared my blog with any friends or family, and my husband and Mom weren’t supposed to either. My mom is the keeper of the secrets in our family and is always juggling the “don’t tell anyone” stories her confidents share with her. So when I told her about my blog and how I wanted to keep it a secret, I’m pretty sure she said okay (at least that’s how I remember it). Ten days later at her house for a family dinner, my sister asks me about the blog my mom told her about. She said she started crying when she read some of my posts. I looked at my Mom and asked, “what happened to keeping it a secret?!” And she replied that she didn’t remember that at all. That she shared it with a few friends from work, a neighbor and told my sister. So now my two person, personal network has expanded to maybe a dozen, so if my mom has sent you my way, thanks for reading. She’s always been one of my biggest fans, so I will be grateful she’s still proud of me and wanted to help me share my story. The only thing that worries me now is that there’s two of us in my family with memory problems.
Here are my stats for the past month (four days shy of a full month past my first post, to be exact), I am very proud of this, but I know my TBI parenting club stretches much further than these numbers.
So if you could, please share your story with me, feel free to share mine and follow along. I’d also love to start featuring other TBI parents that have similar struggles- what drives you? What makes this journey that much harder? What are you concerned about or what do you do differently to make this journey just a LITTLE bit easier?
In the meantime, keep trying to balance it all but remember that it’s impossible. Take care of yourself first, because if you don’t, who will take care of the kids?
Be well, xo.