How to Survive A Car Accident ~ By Gunnar Watts

Before I post Gunnar’s Story Let me tell you what I decided last night. I invited everyone on my email list associated with Brain Injury Association of Delaware Support Group to Tell Me Their Story. We all have one and I wanted to make several points: I want us all to recognize how devastating it is to a person’s life to acquire a Traumatic Brain Injury, how resilient people are, and how pervasive TBI is in our society. I also wanted desperately to give them a voice, so I welcome Caretakers and Survivors to Tell Me you Story!

I want to thank all the people that I hope will take this opportunity to share their stories. Tonight I would like to Thank Gunnar Watts for sharing his. I think you are an amazing young man and that you very brave. Thank you for being the first story, that I am honored to post in a series of others I hope to post this month and throughout the life of this blog.

If anyone is seeking assistance for a Traumatic Brain Injury in Delaware,  please go to Brian Injury Association of Delaware via this website http://www.biaofde.org

Slide1

Slide2Slide3Slide4Slide6Slide5Slide7Slide8Slide9Slide10

By Gunnar Watts

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in brain injury, Childhood, disability, disability resources, inspirational, Photography, rehabilitation, Resilence, TBI, TBI resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Waiting For A Snow Storm

 Tonight I’m tired so I’m not going to write in my Blog, but I’m posting several pictures that I took in Milton and some from Lewes in 1974. I love the Snow and we really are waiting for a snow storm.  I become just like a little kid all over again and it’s like waiting for Santa Claus. I hope you enjoy the pictures. There may be Chili tomorrow!

1974 Lewes, Delaware A Couple Months after the hospital.

1974 Lewes, Delaware A Couple Months after the hospital.

Lewes 1974 Snow Storm A Snowball Fight Ensues

Lewes 1974 Snow Storm A Snowball Fight Ensues

 

March 2014 Milton Union Street

March 2014 Milton Union Street

I'm Following myself. In front of King's Homemade Ice Cream, Union St. Milton. March 2014.

I’m Following myself. In front of King’s Homemade Ice Cream, Union St. Milton. March 2014.

By Amy Kratz

One of my Favorite Places

The Snow Rests On a Cozy Chair

The Snow Rests On a Cozy Chair

Veteran's Memorial Milton ,DE

Veteran’s Memorial Milton ,DE

Is that a Face That Loves the SNOW, Or what??

Is that a Face That Loves the SNOW, Or what??

 

A Good Walk in the Snow Soothes the Soul     Mulberry Street, Milton

A Good Walk in the Snow Soothes the Soul
Mulberry Street, Milton

5a88f0a011dafe2f2b4bc9307ede8b71

I love my back yard.

6d39475057fd6b766a6df3d86100e5b8

Cardinal perched ready to eat

4f5e17683bc1aa35c24489cd54858ea6

Milton Historical Society 4/2014 Snow ~Amy Kratz

1ff5ec0a1699e04cc78a9b4c250d69b1

My Gangsta Car

d08364b990a8ef6f9951a24666a3afab

This Crepe Myrtle Has Quite A View

f4e263c5d202bb3a83d786bfa4e612e9

No Soul Sits Here Today

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

 

Wagamon's Pond

Wagamon’s Pond

f5c40063015907849de787bbb96b5bc4

No Geese Crossing Today

 

A Cool Barn On Mulberry Street

A Cool Barn On Mulberry Street

Posted in Childhood, Delaware, inspirational, Lewes, Photography, small towns, Snow Storms, Walking In the Snow | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dear God

 To Beautiful To Question Why

To Beautiful To Question Why

 

 

I was surprised the other night when I found a letter, I wrote to God. I am not one to pray often and I always joke that God always listens to me because he says,” STOP everything, let me listen to this one… Amy is asking for something.” I am not a Christian but there are times whether I really feel that it will make a difference or not or whether I really grasp the idea of God or not, I find myself praying. Usually in letterform because I think the act of writing is what probably helps me most. I don’t even believe that God is Omnipotent as many Christians do as their faith drives them to call on God and pray for answers and hope and guidance. I certainly can’t knock it. If it helps people, I think they should do it. To Christians I know it’s more than that, it’s a relationship

