Support, I think NOT!!


I have sat on this topic for a long time, and I have finally had enough. This time of year can cause survivors and caregivers fall into a state of discomfort, or depression. I lost my taste and smell, I have trouble from Halloween until the new year.  Every person, situation and experience is unique, and we all find our way to cope with tough times.

With that being said, here is my rant. Survivors and caregivers alike all have our tight circle of support that cannot be broken and we will defend to the death. On top of that circle there are other ways that we find support from others that have similar situations. A face to face support group, a Facebook group to name a few. A support group is meant to be a safe place to talk about topics that we may otherwise feel uncomfortable. When I go into a support group to speak, attend, chat, or looking for support, the last thing I want to see is negativity. TO POST IN A SUPPORT GROUP “IF I COULD DIE, I WOULD,” or something similar is unacceptable. There will always be a spot of negativity in all of us, its a human reaction. DO NOT USE A PLATFORM TO SAY THINGS LIKE THIS THAT COULD LEAD A PERSON IN A VERY BAD PLACE OVER THE EDGE. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!!!

I am a very easy person to get along with, and I am grateful that I can help people see things a little outside of the box that may help. There comes a time when you have to let the teeth come out and defend my belief. By saying things, or asking people to pay money to have lunch, coffee, or a dinner with you is a fucking low life move. a survivor and caregiver will at times reach for anything in the air to assist them in finding an answer to a question that has no true answer. We as a community need to come together as a group and help others in any way that we can. A simple “how are you” can be enough to make a person feel value when they are in a bad place.

IN CLOSING, ESPECIALLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA, IF YOU ARE KNOWINGLY POSTING NEGATIVITY, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND THINK A LITTLE, IF YOU ARE USING TBI AS YOUR NEW FOUND CAREER CHOICE, AT LEAST HAVE THE DECENCY TO KEEP IT AS A SEPARATE PLATFORM, NOT MASQUERADE IT AS SUPPORT. The community needs all of us to provide support, hope, knowledge, and education. STAND TOGETHER AS ONE OR WE FALL AS INDIVIDUALS.

I will gladly talk to anyone who thinks I am wrong or blowing this out of proportion (which I am not), leave a comment lets talk

RANT COMPLETE, typos and all

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No comfort in comfort zone


I was given the opportunity this weekend to speak at the BIAPA state conference. I had a 1 hour time slot and my topic of choice was to talk about how I was able to teach myslf how to speed up my recovery.

The puzzled look comes in when it came to some of the faces that I saw while I was speaking. If there is one thing that most people know about me, it that I live in the positive. I always touch on the negative, but trying to convince someone not to be negative is much harder than trying to show them how to be positive. Pessimism is a contradiction to success. Successs can be defined in many ways. If you come outside of your comfort zone of pity for even a short time and see that the world goes on, there are plenty of positive opportunities. Baby steps is your first step. If you try to invent the next revolution to mankind, you may, but first you need the pen and paper to write that revolution down.

The only comfort in the comfort zone is denial. Whatever your situation in life is, step out of the comfort zone, outside the box, and make a difference in yourself. There is a lot of goood in the world to see, and we only have 1 chance on this big round rock. You owe it to you and the people around you to start seeing that the forest has a hell of a lot more in it than the trees. Open your eyes, stop bitching, and get to work, your happiness depends on it.

Most of the people in that room understood that happiness is built from the inside, they just need to hear that its ok not be perfect, but do not stand still and wait for it to come to you.

The one thing that is common with all brain injuries is that there is no perfect road to success. Pick your mission, set your course, and go get it, it wont sit there and wait forever.

(P.S. I have a new keyboard and dont give a damn about spelling errors, lol, it doesnt change the message)

MJK

Cheating with “The Lone Wolf”


I am going to cheat a little today and repost a writing that I have posted before. I had this mentality recently after a long hiatus from it. I don’t like being the “Lone Wolf”  mentality and I was able to snap myself out pretty quickly. Persistence, motivation and drive to stay positive is paying off, and now I give unto you, lol,  Lone Wolf” repeat.

