There is a children’s book I used to read to my kids, called, “Where the Wild Things Are”. If my memory serves me correctly, since it was about twenty years ago, the book is about the wild things that can dwell in kids’ imaginations. To me, the point of that book is that our imaginations and minds are powerful and fantastical, and can create and control all kinds of thoughts, making us think we are seeing things we really aren’t.
What if we wrote a book called, “Where the Truth Is”?, and dedicated it to the story of the truth and our brain injuries? What is the truth? Is it what the doctors told us? Is it what we read on the Internet? And what about the story we tell ourselves and others over and over about why things are the way they are?
At first our brain injury is so huge it completely controls our thoughts, reactions, and actions, but at some point we need to start living our lives, finding a way to develop some separation from things that have happened in our past, regardless of how much they influence our present. At some point, we are who we are, and we’re not a damaged piece of merchandise. The truth is, we’re never going to be what we once were, so we might as well get on with who we are going to be.
That is a harsh truth, heartbreaking, but it is the truth and we can’t run away from it.
Is there a truth that you’ve been avoiding for one reason or another? Sometimes it’s hard to admit the truth, especially when we look at it as an admission of our limitations because we never want to give in. However, there are different ways to look at it, and it doesn’t have to be looked at as giving in or giving up…not when what we are doing is accepting the truth. Sometimes we fight the truth and that just holds us back because then we have become an unwilling participant in our own lives. Accepting the truth allows us to move on with energy and vigor, and allows us to create a life that we are proud of. Accepting the truth means working within ourselves to create positives, while not simply accepting negatives, and using these positives to go beyond our limits, to places we never dreamed.
So what does this mean for us?
Basically, it simply means that we must come to grips with our TBI or ABI and our new life before we can really move on to live a fulfilled life. We must be honest with ourselves, and we must define the fight in order to move on from our brain injury. Once we acknowledge the truth, fulfillment will be possible, but unless we’re honest with ourselves we’ll never know what we’re fighting against.
Our minds are powerful tools for fighting back against our Brain Injury. When we accept the truth we make our minds allies in the fight, and we can achieve any outcome we can imagine, it just may not look like what we thought it was going to look like. The truth is one of the most important tools in moving forward after brain injury, because being honest with yourself about who you are and what you are is the first step towards leading a fulfilled life.