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)


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!!

Trending Now

I am going to keep this very short and to the point. Recently as I go about my day I am seeing a trend that strikes me as very disrespectful. It seems lately that anything that goes wrong to someone that has a TBI, that the TBI is to blame. I am not saying that things do not happen that can be tied directly to an injury. The point is that just because we have TBI does not mean that we get a free pass for our actions. The days in this country of always placing blame and not accepting the consequences of our actions is disturbing. This mindset is not only happening, it also being shared by the TBI community, and in some instances accepted as a fact. If you want to see a stigma attached to TBI survivors of reckless actions, and inability to process your thoughts as the normal for survivors, then keep on spreading the poison. If you truly want to stand up and be heard, quit blaming your injury for everything that goes wrong. take responsibility. This attitude is not healthy, and it is irresponsible for others to feed into it, especially when in most cases the facts show otherwise.

Know when to roar

Being miserable in life is so much harder than being happy and nice. I have learned this lesson many times in life, especially since my TBI. At times it is a daily struggle to just let some things slide by without reacting quickly. I have been able to reason with myself in most situations prior to actions. Today I had one of those days that this wasnt the case. Fortunately it was in type and not with the spoken word. It took quite some time to type a paragraph after several edits and still get my point across with no doubt as to what the point was. I usually write my posts at the end of the day when I have time to look at the day and a topic pops to my head. In the last week or two I have been a bear. To my wife Ann especially. One minute I would be happy then go straight to pissed. It sucked for me but was unfair and sucked even worse for her. I am finally coming back to reality, but today I had to show the other side. I was very careful with my words, but I was border line over the top. The good thing was that I was able to choose my words so as not to seem over bearing, while at the same time showing that kindness will not be mistaken for weakness.  My point is simple. If we look at our day before we retire for the night, we can easily see the happy moments usually outweigh the bad.

I totally just lost my train of thought, I will stop this until I remember what I was talking about.

23 a Day

Some people probably saw the title of this and just clicked right through it because this title makes no sense, or doesn’t know what it means. I am going to shed some light on the significance of this title in a short but to the point fashion. 23 a day is the number of veterans or active duty military personnel commit suicide. That is 1 every 65 minutes, every day. Speaking as a veteran and a concerned citizen, that number is not acceptable. Our military is the most dedicated and least selfish fighting force in the world. It shows in their actions, the job that they do, and no complaining for being asked to go to combat at the drop of a hat. Everybody loves a soldier when they are in combat because we feel for them being away and in a hostile environment. What do we do when they return from that hostile environment. Pretty much as a society, we forget that they were there. The tour has ended, the conflict comes to a close, and then we go about our lives and forget about this brave fighting force. Oh wait, let me take that back. We forget about them unless there is a controversial story involving a veteran or soldier. They return to criticism because they have changed, or have a different outlook. Families are lost, homeless and alone, just to name a few. That is about to change. I have recently become a member of an all volunteer organization that provides support and resources to our troops. This organization is called Warrior Pointe. The most compassionate group of people I have met in quite some time, willing to drop everything and come together for the same cause, helping veterans. Warrior Pointe is run by former or acting military only. Always looking for more veterans who love their country and care for others, I am going to post a link to this all volunteer force to be reckined with. The mission is simple, yet hard work. That #23 will be brought to zero if Warrior Pointe has anything to do with it!!!   If you are veteran and would love to make a difference, I would ask you to take a look at this organization.