The Lone Wolf, the self proclaimed bad ass that decides it is time to separate from the pack and go it alone. From the outside looking in, and at the surface this looks like the place to be, but is it really? It has its positives. Dance to the beat of your own drum, live on your own terms, come and go as you please, no one to judge or downgrade your way of thinking, and no accountability for your actions in most cases. This seems pretty cool to be the lone wolf, until you go in the den of a lone wolf and see the truth behind the lifestyle. What can’t be seen from the outside is the pain that the wolf suffers from everyday. the worst part of it is, it is done by choice. All of this can be avoided if this wolf would just become part of the pack. All lone wolves have their strength and can get by with what they have and what they are capable of. What the lone wolf is missing is the strength in numbers. It is very easy to see that numbers gives you the upper hand. I can see like an eagle, but I have no smell. I need the other wolves to smell, so I can see. I need the other wolves to protect my back from enemies. I need the other wolves to give me a quick nip to the leg when I decide that something looks like fun, when in actuality it could be catastrophic. Humans are the same way. Being the lone wolf looks good for awhile, but eventually it bites you in the butt. Personally I like to have a pack of wolves with me to protect me, watch after me, and add to my strengths. I have a tendency to rogue once in awhile, test the waters of authority, or just go about things in my own way. That does not mean that I am going to leave my pack. They will always be there to lick my wounds when I return to the den. When you stay out there for too long the pack will move on. You will then be left in your den alone. When the end of the woods comes around, you are going to have regrets and wish that you would have done things differently. Don’t let your legend be the Lone Wolf, because if you go for the short term gratification of the lone wolf, you may regret it in the end

Akela, the Lone Wolf

Akela, the Lone Wolf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 in 324,661,586


According tot he US population clock, at this very moment the population in the United States is 324,661,586, and negativity is everywhere we look, EVERYWHERE. As a person, if you are one of the less fortunate that swims in a pool of negativity, open up your eyes, look around, and embrace what you have around you.  Think about this for just a second. You have a 1 in 326 million chance of reading this if you live in the US right? This may seem a little satirical to you, but think about it. If you live your life in the negative and pity because only 10 people care about how you feel that should say something. Only 10 people of 326 million people give a shit about your negative feelings. Now compare that to 10 people that care that you are having a great day. It only stands to reason that your 10 people that care about your great day will grow, and your 10 people that care about the negative will shrink. The country has enough negativity, your 10 people do not want to hear more, in a short period of time that number will shrink. On the opposite end, the good 10 will grow. If you simply begin to be positive about something, you will tip the scales rather quickly with the number of people in your circle that actually give a hit, because they want to give a shit, not because they have to listen to you whine. If you are having any trouble finding something positive, here is one to start worth. You are lucky, 1 in 326,000,000 lucky to have read this post…(yes, i’m smiling) now share this with your friends so they can smile too.

Beyond the Badge


I just received an email from the Brain Injury Association of PA, (BIAPA) to notify me that my submission for presentation at the state conference has been accepted. I believe that my TBI is a badge of life that I am proud to wear. The title, “Beyond the Badge” is important to me because some of the things that plague survivors and caregivers of TBI are similar to the things that can plague emergency responders, and the military.

Survivors tend to seem recovered to most once the physical recovery is complete, for lack of better words. What cannot be seen is what lingers in the background for a very long time, and possibly forever, time will tell.  Those who wear the badge, and our military are strong and respected, in most cases, what lacks is looking behind the uniform to see what lies within the person.

The physical recovery, or the uniform are signs of strength, and that is good, it can seem that when the smoke clears from physical injuries, and the uniform comes off things are back to normal. The storm has past, what people don’t see is that the storm has just begun. Memories, dreams, situations, pride, lack of self esteem, guilt, depression, and many more are hidden from plain view in an effort to please the people around us, and give ourselves the feeling of strength.

The stigma that is associated with admitting we may need some support stops people from extending our arms for help. The results from this lack of reaching out can have catastrophic consequences, including the taking of ones life. The support is there, tap into it. Family, friends, co-workers and mental health professionals are all options. I am not going to say that any one is better than the other, but it a starting point.

