It’s All Good: A Life of Possibilities After a Brain Injury
“It’s all good,” said James, a seven-year brain injury survivor, as he finished telling me about the struggles he was experiencing. He quickly transitioned to explain how his life was also good and rewarding— he had a few good friends, kids, a job cleaning a restaurant, home workshop, and can drive a limited distance from home.
While James has many cognitive and physical disabilities from his truck accident, he is able to put his struggles into a broader perspective to appreciate what is good in life.
Appreciation and Acceptance
For many brain injury survivors, like James, appreciating what adds value to their lives help them persevere through daily struggles. They also develop the resilience needed to keep moving forward to make their lives better. This is often difficult for many survivors who want their “old life back” after a TBI. Acceptance of their current life is a turning point to seeing the deep value and possibilities of their new normal.
To develop appreciation for your life after a TBI, you can start by reflecting on what you receive from others that add value to your life, and how you add value to them. Being more reciprocal causes you to appreciate what you both receive and give to others. A life filled with giving and receiving helps you feel more constructive and supported in life.
Start By Creating Relationships Of Value
To start, pick one person in your life and answer the following questions. Don’t worry if you receive more than you give to some people, or the opposite. You can create more balanced relationships with them down the road.
What have I received from this person in my life?
What have I given to this person?
What additional actions can I take to enhance this person’s life?
What else do I need from this person that will enhance my life?