Our lives are a succession of moments, beginning with the moment we pop out of the womb, all slimy and new, and ending with the moment we take our last breath. Somewhere in between that beginning and that end, some of us experience a brain injury as a defining moment and life-changing event
Many dramatic changes occur in our lives due to our brain injury, and
we tend to view life in two distinct pieces; “what we were before” and “what we were after” our brain injury. However, there is one thing doesn’t that change; as we live our lives, there continues to be a constant flow of moments which affect us, through which we experience our lives, we learn and we grow. Although what happens to us during these moments isn’t always something we have control over, how we react to what happens is.
These moments of our lives are not like what you see in a coffee commercial; they are not always warm, snuggly moments in a snow-covered cabin sitting by the fire, drinking coffee. As we well know, some of the moments of our life, especially the TBI moments, can be gritty, ugly, pain-ridden and full of failure, but it is our responsibility, however difficult, to receive these moments in such a way that they contribute something positive to our lives.
“Contribute? What, are you crazy?”
“No, I’m not.”
Let’s look at what is going on here. Each moment is just a passage of time when something happens, and, as humans, we seem to feel obliged to judge what happens in terms of good and bad. We give these moments meaning, and often attach exaggerated importance to them. However, rather than label them as good or bad, what if we simply accepted them as moments in our lives when things happen.
Let’s look at one type of moment:
“There it is again,” you exclaim as you smack your leg, disgusted because you realized you forgot to do something, yet again. Everything you already know about yourself has been proven once more; about how you can’t do anything right, and how that “damn brain injury” has messed up your life. This becomes a familiar mantra in your head; about how that “damn brain injury” has screwed up your life.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
It may very well be true that your “damn brain injury” has completely messed things up for you. We think that by blaming what just happened on that “damn brain injury”, we are saying, “It wasn’t really my fault. If I didn’t have the brain injury that wouldn’t have happened.” The trouble is, when you buy into the fact that every bad moment or thing that happens is the fault of your brain injury, and you blame it for all the s*** that is going wrong, you are not making it any easier on yourself.
Moving forward is all about doing things for yourself that improve your life, and while you may not always have a positive attitude about what is happening, it is important not to be negative, or to drag yourself down. That means not getting bogged down in the bad, ugly or painful moments, and not putting too much emphasis on them. Not everything is an earth shattering event…they are just moments. Blaming things constantly on your brain injury brings you back to the place where nothing is in your control…and that’s a place you don’t want to be.
You might start by looking at the moments of your life as just that; individual moments in your life, not always a sign of things to come, or indicative of your life. When looked at as individual moments, they are much easier to manage in terms of your attitude. By looking at the occurrences in your life as “moments”, or things that just happen which you accept, you will find it easier to deal with the emotional reactions you have to events, and you’ll also be less likely to be emotionally influenced by their results.
Don’t say, “Oh, I always do stuff like that.” Don ‘t reinforce behavior that may not be good for you. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt, the ability to learn and grow.
Think of a moment as a drop of water. Deal with each drop as a moment in your life, and don’t make one moment indicative of your whole life by always going back to blaming your brain injury. Holding back a few drops of water is easier than holding back a flood, and so too, dealing with each moment by itself is easier than fighting back against the flood of events and emotions that accumulate when you’re always blaming and lumping things together under the “brain injury umbrella”. Living our lives from moment to moment helps us to create a world where we can be the master of how we look at our lives and those moments in our lives.
Realizing you are the master is one of the greatest revelations you can have, and will contribute in a big way to getting your life back.
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