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Survivors of acquired and traumatic brain injury share challenges and rewards of rebuilding their lives and futures. Learning how to live with a brain injury can be a long, stressful and slow process that involves rebuilding your life and reshaping your future. These blog articles by survivors share the challenges, frustrations, joys and rewards of finding hope and a new way of living. By moving forward toward what is possible rather than looking back at what has been lost, it is possible to bring meaning to your life.

I Found my Brain on the Radio by Kim Jefferson Justus

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Now an advocate for brain injury survivors after her misdiagnosis when she had an aneurysm, Kim Justus is now an author and radio host featuring interviews with survivors, families, caregivers, and clinicians. She interviews survivors and provides educational information on “life after brain injury” and issues related to caregiving. She discusses the problems she and other survivors face as well as the solutions they have found.

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Hobby Night for TBI Survivor Support by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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William Jarvis shows how having a hobby night at a TBI Survivor Support Group can help build confidence, cognition and language expression. As a long-time survivor of a truamatic brain injury, Bill Jarvis has found innovative methods and practices to continue his cognitive rehabilitation and retraining over the years.

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When TBI Improvement is Hard to See! by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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William (Bill) Jarvis) explores how TBI improvement is a life long process requiring goals, focus and accountability by survivors of brain injury. After the initial rapid gains of medical treatment and rehabilitation, many survivors find it hard to monitor the more subtle and gradual signs of TBI improvement. His experience and approach is testimony to the value of persi

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TBI Loss and Your Personal Power by Jeff Sebell

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Jeff Sebell explores how and why a brain injury or TBI can result in loss of personal power for survivors. When your brain isn’t functioning as it used to after an injury, the changes in a survivor’s life can feel like you’ve lost the power to live your life the way you want to and to be the person you want to be.
TBI causes this loss of personal power by filling the survivor with confusion, indecision, forgetfulness and passivity. He explores how to reclaim your personal power by focusing on how you perceive the world and using the power of your mind.

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Never Give Up Hope after Brain Injury by Jessica Smith

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Jessica Smith is a TBI survivor who managed to hold on to hope after brain injury, even when she could not speak, walk or care for herself. She describes how she fought back and fostered the flicker of hope even when the future seemed unbearable. Describing the love and support of her mom, she credits her presence throughout the ordeal with helping her fight back and regain her life. Her essay is a frank exploration of the pain of loss and the importance of hope even when things look darkest.

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Don’t be discouraged, there is always another bus for a TBI survivor! by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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William Jarvis contrasts the wish of so many TBI survivors for immediate healing with the challenges of living with a brain injury over years and even a lifetime. Struggles for the TBI Survivor can seem endless. It is acquiring the internal strength of patience that can make living with this injury possible. Your mental attitude towards difficulties can make the difference. By learning from failures, becoming persistent, and having patience, life can be meaningful and rewarding.

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Hope after Brain Injury – Never say Never by Jessica Smith

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Brain injury hope – what’s that mean? I’m Jessy. I would like to start off by saying that if anyone has any doubt about if your loved one or even yourself could possibility recover from a brain injury, I’m ecstatic to tell you there’s always a possibility of recovering if you have hope. Without hope, there’s really no recovery. You have to remember that the doctors that you or your loved ones see are smart, but they definitely don’t know everything. You know your limits better than a doctor does and it always helps having support.

I know from experience that a brain injury changes some aspects of your life, but by no means does it define you. I know because I have a TBI (traumatic brain injury).

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You Can Do More Than You Think as a TBI Survivor! by William Jarvis, Ed.D.

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William Jarvis is a TBI survivor who found that moving his home became an analogy for moving forward with his life and not allowing his TBI to limit his future. It’s been 14 years since his brain injury and he still deals with fatigue – both cognitive and physical fatigue. But he has found strategies that recharge him and help him accomplish what he needs to do during the day. While many survivors focus on the challenges and limitations, Jarvis suggests that engagement with life – not the past – is the key to moving forward. Moving his home became an analogy for moving forward with his life.

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Strategies to Rebuild Your Life after Brain Injury by David Grant

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Traumatic brain is like a giant eraser that removed parts of your life. David Grant explores how he developed strategies, that along with his personal stubborness, helped him reclaim his life. Strategies don’t remove the challenges but they can help improve the quality of your life – as his experience shows.

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From Unlucky, Unlovely, and Unlovable and Unlucky to Lucky, Resilient, and Loved by Christine Durham, PhD

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Christine Durham describes the excruciating journey of rediscovering her self after her brain injury. It starts with a piece of pie.

I found myself standing in the middle of the shopping mall with pie dripping from my hands, pie covering the front of my coat, and to my bewilderment, my daughter, Ann, who’d brought me on this shopping trip, ran away. I didn’t blame her. I’d run away from me too, if I could! I was so ashamed! I didn’t know what to do so I kept on trying to eat the pie. I’d been apprehensive about this outing to the shops, several months after I’d left the hospital after my car accident, but I hadn’t realized I’d be so totally confused and lost.

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