Let me also say that even though I’m not a Christian I believe in Angels, OK so call me mixed up, misinformed, not one who understands Christianity. Nevertheless, I believe in Angels because when I was in the hospital in 1973 one came to me at night and woke me and said to me, “You are going to be all right.” It was after I was in a room overlooking a graveyard and I thought that I might be under one of those headstones soon. I could not tell anyone why I was crying and couldn’t sleep because I wasn’t able to speak because of my head injury and my mouth was wired shut because I had a broken jaw. I was nine and it was the first time I thought about death and I think that no child should have think about dying.

I wrote this letter in 2013 but I can’t say now everything that was troubling me.

 

Dear God,

I’m afraid- I fear that all I’ve tried to do with my life could crumble around me if I can’t get my work done. It seems the harder I try the less respected I feel. The more honest I am the more people take advantage of that honesty. It also seems the more I want to write the less I actually do. At times I feel like I’m failing and it gets overwhelming.

Please help me except the things I cannot change, work and live up to my own dreams, and forgive others for their failings even though I may not receive the same in return.

There are pieces of me missing and I cannot figure out what all of them are. I have personal and emotional shortcomings that I don’t know how to overcome.

Sometimes I am not proud of who I am as the wrong thing flies out of my mouth.

My true passions dwindle at the thought of my potential success, I fear all the work, personal, and others will not lead me to what I truly desire. I want desperately to overcome my insecurities about my writing so I can finish my book.

I fear I will lose my house if I cannot pay my taxes and I worry about my health as I feel my stomach is in constant knots.

I want to not just help me but others and I cannot get away from the thought that I can barely help myself. I am so easily distracted from important things and fall back on all the things I have control over seeking some kind of order. It is all so ineffectual and then I am left with a hollow sense of what it truly is that I should be doing.

I know I cannot save the world but I want to be able to save myself and help a few along the way or maybe better, help many.

Dear God, give me my health and give me clarity, help me overcome my trust issues and insecurities.

Amen

Soon after, I wrote this, it became clear to me what I had to do. I began this blog and it helped me feel better about my writing even though it actually took time to figure out how to use it. The workings of a webpage were all illusive to me. I began to write more and felt creative energy flowing through me and I received a lot of feedback on my writing, which made me realize I can DO THIS! It made me a better writer.

I received some help from people that love me with my taxes. In the process of being very vulnerable and feeling humiliated and scared I wrote a letter to the Town Council. I requested that they consider helping the people in Town by reducing many people’s overdue taxes because many of us were struggling, not just me. By writing this letter the Town being $96,000 dollars in the red, because people were not, able to pay their taxes they suddenly gained 80-90 percent of it back in 45 days, by adjusting people’s bills. This happened because people pulled together in the Town and friends who wanted to help me; inspired me. A letter, one simple letter and bearing my soul for a greater good and mine as well, accomplished all that.

The other thing that happened was that I became more focused and less fearful of the work I produced and started to feel better about me and then gained another 2 years of being seizure FREE.

I call it Humanism, if set your mind to something; you can do it. Some may call it God. Maybe Angels were looking out for me. I do not really know except that writing a letter, a prayer to God, made me feel a weight lifted from me. I can’t say that God helped me, except that the concept of being able to talk or write something to an entity that doesn’t judge or talk back made this an easy way to solve my problems. I found insight into how to act and make things better for myself, somehow that helped others, and they helped me.

I write to live better and I live to write better.

Posted in aging with TBI, brain injury, Childhood, Delaware, inspirational, Live with Purpose, Publishing Book, Resilence, seizures, Stress and living, TBI, Victim of violent crime, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grieving Your Past Self

 

We Live through the Storm,

178

To be able to Enjoy clear skies once more!

 

 

When I first started to write my book, (The Goal: Publish This YEAR!) the thing I actually started with was, I was a person who had a seizure disorder and 60 pages into it I realized I wasn’t really capturing the story; the deepest darkest places I hadn’t even scratched the surface of. It took me 38 years to realize, that I wasn’t just battling a seizure disorder. It just so happens that the seizures were what was ruining my life insidiously every single one took something from me and those pieces are gone and now improvised through time and constantly reinventing me. The bodily harm of the falling is what I will have for the rest of my life. Yet this was only a symptom of much larger issue.

