Confess to pressure: being a voice of brain injury

I knew that it was important to raise awareness and understanding of brain injury. That’s why I started this blog. Not to be liked or make friends, although I do enjoy the positive vibe I get from many of you, and have “virtually” met some amazing people.  But that is a fringe benefit, not the motivating factor for why I do this. I realised my understanding of brain injury before my accident was woeful, as was that of most people I know. And I believe that we are a fair reflection of the general public’s knowledge on the subject. But I confess I probably didn’t anticipate the level of responsibility I was bestowing on myself. I’m not going to stop, as the subject is more important than me as an individual. I’m just asking for your forgiveness for times I don’t meet your expectations.

I confess I don't do enough for you

Trying to reach out to others.

I’m not Mother Theresa, and I’m definitely not looking for thanks. Actually many send me their thanks, which is lovely of them. But I hope in some small way to help families affected by brain injury by blogging about my experience. My family really didn’t understand it, even though my Aunt suffered a very serious brain injury 30 years ago. But as my parents had moved miles away, they didn’t really experience what that meant for her on a daily basis. So when I had my accident it was a confusing time for all of us. I know that was difficult for me, and I can only imagine how distressing it was/is for them.

But I confess I have my limitations.

I’m not an expert in any stretch of the imagination, so whilst I give suggestions to help, they will not always help everyone. I think most people understand that and many offer their own suggestions too, which is great. The thing I find harder to deal with are those who don’t understand who or what I am. Some people expect me to be on a more personal level with them. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy our honesty with each other and I think it’s really helpful. But there just isn’t enough of me to go round for me to start phoning people. A handful of people are generously offering their friendship in the form of telephone conversations. Whilst I appreciate how this is offered out of the goodness of their hearts, I have to decline each time. I just don’t have the energy. It was a long time before I even opened up to my “real world friends”, as I explained in Friends agony of my brain injury I didn’t let her help with. So please don’t take it personally when I decline.

Not meeting brain injury survivors needs as I have to work on myself first.

I do care about you all, but this is the best I can do.

So this is me apologising for letting people down. I didn’t think through how some people need someone to talk to, not just write, and they might choose me. I’m flattered and I do genuinely care and want to support you. But I have to recognise what I can commit to. I know many feel that some important people in their lives have turned their backs on them, and I’m not doing that to you. But I have to pace myself. If you read this regularly you will know I am also dealing with my terminally ill Dad as well as my own recovery process. So I’m running at full capacity, which I must confess is a struggle. I’m all he’s got right now so I have to give him everything I can.

I still reply to emails and comments as you are important to me. But I’m just one woman who is doing her best, so I’m sorry I can’t offer you more. This isn’t me asking for pity, just forgiveness for not being able to meet everyone’s expectations.

You can read my tips on how to improve at dealing with trying situations at Impatient insight. 5 tips on building tolerance after brain injury.

Other articles you might like:

My confession to other brain injury survivors

My blog on living with brain injury: I speak out for brain injury survivors, but sometimes I can't meet everyone's expectations.

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5 Replies to “Confess to pressure: being a voice of brain injury”

  1. Michelle — I do understand that you are sharing your insights and help via your blog; and while many people do reach out and find connections and kinship online, I don’t believe it is the bloggers responsibility to stretch themselves beyond what they offer online. Take good. Care of yourself and your dad, my two cents, and god bless.

  2. Yes I agree, you have no need to apologise. Your blog is more than enough, you are honest, explain your brain injury well and you give good tips how to help manage situations. You can’t be responsible for any more than that, you need to keep yourself at your best after all you are still in recovery, and giving support to your dad which is a difficult situation on its own.
    I have gained a lot through your blogs, recovering from brain tumour surgery, is lonely, brain injuries are lonely, you provide the vulnerability that we all understand, I thank you for that, it’s certainly helped me.

    1. Thanks I do care about you all, and wish I could do more. But I’m only human, and a bit broken at that. It’s good to know that I am helping in some way.

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