English: US Marine Corps Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant T. Warren, Platoon 1057, Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, stands at parade rest while waiting for the Battalion Commander aboard , . The Battalion Commander is inspecting the B CO recruits as they wrap up their final week of recruit training. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When enough turns out to be too much, how you choose to fight the battle can be tricky. One downside to having a traumatic brain injury is that the mind can switch from zero to mach 4 in a heartbeat. I am very fortunate to be able to see this happening more often than not. That vision allows me to think before I speak or act. In the last month or so, there has been a few things that I have been faced with that has put me close to the breaking point. I am a very tolerant person, and pretty easy to get along with for the most part.However, when enough becomes enough, it is time to take action. I contracted a company to do some work at my house on the outside. They are a large company with a pretty good reputation. I don’t think that seamless gutters and soffit fascia, should take a year and a half. The actual work was done, but many problems came from them. Several calls to the company went without results. Finally after a year and a half, I took action and went bat shit crazy on the company. A representative will be here in 3 days. The second one, which is a much much bigger problem is one that I cannot give details about yet. Trust me when I say, if you want to make a person very angry, mess with their pay. To make it worse, mess with the others pay as well. Hopefully, this will be resolved very quickly and the red color in my neck will be able to fade away. Top all of that off with a few changes in your recovery state from a TBI, the perfect storm is brewing. This is when the ability to separate frustration from anger comes into play. The nice guy mentality has the tendency to fade away very quickly. I have Ann to keep me in my shoes. Hooray for that. She hates to see me get upset. When I do get to that point, the caring wife, or the drill sergeant comes out of her, whichever is needed. I am very thankful for both sides of her. She keeps me focused on reality, instead of what would make me happy for the short term. What I am slowly learning is that getting prematurely frustrated and angry is not the best way to go about solving problems. Sometimes it just feels good to let it loose, but when the euphoria subsides, the problem is still there and still needs to be solved. With her by my side, there is no mountain that I can’t climb!!
Today I am pissed so this will be somewhat of a rant, with a very good subject pointed out. I am going to start with the obvious. Traumatic brain injury (TBI). Does it suck? yes. Is it hard to get people to see beyond the appearance of a person? yes. Are there bad days? yes. You know what sucks even more? People who do not have the want or the intent to be positive and accept the fact that it happened and move forward. Its not something that comes automatically. It takes work and the work is hard. I am sick of hearing people thinking that they are now stuck in an endless tunnel of shit without having a way out. This is what I hear daily in my interaction with other TBI’ers. “I got hit by a drunk driver, my life sucks, no one understands, blah blah blah” Of course drunk driver’s are morons, we all know that, and know one ever will understand anything but the bad side if you don’t stand up for yourself and think positive. We as human beings create the aura that surrounds us. If you want to be surrounded my negative people, then be negative. If you want to be surrounded by positive people then think positive. It truly is that simple. If you want to change the way that you are wired in thoughts, then start right now. The only way we can’t change the thought process is by being lazy, and there is a lot of that going around these days. We, as people, are allergic to being wrong or learning life lessons. That holds us back. If the only thing that you take from life is what you believe in right now, and the fear of being judged, then you are losing out, and are very naive. If you are proved wrong, look at things at a different light, or even make a few people mad because of how you think and carry yourself, its OK!!! I read a quote somewhere a quote that says this, “He that has no enemies, has no character.” I wish I remembered the author of that quote, it is not me, I know that much.
When it comes to everyday life there are two things that you can guarantee in conversation. There will be someone who listen, agrees, and wants to learn more. The other is, there is always someone that will disagree and possibly judge you. Who cares? We are far too scared to be judged. When you sit back and just watch life go by without taking a chance or worrying that you will be judged, YOU ARE JUDGING YOURSELF!! There is no bigger critic than yourself. If you can’t step out of your comfort zone for fear of being weak or wrong, then you will miss out on amazing lessons that others have to offer. Stand tall, be proud, do not be afraid of judgement, and live life. Everyone is being wrongfully judged, but if you sit back and let it happen without a voice, then you most likely will deserve what you end up with. Strive for AWESOMENESS and you will be surprised what you can overcome!!!
I have set myself very specific goals once I started my road to recovery. I have reached a lot of those goals and some are still out there waiting for me to catch them. As always I am not going to slow down to reach those goals and now more than ever I have been given more motivation. One of my biggest goals and possibly one of the hardest ones to reach was to write a book telling my story about life after a Traumatic Brain Injury. Well guess what? I just got a call from my editor. She wants to meet with me because the editing IS DONE!!! This has kept the goosebumps on my arms since I got off the phone. I always knew that if I kept driving forward that good things could and would happen. There have been so many good things happen and I am not down playing them at all, but when you finally reach a major goal in your life and you can look in the mirror and say “I am going to be a published author” it is a feeling that really really feels good. My wife is going to be very happy. She knows I wanted this. If I did not have the support from my friends and family that I have had since day one, I may not have accomplished this.
Life is such a challenge and a constant roller coaster. When something this positive happens it makes me look back and say “go to hell tough times, you can not stop me!!!” Brain injury or no brain injury I am AWESOME and I was just reminded of that again today!!! Life is amazing. There is nothing that is impossible when I strive for success
This post may seem a little offensive to some people that follow this blog but guess what? I am a big boy and I can handle it!!