The big picture eluded me because I wanted to be absent from it all. I was the queen of denial and never had to deal with it and that was subconscious. It did help for a while until I was ready to cope with the big things. It, the details and raw emotion of living my life was just too big to deal with. Thinking about being a victim of a violent crime where being beaten so badly as a child until I almost died, a couple of times and living with a brain injury; just too overwhelming to comprehend at times. Even to this day, if I really just sit and think about the losses that I have accumulated over time because of my victimization it’s almost too difficult to bear. I did not think about it and it beat me repeatedly, but I didn’t realize that I was so oblivious to the details. Not dealing with it made it seem less significant; I just had a seizure disorder, how convenient, if it could be considered that. For me it was.

Then it struck me, literally like a light bulb going off, an epiphany; my life was all of sudden being spread on pages of thought and events and I was not really feeling it. I didn’t know how to feel the feelings they were gone or so I thought. I had no idea that they had been so distant until I really began to bare my soul on paper. I started writing 15 pages or more a day and the tears would just stream down my face and I pushed myself to sit quietly and just BE. Almost every emotion I experienced as a child came rushing back to me and I can still at times be brought to my knees.

I no longer just intellectualize and compartmentalize every emotion. I have found my way through the maze and even though loss is real and struggle is real I much rather be the person that I am today, understanding those horrors and how they affect me than be inwardly silent and void of great emotion. That’s not what I call living. I am someone who believes that you can’t have one without the other. For instance, you can’t have great love if you haven’t had hate, you can’t trust if you haven’t ever trusted, and you can’t have amazing happiness if you never let yourself feel deep sadness. Therefore, it goes what is life without experiencing the highs and lows. It really teaches you things about yourself.

I will say however that we resolve things in our own sweet time and we don’t if we never want to, or are not ready to. I have worked in human services and in the mental health field a long time and you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I understand the process of coming to terms with grief but that doesn’t make it any easier, just that I knew more about what to expect. That’s what it’s all about, simply put, I had to grieve my old self and all that I had lost and until I did, my demons, pain or whatever anyone wants to call it swaddled me; restraining the real potential of Me.

I will say though, that if you are not ready you won’t come to terms and when you do, seek help if you need to because this loss of self or perceived self is very real. This unraveling or peeling away the layers is difficult and takes time. It is a battle worth fighting when you have all the weapons you need to defend yourself from total collapse. I am still a work in progress.

What helped me realize the fact that I had to grieve my childhood happened in a therapy sessions that I had after having a very bad seizure breaking my knee cap in 1994, having surgery and getting 12 stitches in my head, oh yeah and chipping my teeth. I began to have these crazy panic attacks and I thought I was going to seize. I felt fear as no other time in my life or that I understood. I went to about five counseling sessions and boom, there it was, I was grieving and I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which isn’t uncommon for people with the life that I have had. The seizure brought out all the helplessness of being a victim and it now was crippling me, more than a broken knee. After therapy and my epiphany, I realized that I had to face my fear; this was a very small beginning of healing. I remember writing a poem named Fear. It was no literary genius, just raw emotion on a page that helped me get to the root of the problem. I never had a panic attack after that day.

So grieve when you are ready and where you want and how you want and with whom you wish to tell or not. Sometimes just journaling helps with grief or other emotions that you feel you can’t tell anyone. Yelling helps and breaking things helps but writing is healthier and cost less; but I whole-heartedly say try yelling at least. NOT at someone, just yell and cry and roll on the floor and then pick yourself up and move on. However, don’t break vacuum cleaners if you can’t afford to buy another unless you have a wonderful Aunt and Uncle who play Santa Claus and then they will bring you a new one for Christmas. Therefore, I guess you know I have some experience with this.

There’s another piece of me. Go buy a journal and write pieces of you and you may find yourself changed in many positive ways. Life is worth living only if you can feel how amazing it could be. Your story is important if to no one else other than you.

