Next chapter after brain injury, am I in it now?

When I was still receiving counselling following my brain injury, I was warned against allowing it to define me. And I wholeheartedly agreed. But as I am mostly a capable human being these days, am I falling into that trap? I worry that as I still can only live one day at a time, I’m allowing my brain injury to take over me. How do you know it’s time to turn the page and wave goodbye to that chapter of life?

Have I graduated from the life lesson that is brain injury?

Lots of other defining moments in life come with a marker of some kind. The key to the door, the examiner informing you that you successfully passed your driving test, the “sorry your leaving” card on your last day at one job ready to start another, or the first kiss at the wedding. They all tell you something has changed and you need to step up to the mark. Usually they fill you with nervous excitement as the change should be a good one. A new door has opened and you need to walk through and make a difference.

How do I move on to the next chapter after brain injury?

But when you are trying to recover from something as fundamental as a brain injury it doesn’t work like that. No one gives you a commendation signalling you can start the next stage. You just have to decide yourself if you are ready to start to the next chapter. Be it return to some form of work, study a new subject or take on some other life challenge, it’s tough to know when is the right time.

Have I gained a new skill?

I have mentioned before how I was a pretty able student when at school. Never really having to apply myself too much to get good grades most people would be proud of. Perhaps that made me a little arrogant at the time. I remember being surprised and a bit insulted when my Mum one day said my older sister was better at English than me. To be fair I didn’t find it came as naturally to me as some other subjects. I felt uncomfortable with it being subjective, and unlike maths there is no definitive answer.  I wasn’t great at reading between the lines in literature, or being able to write something creative.

And I’m still not creative, but I think I’m doing OK at writing my blog, which is effectively an open diary. But perhaps it’s do to with having a purpose. After my Mum uttered those words to me, I saw it as a challenge. I pushed myself to prove I could do better, and I did achieve higher grades in English than my sister in the end. And because my blog has a important purpose for me, perhaps that is why it seems to be working.

The next chapter after brain injury

Is this the new chapter?

So have I stumbled across something? People say it’s not a job when you’re having fun doing it whilst being paid. Some lucky folks work out how to have that  reality for themselves. I never could imagine what that might look like for me, as I guess it didn’t have a strong passion. But whilst I’m not paid to do this, I really enjoy it. I just wish Mum could see me now, she’d still point out all my spelling and punctuation errors, but I think she’d be pleasantly surprised.

Therefore I’m wondering if I should be looking for a way to turn this into my next career. Don’t worry I don’t plan on charging people to read my blog, that would be criminal. But I need to start brainstorming, as I want to continue with it, assuming you guys want to keep reading it. Maybe some of you have found yourselves in a similar boat. If you have stories of how you turned a hobby into a career I’d love it hear them.

Everything has it’s good and bad points. Blogging has come with come challenges which you can read about in Confess to pressure: being a voice of brain injury.

Other articles you might like:

What does the next chapter look like for you? Do you know what you want to do next?

My blog on living with brn injury: When do you know you are ready to move on?

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12 Replies to “Next chapter after brain injury, am I in it now?”

  1. I definitely think this should be a stepping stone to a new career for you. You have too much knowledge to keep it to yourself and a natural way of helping people . I think it’s very exciting.
    And your mum would be incredibly proud of you , your recovery and this blog.
    Holly x

  2. Mmmm, yes. I find the people who interact with me regularly don’t define me as having a ABI. They know me as being sharp-witted. Funny. Friendly. But it’s not a job right? Im too sharp for ABI groups and they really can’t keep up. I need to feel I’m contributing something and achieving something. Yet they don’t take my suggestions on board. And then I can’t work. Normal milestones don’t mean anything to me. Cheers,
    H

    1. It’s hard isn’t it. I guess we are used to fitting into a definition of something, but we are too complicated and unique.

    1. Good luck with your future plans. I’m still not sure what mine are yet, but I’m brainstorming (slowly).

  3. Michelle, just like you I started blogging after my SAH as a way to get my thoughts out there and also it worked as a cheap form of therapy tbh and soon people started telling me to write a book and I haven’t ruled that out as a long term goal and neither should you. I just enjoyed it and was interested to see what was possible for me and how that evolved and tracked with my recovery. I took a look at what I really enjoyed day to day and still had strengths in and it was connecting with people and solving problems and not just in ways connected to my brain injury. So I use my writing at work, in my personal life but it’s just a part of what I do so I say explore what’s possiblele, what you enjoy , what works for current capacity and then go after that. like you I don’t want my BI to define me but five years on it still does manage my days.

    1. Steph I completely agree with you. I really enjoy the community blogging creates. And I too am able to look back on some of my earlier stories and remind myself that things are getting better.
      I will be checking out your blog and good luck with the book.

  4. My accident was in oct 2016. I still have residual effects from it, like chronic migraines. I started remodeling furniture this summer and had started selling my products. I decided it’s time to go back to school and began college this month. Change needs to be placed into action or I feel I’d stick with where I am forever.

    1. I understand, I felt like I needed to start doing something too. Otherwise I felt like a victim who had no control over my life. Whilst there may be an element of truth in it, it’s not the whole picture so started to try to be more proactive where possible. Enjoy your course, and I wish you all the best.

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