After surviving an injury/disability such as a Traumatic Brain Injury; you do need to grieve for the person that was lost. That was you, and you were awesome. The ânewâ person, before you, will be just as amazing. You have to get to know your new self and develop him/her to be your spectacular ânewâ self. As Iâve said before, âGod doesnât leave junk on his precious planet.â Getting to know yourself again is not something that can be accomplished overnight, or in a few days. It took you time, before your injury, to develop the person that you were. Itâs going to take just as much energy and time to developed yourself again. This is something that can be done. Period. I know of what I speak.
Dig down and make a chart of all your likes and dislikes you did before. If you can not hold a paying job, like me, find a volunteer job that will incorporate those things you like that you jotted down on your chart. Again, this was something I had to do. I can remember discussing my likes and dislikes with my Mother. I told her I really liked that volunteer job I had when she was working at the Youth Activity Center. I loved being involved with all of the sports, tournaments, and field trips we had taken, in West Germany in the mid 80â²s. She was the leader of the Girl Scout Troop, and I was an excited Girl Scout involved with our troop. I loved the camping trips we took. I told Mom, âGeese, I canât find volunteer work like that because thereâs no job that exists where you have so much fun! Mom shot back with, âWhat do you think I was doing when your father and our family was stationed in Stuttgart, West Germany? That job at the Youth Activity Center, that you enjoyed volunteering at and where I was the manager, was a job!!â âOh yeah.â I shot back at her.
I had to take into account that since my injury, I wasnât as athletic as I used to be. I canât get out and toss the ball around with my brothers like I used to do. This was something I tried to do even when the doctors told me, âyour abilities will not be as sharp as they used to be before the accident.â I, of course, didnât believe them and had to try it with my brothers in our back yard. I didnât want to give into the fact that my skill levels had changed. I joined a softball team at a church. I bought all of the necessary equipment, telling myself, âo.k., you gave your body some years to heal now youâll be able to play like before. This will be something youâll be able to do again.â Uh-uh. I quit, I became too frustrated with trying to be like I used to be. I held onto my softball cleats and glove to give to my niece when she gets older. I know sheâll be a baseball fan!!
Mom suggested that I work in nursing homes doing activities with the residents. She said, âwhen staff see how involved you are with the residents, and your work, theyâll love your…