To then learn to enjoy the other kinds of weather headed our way

To then learn to enjoy the other kinds of weather headed our way

 

 

Posted in aging with TBI, brain injury, Grief, inspirational, Live with Purpose, Poet, Publishing Book, Resilence, seizures, Speaking, Stress and living, Victim of violent crime, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Honor of Being Alive

Amy and Mom Pre Head Injury and Kidnapping 1973FB_IMG_142389237265522ac412c61d68bb3603f078e07efceeaIMG_20140305_223349

Pictures Above: 1.) Joan Nagy (Mom) and Amy in a picture from 1973 copied from The Cape Gazette April 2005. 2.)  Amy at Memorializing our Mother at a Garden the People of Milton and her Friends gave us after she died in 2000. 3.) Amy’s Graduation form College with Mom and Jan in Salisbury, 1995. 4.) Amy’s First Christmas after TBI 1973 with Mom and Herbie the Hamster.

 

As I begin the Month of March, I have a lot on my mind. It’s TBI Awareness Month and I have so many goals to accomplish with daily posts to my Blog about the things that I find peace in and the things that me, my family, friends, and other TBI survivors and their families go through after having and Living through Traumatic Brain Injury. On top of my writing goals there is work and on call for the whole month. Then the Conference on March 12th at Dover Downs in Dover, Delaware; where I am honored to be a co-Presenter for a Break Out session about my Blog and the role of social media in Recovery and Support of People and their Families with TBI. Then there is refinancing my home if possible. There are so many things to accomplish this month I am hoping to get a post Every Day but I will need all of my energy, so I’ll do what I can to Honor the Month and the Survivors and Families, Mine included.

One thing I’d like to mention is that my family and I, rarely discuss any of o my writing, speaking engagements, my job, my goals or my struggles with my TBI or theirs for that matter. I reflect on the absence of my family and their awareness or maybe fear of thinking about the past. Some parts of it were so incredibly scary and traumatic to ponder. We all have our demons and I am sorry that they don’t wonder about the importance of how this journey has been to me and saddened that I am not able to broach the topic with them. It is not so much unchartered territory but simply put it is No Man’s Land ,for some of us and when trying to discuss these topics brings unmentionable pain for all involved, well then I think apathy sets in and fear of losing what you do have. Silence truly is golden and Ignorance Bliss. So I throw it out to the masses to judge, recognize, overcome, or discover your own truth in your own lives living with a survivor or your own TBI. You also can discover my many truths, which I have come to bare and for which I am happy to share.

It is better for me, if no other in my family to be able to get it out and try to help others. I can’t judge them we all experience our own loss with this horrific disintegration of who we were before TBI and who we may have been if TBI or Violence had not ever picked us up and threw us down, making us all learn to walk on new ground.
Here is a Poem I wrote last Fall 2014.

 

The Day As It Should Be

 

 

Today I woke up and hurt all over.
No, I did not mind, because I woke up, to smell the rain.
I slugged down the stairs, the cat intertwined in my feet
I reached to tug on her ear; she looked at me quietly, making me smile.
Pouring a cup of coffee, breathing in deeply,
Taking a long slow swig, the taste of a wonderful day begins.
Sitting on the porch trying not to think too hard, I like a good,
Slow start. I sip my coffee.

Driving to work, I relax, as cars pass, their rush to nowhere, I let them.
The day was overflowing the brim with meetings, support needs, emails, and I sat tackling all that it gave and tried to take, with the help of good people, it passed quickly.
Riding home after a second meeting, I realize how many planes
Are in flight traveling in circles, gray, graceful, masses in the sky;
Looking so out of place against the beauty of the canvass
They seemed to occupy.
I look for my red winged black bird on the bridge; my good luck bird is not found.
Cars pass, I decompress from the hurry of my day.
The sky seems different as the day did, there is a change going on,

Its energy sparkles in the air like water reflecting off the bay on a sunny day.
I find myself watching the sky ahead of me, the orange, red, blues, are just too beautiful, to not pay attention to.
Fall is in the skies and the birds by the hundred is flight,
I stop on Route 5, to just breathe and let it soak through me.
The day was as it should be and I was so ever-present
And attentive to its beauty.

