I have lots to be proud of regarding my brain injury recovery. Most people would struggle to believe I couldn’t read, let alone write a blog following my TBI. So I’m regularly asked “have you thought about work?” as people see how far I’ve come. Yes I’ve thought about it, and it TERRIFIES me. I hate letting people down, and so I’m frightened I will fail.
Previously I wrote about trying to interview too early and how devastating that was for me: Unexpected interview disaster for TBI survivor But even if I got through an interview, would I be any good?
Anyone who has a career break for any reason, children, redundancy, health etc returning to employment can be nerve racking. You worry how long it will take you to get up to speed again, if you even have the same potential as you did before. But when your brain can’t be trusted, building your self confidence can feel like an up hill challenge. A small fail like forgetting to hit send on an email, could make all the difference. In my last job if I didn’t submit paperwork on time the company would not be paid in time, which puts all the staffs wages at risk. Thankfully that never happened, but since my brain injury it feels like that sort of thing could be a possibility.
At the moment my priority is my elderly Dad. Despite the fact we live opposite sides of the country, I am doing everything I can to help him as his health diminishes with his advancing years. To me that is the biggest responsibility of my life, and I genuinely hope my efforts are good enough. He needs me so this would be an awful time to fail him.
Last night I had a dream about my parents discovering something I had forgot to do. They found I hadn’t put company insurance on Dad’s car, only private. I left dreadful as I tried to explain my error but found I was struggling to remember things properly. It wasn’t that they had a go at me, just that I felt I had let them down. I’m sure this dream was about many factors; My Mum passed 3 weeks after my car accident and Dad doesn’t even have a drivers licence anymore let alone a car. I’m sure this was about trying to put my life back to where it was, but even in my dream my brain injury was still present. So is it the one thing that I can’t imagine changing in another reality?
I have lots to be thankful for, and believe me I am. And I’m sure one day I will bounce back, but I’m not ready yet. As I’m spending so much time at Dads side, I struggle to commit to anything so I can only plan a few days at a time. Mostly because I feel that I might have to change my plans at a moments notice to support him if anything happens. So rather than let people down, I don’t make firm commitments. I’m very unsure of the future, but at least I have one.
How has your self confidence been affected? Are you able to plan for the long term?