I talk to or listen to or see posts from hundreds of TBI survivors and caregivers every week. I love it. I give my thoughts and opinions when asked and I am an open book when it comes to sharing my experiences. There is nothing that I hide. Some of these people are on FaceBook groups, some are in FaceBook and not in groups and some are by email. I have started to notice something that I realized before but it never sunk in like it has recently. I want to preface this by saying that a Brain injury sucks!! I t is a long winding road full of potholes and speed bumps. It can beat the hell out of you and kick you while you are down. That is the facts but there is so much more!! When I hear people constantly bitch and moan about how bad their brain injury is and will be forever I get a little frustrated. If you are able to type to me on the web then you have something going good for you. All of the energy that is used to pity yourself and look for reasons to stay that way is a waste of energy. Use that energy and find something that you can be thankful for instead of being pissed off about. Is it ok to be pissed off? Damn right it is It is also ok to find a silver lining in every situation that you face. When the bitching and moaning never end you are not only limiting yourself, but you are bringing others down with you. Do yourself a favor and find something good, anything!!! Every person on Earth has the ability to think positive even when the chips are down. When ever you feel kicked in the face dont say Aww poor me. Try adding a couple of letters to the word aww and turn it into AWESOME!!!!
That is a pretty arrogant statement. I bet you are thinking that at least a little. Guess what, its true. TBI, what does that stand for, what does that mean? To some that means Totally Bitchy Individual. To some it means Traumatic Brain Injury, and yet to others it means “hell if I know.” This should not com as a surprise to anyone that has had any experiences with a TBI or someone with a TBI. Have you ever seen a something on the TV that made you emotional enough that you had to change the channel or get up and go to another room? Have you ever walked into a grocery store and saw some of the faces on the cereal boxes and laugh because you can see them being modeled after a real person? Ever been in a stores electronic section and a half hour later you are still watching TV? Welcome to the life of a changed life! It is actually pretty neat to catch yourself in these moments. Afterwards I think to myself WTF was that all about? Two and a half years later and it still catches me off guard. It always is like watching a movie for the first time but is more like a train wreck. I cant quit thinking about it for hours. I try to explain it to myself but I am never successful. Picture yourself standing in a roomful of people speaking a different language and laughing at their jokes and trying to figure out what they said that made you laugh. that is a pretty good analogy. Now that i told you all of that you still have no clue but at least if you see someone laughing uncontrollably in the cereal aisle take a moment to say hello. The chances are pretty good that it is me.
That may sound like a really messed up title to those who have been through a TBI (traumatic brain injury) or the ones that are a caregiver for a survivor. I want to explain my point of view. A brain injury is a nightmare born in hell, there is no doubt about it. It also is an eye opener and a lot of good has come from it in my particular injury. I have spilled a lot of beans on this blog about my injury and the worst parts about it. I have also shared many things that have been good for me. I am slowly moving away from the bad things and trying to concentrate on the good. The bad are still there, but why worry about things you cannot change. It is much healthier for me to concentrate on the good and focus on my future.
I have always been very compassionate about my job and I am very good at it. The difference is that I am now more compassionate as a human being. I see things in a way that I did not see before. I try not to take anything for granted and I am usually successful. I enjoy the simple things in life more than before. I could look at clouds for long periods of time and just watch them move and change while they move. I watch birds tilt their head while in the grass and wonder how the heck they figure out where that worm is and very rarely miss their target. I like to think outside the box. Sometimes it makes me look crazy until I explain my reasoning, then I am only half as crazy to them. I turn everything into a math problem. Here is an example. I will sit on my front porch and count the first hundred cars and see how many people drive by with the driver texting while driving. (that really frustrates me when I see it.) I take that number and the time it took for those 100 cars to come past my house then turn that in to how many cars per hour will have texters driving. I will then multiply it by 24. That gives me an idea of how many people text and drive past my house in 24 hours. That is a very scary number. That may sound a little OCD but the numbers would shock you. What is so important that you are risking your life and others that you cant wait until you are stopped to text?
My TBI has shown me another part of this wonderful planet that I would have missed without my injury. It is a very refreshing feeling after going through hell
Tonight is going to be short and sweet and hopefully I dont get off course.
When you hear the words “Chinese Finger trap” what do you think of. I think I can safely say that we all think of that little toy that we put our fingers in and then we cant get them out no matter how hard we pull. That is what I always thought until I was shown another way to think about it. Sometimes I get a little confused about how to accomplish my tasks for the best results. There is a very smart woman that I speak with who gave me the other definition.
I recently talked about how there is no middle road for me. I fight and fight and fight to get the results that I want when it comes to my abilities and emotions. When this happens to me I quickly become the finger trap. The harder I fight the more difficult it becomes to reach the desired outcome. The problem that I have is that I dont see this until it is too late. In actuality if I slow down and stop fighting so hard I can usually find my way, sort of like the finger trap. The only outside force that is needed to remove your fingers is a thumb placed on the end of each side. The outside force that I have is myself. My outside force can easily be turned into a force inside of me which makes it much easier to control.
How is it that something so simple can be turned into something that you can relate to on another level. It truly freaks me out at times because these things are around you all of the time but we just can’t see them unless someone else shows us the way. When I get in the ring to fight that fight the only end result is going to be a KO. Reasoning with the fight and taking the time to see clearly, the fight can be reduced and the outcome will show up quickly which will put the mind st ease quicker and make you feel much more relaxed.
Remember when you get into that finger trap do yourself a favor and stay stress free by slowly making your way out without the fight.
Thank you!!!! You know who you are
Chinese finger trap (also known as Chinese finger prison, Chinese finger cuffs, Chinese finger puzzle, Chinese handcuffs, Mexican finger fun, Chinese finger torture and Mexican handcuffs) toys. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)