 

Posted in aging with TBI, brain injury, Childhood, Delaware, Grief, inspirational, Lewes, Loss of Mother, Poet, PTSD, Publishing Book, rehabilitation, Resilence, small towns, Speaking, Stress and living, TBI, trauma, Victim of violent crime, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Instant Gratification

Amy Selfie   This month has been a bear I have been three people short at Work since January and two people short before that since October so I have been maxed, to say the least. I have been sometimes sleeping more than normal and winter has that effect on me anyway and then the extra stress, well it sums up to Amy feeling as if she is twisting in the wind. When I am overwhelmed, I tend to feel as if I never get one thing accomplished. That is true for some things. There are so many tasks to complete it’s a traffic jam on my desk, in my head, and in my house. So today, I just had to start in my house. I scrubbed floors and vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom and AHHHHHH. Things actually were completed; there is more needing to be completed just that something was done makes all the difference in my mental health. Now I know why my family loves to clean so much its the feeling of instant gratification. It is the same reason I love mowing the grass, pulling weeds, and doing laundry. It could be worse!

This same very simple but meaningful concept applies to Blogging. I Blog because I was writing a book, which has been a 12-year journey and it just STOPPED. The 10th year of writing my memoir, the words stopped flowing, the ideas seemed stale, and I needed to feel as if I was accomplishing something. I began a Blog; mind you, I had no idea what I was doing. I take that approach quite often and find it interesting to figure it out along the way. I am big on puzzles and problem solving. I’m actually someone who would love to work in a Think Tank where all you do all day long is take problems and try to figure out the best solutions to them. My job with Division of Developmental Disabilities Services provides that very frequently so I get my problem-solving fix, I just don’t always get my instant gratification fix.

The beginning of the year has started successfully for my speaking and writing career,  I was asked to speak to a Criminal Justice class at DelTech on February 2nd and in March I have been asked to do a presentation at the Brain Injury Association of Delaware Conference on March 12th. Both were  unexpected and I am happy to be able to do them. Publishing my book this year is the main goal but I hope to be doing many more speaking engagements. I am ecstatic about it. What a great start to a year, one of promise. Point of Hope in Smyrna asked me to speak at their clubhouse and I had to put them off unfortunately for a month or so because it was in the middle of my workday and they were so hectic. This is still a box needing to be checked off. Note to self.

It all adds up to this; my Blog;  www.recoveryofthmind.com began out of boredom and  loss of creativity; it has turned into one of the many places I enjoy creating things. I was also feeling that maybe I just wasn’t that great of a writer and I’ll have to say this blog has helped me be a better writer and get the input I really needed for my self esteem, while helping others. It has become bigger than I initially thought it could be and I will perfect it and make it a better site as time goes on. I just find that I love to Blog and who would have thought, that 7,000 plus people have viewed my Google + account where I feature my posts from my blog and that 600 people would choose to “Follow” me, meaning they get a post sent to their email every time I publish one. I find it so satisfying to sit and be able to write and reach people. It doesn’t get better than that, well almost. Better than cutting the grass; no, maybe just different from cutting the grass and satisfying in another way altogether.

Check out these Links:

Brain Injury Association of Delaware: http://www.biaofde.org

Point of Hope: http://point-of-hope.com

Delaware Technical and Community College: https://dtcc.edu/

Epilepsy Awareness Squad: http://easquad.org/

Posted in Advocay, brain injury, Delaware, disability resources, inspirational, Live with Purpose, Publishing Book, Resilence, Speaking, Stress and living, TBI, TBI resources, Victim of violent crime, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Beginnings

“The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

~Mark Twain

 

I sit here today thinking about new Beginnings and last night I started off my new beginning waking from a nap that started on New Year’s Eve  and ended at 12:02 a.m. New Year’s Day; thinking; Wow have I become boring! That I had to laugh at. I then stayed up for an hour and a half and went to sleep again. I realized this morning after waking for the second time, that it’s not all in the beginning it’s in the Finish. A few days ago I woke up in the morning at about 8:00 a.m. and the first thing I said out loud, only to myself; as if it was a revelation, “This year is My Year to Publish MY BOOK!” I can no longer see the benefit of keeping it solely to myself anymore. I am over my insecurities about my writing and style, whether I am Good enough, and I am ready to get this thing done and off my desk.  So I will talk to as many people as I must to figure out who can help me completely edit the damn thing and then even though it is against what I believe, I will create eBooks and hopefully publish hard backs. In May, I will apply for a Fellowship and try to get funding for this project or a new one. I have another book in me or two or more, the possibilities are endless.

