Reinventing Yourself is not Easy after a Brain Injury

Brain Injury Blog by Saverio Monachino

May 20, 2011

Reinventing is not Easy after Your Brain has been Injured

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 brain injury from an 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 since my brain injury. 

This is not an easy thing to do, especially if it involves modifications to one’s personality.  Last month I admitted that I am a TBI survivor.  Today I will fess up again and tell you that I am an ‘INTJ’ (Myers-Briggs anyone?). 

What is Myers-Briggs?  Well, that will take some time to explain.  But, the purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives.  The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.  Got that?  Okay, lest move one.  

Now, as I said, I am an INTJ.  What does that look like in psychological parlance?  Let’s have a look.  INTJ means you… Have an original mind and great drive for implementing ones ideas and achieving goals.  INTJs quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives.  When committed, INTJs organize a job and carry it through.  They are skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.

Does anyone see ‘marketing executive’ or ‘shoe salesman’ in that definition? 

I’ve taken the tests several times (before the accident) and again as part of the psychological evaluation in rehab as well, and I know that if I change a few answers I can easily move from an introverted persona to an extrovert (sample question:  Do you like to spend Saturday night in the basement tending your mushrooms or going to a party?).  Once when I took the test I made sure to answer in the extroverted domain and so become and ENTJ on entry into a management training program.  It took the instructors about ten minutes to flag me as someone who doesn’t always tell the truth.  Introverts are so easy to pick out of a line-up, they don’t talk much to people they don’t know. 

Sorry, I digressed.

Back to the beginning, why re-invent.  Quite simply, after rehab I tried and tried and tried again (I left out the other 9,997 renditions of tried) to get a job in anything resembling my old line of work, to no avail.  Yes, we were/are in a recession, but there had to be another reason I couldn’t even get an interview, and that reason (my opinion) was…  I will not kvetch, I will not kvetch, I will not kvetch.  So, because I could not get a job, I tried something new, I re-invented. 

The problem here was that no matter how many times I ruminated, every possible scenario involved learning how to ‘market’ or ‘sell’ and nothing can be less independent, or worse, have lower standards for an INTJ than these two themes.

Now, I do have one book (fiction) published, so, do you want to buy a book?  How does one sell that, as a concept or as a physical entity?  And worse, how does one market books that have no defined readership?  These are not simple problems and yet, being knew to this venue I did not see them, so I am now learning on the fly and cheating on my Myers-Briggs answers, again.   

Next month:  How to make a movie without really trying, or is that; trying to make a movie without really knowing how?

2 responses to “Reinventing Yourself is not Easy after a Brain Injury”

  1. Josh Goeglein says:

    I too am a TBI survivor and an INTJ, I came to google to research if people with TBI group under certain MBTI types. You are the first link I read. Maybe there is something to this theory?

  2. Paul Lamb says:

    Hi and F Y Interest

    I am a great example of reinventing and rebuilding yourself.

    I had to do that following a major trauma in my life with a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury from being a passenger in a single car crash. I was in a coma for almost a month. After my caregivers said I was going to die I came to. When I came out of my coma I was like a six year old at mid-life. Couldn’t talk well or understand. I was in a wheelchair. I was extremely destitute. I wanted to commit suicide.

    I have written a book that descibes an inspiring story and Iceberg Strategies that give you tools to reinvent and rebuild yourself.

    My book is called Exploring the Iceberg (Revised).

    My MBTI is INFJ. I am certified in the assessment and have been using it since 1989.

    It is one of my Iceberg Strategies I used to reinvent and rebuild myself.

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