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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



Living uninhibited thanks to brain injury, my realisation

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When we moved into this house many years ago, I wanted it to be sophisticated and stylish, so we used pops of colour rather than allowing our use of colour to be garish. And it hasn’t changed much, mostly because redecorating can be too difficult with a curious cat about the place. We worry about opening the windows upstairs because he always looks like he’s so over excited that he’ll accidently throw himself out and go “splat” on the patio below, so filling the place with wet walls and paint fumes isn’t something we would do lightly. But instead I have recently given the garden shed a makeover. I didn’t even discuss with James what I was going to do to it. I told him the colours I was using, but seeing as he says he can’t envisage things, I did’t wait for his approval.

Feeling that my choice was right

I don’t know why, but I was confident in my choice, and whilst I knew it was unusual, I thought it was inspired. Sheds are often boring, and the inside of ours is definitely that. But I decided that as I see the outside of the shed everyday from my living room sofa, I wanted to make it more fun.  Long story short, it’s got so many stars on it, it looks like the world smallest night club!

This isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste, and I admit it’s over the top even for me. However, it got me thinking about how it really didn’t matter if other people liked it or not (apart from James seeing as he lives here too.)

Years of worrying if others opinions would change based on my taste.

As a teenager I remember being so confused about how everyone could give each other a hard time about something simple like what music bands they liked. I worried about being the butt of the abuse so much, I rarely named any that I actually liked. It was the 90’s so brit pop was ruled by Oasis and Blur, and somehow a cultural developed that you had to be in either one camp or the other. Personally I liked both but was slightly more drawn to Oasis, and so if asked that’s the camp I was in. That meant if a Blur track came on I couldn’t be caught tapping to the beat or humming along otherwise I’d be caught out as migrating to the other side.

This made me feel like a fraud and that I should have definite ideas on what was my taste. But in honesty I didn’t follow music just because a particular band or artist had created it, it was just if that individual track resonated with me. Between this, and worrying about being caught out for liking the wrong stuff I rarely bought CD’s. (Yes kids this was before we could just download a track. We either bought a “single” for what felt like a lot for what you got, or you went the whole hog and bought the album.)

How I’ve become uninhibited thanks to brain injury.

One day someone close to me commented on that fact that I love to wear clothes with fun prints on them: like flamingos or pineapples. They said how I’m actually quite childish. Initially I took offense to this. It sounded like that where calling me immature and putting my down. But later I realised that actually what they meant was that I was fun and uninhibited like a child.  Whereas before my brain injury I was a woman in her 30’s who had confidence and knew her own mind, I was still concerned with image. I needed to come across as professional, and I didn’t think flamingos necessarily fit the bill (no pun intended.) 

As I’ve slowly regained some confidence following my brain injury, I’ve come to realise that I don’t have to worry if others don’t agree with my taste. Yes I might be a bit eccentric, but so was Einstein.  Thinking back to when I was a teenager I desperately wanted to be one of those rare few who didn’t care what people said about their choices. Being different and just comfortable with who they were was actually much more attractive than the rest of us sheep who where just followers. Perhaps that’s what a life changing event does to people. Silly things like worrying if another person would like my crazy shed becomes trivial when you’ve gone through so much. I have touched on this a little before in Complacent but not carefree after brain injury which I wrote around 3 years ago. Then I was generally struggling more than I am now, so I put my almost slap-dash attitude down to necessity because I needed to pace myself better. However I now see that it’s do to with my perspective on life and finding enjoyment where you can too.

The teenage me would be proud of me.

Finally I have become the person the teenage me really admired and wanted to be. No, I’m still not sporty, have the figure of a super model or am running an amazing business empire. But I am finally being open about who I truly am, and not wasting energy trying to react to things in a particular way so the cool crowd will approve of me. Thanks brain injury, who knows if I could have done it without you.

Are you uninhibited after your brain injury, and do you want to be?


14 replies on “Living uninhibited thanks to brain injury, my realisation”

I see how TBI can be a gift in making me realise just how good being different is and appreciating others’ differences too. I love the new shed Michelle, and especially love the stars! ?✨

Love it and love the freedom to make choices that suit you no matter what someone else may think 😉

I experienced the same thing, not even realizing that I do. To me, it’s just a normal everyday thing, when I do them.

I really do like your shed, think it looks very good. If I saw it every day it would make me happy.

That’s Julie. I think that’s what counts, do what makes you smile ?

I’m happy for you now that you’ve found the real Michelle and are comfortable with it. I also feel less inhibited and happy with the new me, it took 5 years but that’s OK. I even got my first tattoo last year, to celebrate my 60th birthday, despite my 3 tattooed daughters saying I wouldn’t go through with it. It was on my hand and fingers because I didn’t want to hide it, I wanted it there for all to see. In my pre brain injury days I would never have got one.
By the way I love the shed.

Hey David, well done for taking the plunge and getting your tattoo. Your daughters have learned that you are capable of new things still!
Oh and thanks for being so kind about the shed.

Love the shed make over, great that you feel comfortable with your decision and it brings you joy. That’s certainly progress, I can find myself making a choice that feels a little bit radical and then talking myself out of it, why does it both me so much, what others think? Sometimes I think it makes my brain injury more apparent to others in am more weird’ ‘ gone strange’ , but then I thought, just go with it, I feel changed, so use it to be authentic, don’t be so worried about others, if it brings you some joy to your already adjusted life, you need to do it. I wish I wouldn’t over think so much and be that little bit braver, surely it brings freedom ? Maybe looking out seeing your inspiring shed will remind you, to be braver and go for those desires. As for me little steps, I bought myself my first pair of denim dungarees, am I to old at 49? They are so comfy, but also feels a little bit more quirky and braver in my wardrobe choices. You’ve reminded me today to keep being real to who I am, one little step at a time. Thanks

Yes Jo, rock those dungarees!!! How can something that is so comfy be wrong? Let them be the first of many decisions that are authenticity you.

I think this is an interesting topic, although my experience has been different. Sure I struggled as most people due during adolescence and teen years with caring what others think, but I always tended toward the unusual and off-beat. But I had confidence and used it in my life, and in my work and silversmithing business I created. I am almost 5 years out from TBI and one of the big parts of me that I felt I lost was my confidence, like totally striped away (along with memory, sense of identity and creativity.) While have gained back, and am STILL gaining back these aspects of myself, I struggle with severe dysautonomia, which has led to constant physical pain. I refuse to give up my quest to heal (stubbornness comes in handy!) and what gets me through the day is joy, finding joy in even the smallest thing, a flower, and bird in the yard, etc. I think the thing about joy, whether a particular song or painting your shed the way you like it (nice job by the way) is that when you find joy in something it’s harder to care whether people find joy in it or not, save your partner- but maybe that is just being thoughtful 🙂

That’s a good point. My neighbour wasn’t ever a fan of squirrels, she called them “tree rats”. Whilst I understood her concerns, it doesn’t stop me from thinking they’re adorable and enjoying seeing them.

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