I realized a long time ago that I have to do things that make me happy. Not things that are just secure and tidy and keep order in my life but things that make me grow and flourish. Deep down I am a writer, and I am a River moving toward the Ocean. My goal is to write and speak and the beginning is set in place. I just have to keep on track. Life is far too short to do things that don’t make you happy and content with who you are or who you are becoming. I am becoming anew, I am reinventing myself again, and this time I hope to get some travel out of it and speaking engagements and help others. I am off on a new adventure, well I had already started but it was a slow start as I tend to do and get cozy with the idea and then cuddle up with it. That’s when I know it’s time to let go of it for others to see, when I trust it and me enough to say good-bye. Odd how that sounds to me but it so very true. I am slow to gain momentum and then I get to a tipping point and there is nowhere else to go, it must spring forward towards the finish line.

I feel a sense of accomplishment and I know I am done even though there is work to do. I know I am done with this part of the journey. It needs to take on a life of its own. This year I was told I should look into being a Board Member of a very reputable association. The Brain Injury Association and that was so very tempting because I could work at everything I believe in and help others in a bigger and broader way, at a legislative level possibly. After applying for it and going to a Board meeting that I was invited to, I decided that the work I was doing was just as important to me and realized I was just doing what I tend to do a lot and that is get involved in too many other things that take my focus off of the project that I have the most passion about. Not that helping others isn’t my passion it certainly is. It’s just that I want to Finish what I began and what I have worked so hard for. I don’t know that I would have been accepted by the Board and Voted in because I turned it down before they got a chance to vote for me. There is a place and time for everything and one day I will have time for it as I knew it would take my time away from this project.

My Finish is going to be like this old Desk I sit at. It stands boldly in my office always having more meaning when I am sitting at it, documenting the experiences that I have had, in words. It was originally a Mission Desk and someone not understanding its value cut off its legs and carved its surface to a ruddy mess. I bought it and was tickled with my find but believed from a distance that I was looking at a coffee table and that’s what I was looking for. I too didn’t originally understand what it would mean to me and I promised to give to my sister before I had a place for it in my home. Then suddenly I decided to have legs built, sand it, stain it and make it beautiful, and so it was Finished! My sister was not that happy because I was now going back on my word but she was ok with it later. It was brand new again and its old Beginnings renewed. It found new purpose as I have and it has been my trusty writing station for years. I will never forget the beginning I found it in but that’s not the beauty of it, it’s true self is doing what it was meant to do. Just as I plan to do what I was meant to do.

Posted in Delaware, inspirational, Live with Purpose, Publishing Book, Resilence, TBI, Victim of violent crime, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Fight and Battles Won

The Fight and Battles Won.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Fight and Battles Won

picture0084839ae794451c319b4ab30843e64d436

Tonight Facebook inspired me through a friend’s posts as it frequently happens. I wanted to write and knew there was something that needed to be said but I just could not find the words. In fact I have been dying to write since Monday when Dave “Fredman” Frederick came to speak to our Traumatic Brain Injury Group. The group often inspires me or what happens there is so poignant that I come home feeling the need to write something. I left the group that night with mixed emotions and many times, it is uplifting for me to be there Last Monday was a bit of both. I find that as in life we are all so different and our lives are individualized. That no group for people with Traumatic Brain Injuries could really satisfy everyone’s individual needs every meeting or that no service for people with Traumatic Brain injury will satisfy everyone’s needs, I find that a lot in my work. Some people fall through the cracks. I know this is a sad commentary on our society, where there are so many services for so many individuals and some just never get what they need.

