Resilient people share certain characteristics. Research has shown that these characteristics include commitment, control, community, calmness, and challenge. Here are a few suggestions to cultivate your stress resilience while caring for a family member after brain injury.
I think that the most important change you can make is to believe that you deserve to prioritize time for your mind, body, and spirit every day. Caring for yourself is a basic human right. You have inherent worth, in addition to the services you provide for your loved one. Our actions follow our beliefs, so practice talking to yourself in ways that promote self-worth and respect.
Understanding my blog is knowing that I have been, am currently and will be in this world as long as the good Lord has planned for me to be here. However, I am definitely not and never will be of this world. Now, according to the title of a song by Black Eyed Peas, Let’s Get It Started!…
It was a Monday night, over a candle lit dinner with music softly playing in the back ground, when my partner of ten years informed me that we needed to separate. I was shocked. “For how long?” I asked. “Permanently,” she stated. “Then that’s a divorce, not a separation,” I clarified. “Yes,” she answered. “When?” I asked. Suddenly, I was fired as friend, lover and life partner, with a few weeks’ notice. My world began to crumble.
I have met so many people who would like to write their story, but they told me that they have no idea how to begin. It isn’t that they don’t know the story it is more about being stuck on ‘the mechanics’ of writing and doubting that they are a writer. The first step then is to let that judgment go. Just write your story and trust that someone will help you edit and polish your work.
Kvetching (complaining) is no longer my favorite pastime. Yes I do get pissed off, a lot, but I let it pass, or move it aside and get down to work. There is so much to do and so little time so kvetching is now just a hobby. Before my accident I ‘invented’, my patent portfolio attests to this, or ‘discovered’ (my scientific papers chronicle those efforts) but now, since graduating from rehabilitation, I no longer invent, I re-invent. What do I need to re-invent? Plain and simply put, myself.
According to Dr. Frank Crane, “Nobody has things just as he would like them. The thing to do is to make a success with what material I have. It is a sheer waste of time and soul power to imagine what I would do if things were different. They are not different.” (Cook, 1993). After experiencing a traumatic event that causes one’s whole way of thinking, way of life and cognitive function to change, it is difficult to focus on anything outside of “I wish I were the same as I used to be.” If a victim of a TBI remains fixated on this thought, the probability of progressing to the next level of recovery, or the next level of higher functioning will be very slim. However, on a positive note, if one changes his or her way of thinking, or the mindset of their fixation, the results could be empowering and allow them to succeed.
At times we forget how much choice plays into where we are in life. You can choose to feel whatever you want to feel. You can choose to work on making a difference for yourself and others – and you can choose to not make a difference. You can choose to change your life and move it in the direction you want, but along with the choice there comes a commitment to do the work.
When do you as a caregiver stop ‘caring too much’? You know what I mean, when do you stop second guessing yourself about everything? A sniffle, a cough, a tired look… is it a cold? Is it something more? Are they tired? Are they over tired? Is this the beginning of a ‘new development’ in your journey? When do we (here I mean me…) stop trying to fix everything before it is broken?
Last week we talked about how to figure out what causes or triggers an angry response. Now let’s get into how to set up and use a behavior plan. I’ve also included important points to keep the survivor and family safe.
One of the hot topics surrounding brain injury is what happens to the aging population. Read on and find many helpful tips on staying safe if you or a family member is an aging brain injury survivor.