With that all being said, I am a firm believer that the people around us, especially the mental health community can learn a lot from the person behind the badge. Learning by book is a needed and important tool in the education of professionals, but in my opinion learning from the ones that have experienced it, that are willing and able to articulate it, can be just as if not more valuable. The thought process and reasons for thoughts or emotions could be used to assist other clients by adding a new tool to the tool box. The information learned could be applied to care plan objectives leading to a faster, and or better outcome for the client.

I may be getting a little of course here so I will end this now. The takeaway from this is that if you are in the weeds and feeling lost, reach out for help, I did, and made a substantial difference in the quality of my life. Do not be afraid or embarrassed, either the people around you will agree and accept your willingness, if not, maybe they aren’t the people that you want in your circle to begin with.

Awareness does not mean profit and self greed


I do a lot of research and learning about brain injury. I probably don’t speak enough about what I do in an effort to help the TBI community, but I am not in this for recognition. I came across a situation that appears to be an embellishment on the truth. A very vague description of injury, multiple attempts to have a conversation purely out of interest. I have been ignored multiple times, people have been thrown out of a group for asking questions, asking for donations to help with awareness cause, and in a separate comment thread saying that the money is being used for travel and other expenses. Charging people to have a cup of coffee with you, lunch with you, an autographed copy of a book that is about other peoples stories with rights to edit it.  As a brain injury survivor, I know first hand that a survivor will go to the ends of the earth to find help in their recovery. That want of finding hope can make us at times gullible, believe if you want or don’t I really don’t care. The simple fact that you are wanting to profit by possibly offering something that isn’t there is just plain wrong. Once this came to my eye, I began to dig deeper, (that’s what I do) I have done it since my injury in an effort to learn more. That drive to learn more has taught me to research to the fullest extent that I am capable. What I learned is that people very close to this person has stated that this person admitted to the fact that they are using this for self profit. These people will not come forward and admit what they know, I see no problem with that, self protection is a part of all of us. This post is not going to say names, but if it is read by you, you know who you are, and I ask you to contact me just so I can learn more about you and have a conversation. Could I be completely wrong about this, its possible, and if it is I would like to set the record straight and admit my wrong doing. Lets talk about the extent of your injury, we are a tight group as survivors and caregivers, if it so vague that many people are questioning you, lets show that you are in fact who you say you are. I don’t ask this for me, the community wants to know, so I took this under my wing. The next post if needed will include some details of the people that know the truth. It will include an article that has a photo and some of the same questions that were asked here. Agree with me or not, I am going to see this through. Have a nice day and please email me if you read this, you have the email address.

Goals suck, missions lead to success!


Over the course of a month, I talk with hundreds of survivors or caregivers. I never attempt to tell someone what will work, or what will not, we simply talk and share our story. With that being said, there is a trend that I have seen over the last three to four years, GOALS SUCK!!
This came to light yesterdays in a conversation where I was challenged on my thought process about goals vs. missions. When you really sit down and look at the difference between the two, it is hard to argue that a mission will lead to success/results more often than not.

A goal is something that we all have or have had throughout our entire existence, and I am willing to bet that most of those goals never came to fruition. A goal can be realistic or not realistic at all, and there is no path in place to accomplish a goal, in my opinion that leads to failure or not reaching that goal.

A mission, on the other hand, is not just a thought and a hope for success. A mission is a thought out result that requires planning and requires action to achieve the result wanted.

I will use the example of a police officer. Almost every young boy says that he wants to be a police officer or a firefighter when they are growing up. That can be followed in two ways. One way is simply to say that I hope to be a police officer some day. That in simple terms is a goal, most likely wont happen. The second way is to make it a mission with planning and well thought out actions. Those actions could include college courses that may be needed for the job, first responder training, weapon safety, staying in top physical conditions, and being comfortable with speaking to people from all walks of life.

As a survivor, we all have our sights set on the best outcome for ourselves and everyone around us. If I would have set my recovery success as goals instead of missions, and not held myself accountable for succeeding or failing the missions, I would not have been able to get back to where I am today.

I hope that you take away from this that by setting goals, you are cheating yourself from results, missions lead to success!!