This can be a very frustrating endeavor, when you feel you may need help. A good example would be me, although I am not seeking help I could sometimes use it because there are things I just cannot do because of the many injuries I have sustained during falls from seizures. I don’t even fall under any category when it comes to services. The American with Disabilities Act won’t even cover me if I needed a legal foothold. I do have these labels: Seizure Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Victim of a Violent Crime, and PTSD, but I do not receive one dime from any funding source in Delaware or the Federal Government, except the pay I make by working for the State; and that I can say I because of that I am very Proud. I can also say that I am very lucky to walk, talk, drive, live, own property and so on but others who look and act and function like me fall through the cracks when they need services. Then there are many other people with Traumatic Brain Injuries that have many support needs and things they can no longer do, they are the people that really need those services I don’t and hopefully they are getting what they need.

Like Dave “Fredman” Frederick, I am a Champion of People or maybe I could say I am a Champion for people who struggle and become Champions. I believe in my life time I have been driven by a concept, a personal Philosophy that has given me strength through the years and that is: I have Fought and Won many Battles and I can look back at my successes and see that there is no reason to fear or doubt myself. Not that I don’t struggle with those things because I am only human. I have a keen ability to be able to overcome things when others seem to struggle more. I’m not sure of how I have accumulated these successes except for the fact that I work my ASS off to overcome my challenges and sometimes it’s not pretty and it’s not meant to be, it’s the reality of my own humanity. I struggle every day with financial crap and I struggle at work and there are times in my job I don’t handle stress well and I can’t always organize things. I am a fighter and that for me means that I have an invisible badge on my chest, reminding me I can be a fighter and a Champion and no matter what I can be and do things that I work towards. That I have succeeded this far and will continue unless I were to just give up and that is not happening! I take breaks sometimes and just put things down but I get back to the important things in life.

So what inspired me to write this? My Sussex County TBI Group and a saying I saw on Facebook that stated:

“When you start doubting yourself,

Remember how far you have come,

Remember everything you have faced,

All the battles you have won,

And all the fears you have overcome.”

~Unknown

This concept drives me through everything I have tried to accomplish and succeeded at. Yes it sounds easier than it truly is. So you cannot give up the fight, the battles ahead, strategies you used to get you to where you are. If they have failed you it doesn’t mean you are a failure it means that maybe you need to try another strategy. Life is a journey and sometimes you can never go back to where you came from and sometimes going back to the idea of who you believed you wanted to be may well be a journey worth taking. It may reveal to you that you already have a good jumping off point. At age nine that’s exactly what I did. I said to myself, “I need to get back to the person I used to be.” After finding that the person I used to be had changed, I used what I already knew to reinvent myself and I have done this time and again. It really works.

The other thing that I believe is that if you can think about your life as a sports video, of a game you played with an opposing team, you will be able to see where you fumbled the ball and learn not to do it again. That’s why I write, it shows me how far I have come and where I screwed up. Then I pick myself up again, dust myself off and try again. You can never give up on yourself or others will. You can never say you can’t do something if you have never tried. The psyche, your evaluation of yourself and what you think you’re made of, shows through in everything you do. So to get yourself out of a rut you have to believe it’s possible and then go for it.

I know very well what being in a hole that looks so down and deep feels like. It feels insurmountable and as if will never get out. You can lay there and pity yourself or you can get through all the tears, all the yelling at God or whoever or whatever it is that we yell at; then compose yourself and GET TO LIFE. It is pretty miraculous that if you have had a Traumatic Brain Injury that you are actually here in this world. Even if you didn’t have a TBI life is work and struggle and failure and success, so you never get a free pass it just makes it harder if like me you have a TBI. It presents you with obstacles you are unfamiliar with and that’s why you must be tougher and fight harder.

You have fought Battles and Won and so have I, so continue and you will teach yourself that nothing is out of your reach!

Posted in Advocay, brain injury, Childhood, disability, disability resources, Grief, inspirational, Live with Purpose, PTSD, rehabilitation, Resilence, seizures, Stress and living, TBI, trauma, Victim of violent crime | 1 Comment

At 50 Living With Purpose

At 50 Living With Purpose.

Posted in Uncategorized