What is this?
Deacon Patrick pushes the envelope of his capacity as fine motor skills are challenging for him. While those have not improved much over the years, he now runs despite his constant vertigo, uses lighter sticks than those in the picture, and has many and various cognitive improvements, all using the principles outlined here.
Recovering from brain injury happens in phases. Some folks only need the early phases to recover enough capacity to return to normal life. Others, myself, included, need years to a lifetime of the “long, hard road” of struggling with the challenges of brain injury. This website is for us, and these are the principles that have guided me so far in my personal quest to recover as much brain capacity as possible.
- – You are the best, most knowledgable expert on your brain injury. Doctors, therapists, family, and friends can help, but only you know what your are experiencing, what works and what does not.
- – This is a long, hard road, What you are doing is like running an ultra-marathon — for years, non-stop. Seek the joy rather than dwelling on the pain. This simple advice will help shift your attitude and make the journey far more joyous and easier.
- – Community is essential to making and thriving on this journey. You can not travel this long, hard road on your own, or even with just your caregiver. You and they need a network of support, including people who help out in various ways where you live, work, on the internet, by phone, and email.
- – Give yourself permission to be exactly where you are. The challenge is to push forward from there “as fast as we can, as slow as we must.” Our brains need to be pushed to gain new capacity, but they also need lots of down time to heal.
- – Faith is essential for making this journey. Facing losses from your brain injury and/or accident that gave you your brain injury can seem daunting and stir up a lot of questions about who God is and who we are and why we are here. Ask them and connect with ministers in a faith community to strive and struggle with these core questions together and to worship God who has given us this bountiful gift of life to live.
- – The more you enter life as fully as possible, the more you will recover. Learn what you are passionate about, figure out how to do it anyway, and reach sideways to help others. These are the keys to moving forward even when it seems we’re standing still.
- – God made you, your body, your brain, your soul to travel this journey and to heal along the way. Access “God’s engineering” by doing things in the most basic way first and live with it in it’s simplest form for a month or two. Only then do you begin asking what support, cushioning, or protection you need. This is radical Minimalism, and it is the key to our bodies and minds rising to their fullest potential, and freeing us to achieve ours.
- – Focus on what you can do. By doing what you can, you have more brain energy to do more, last longer and ironically, recover more of what you can’t currently do than if you focus on what you can’t do. Why? Because creating things always heals us far more than bashing our head into a wall.