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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.

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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Invisibility and Disability of Brain Injury by Cheryl Green

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You know how people sometimes refer to traumatic brain injury as a silent epidemic? And you could say disabilities from brain injury are invisible. No one can actually see your brain in action in everyday life. For those of us living with effects from brain injury in ourselves or someone close, we know it’s not so invisible or silent. Spend one day in my house, and you’ll observe me working from three calendars that don’t match and going up and down the stairs trying to figure out what I was looking for (a nap). It’s pretty visible. But sure, I try to hide some things in public because I’m people make fun of me and my newer quirks.

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Life goes on after TBI – Fourteen Years Later by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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Living with brain injury or TBI is a long journey. Bill Jarvis shares the problems he has faced and his progress over 14 years since his injury. He encourages survivors to persevere and keep moving forward – no matter what physical, psychological, or cognitive challenges you face. While there are still things he can not do, his life has still better because he did not give up. He reminds you that giving up is an option but going on with life is a better choice.

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What Brain Injury Survivors Want You to Know by Barbara Webster

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Survivors of brain injury are often given advice or direction on what to say – or not to say; how to do something – or not do it; when to do something – or when to stop. The advice can be well meaning and intended to offer help and support. But Barbara Webster flips the table and list the things that brain injury survivors want you to know. This list of brain injury wisdom carries valuable messages for caregivers, families, friends, colleagues and providers. Listen carefully!

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Brain Injury Talk – Why Do People Anger Us By What they Say? by Jeff Sebell

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Is there anyone among us who has had a brain injury who is not sensitive to what other people say about us? It is a fact that we are possessive and emotionally connected to our brain injuries; and with good reason. We are understandably sensitive (some would say, hypersensitive) when others make offhanded comments or broad statements that can cause us to feel defensive, not understood or trivialized.

Although the person making these comments may feel they are just innocent observations, we hear them as assaults on our integrity, our strength and our motivation.

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Principles of Success in TBI: The 4 Ps by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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Many have successfully improved after their TBI. Often there are common threads to their success. These common threads are the same ones I have used throughout life. Success is defined not in terms of 100% healing, but in terms of inner peace in your accomplishments. I have used these principles in my professional career and more recently in my rehabilitation from a debilitating car collision in 2000. The principles to my success have been perseverance, productivity, purpose, and prayer.

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Relationships after TBI and how to improve them! by William C. Jarvis, Ed.D.

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Adjusting to your new life and interacting with people is a common problem following a brain injury. There are reasons why relationships after TBI are so difficult. The first obvious outcome always results in the Survivor not being the same after the injury. Friends and family expect the same person in personality, temperament, and general reaction to events of everyday living.

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National People With Brain Injury Acceptance and Appreciation Month by Cheryl Green

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This year, I got to present at some events for national Brain Injury Awareness Month. I ran around calling them National People With Brain Injury Acceptance and Appreciation Month events! We need these events to focus and share crucial information about injuries, the impact they have on people, and new diagnosis and treatment protocols. But to me, when the emphasis on brain injury overshadows discussion of the people who actually have the brain injury, I get a little nervous!

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My Life after Being Hit by a Semi; The Story of My Brain Injury by William Boggs

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Can someone live after being hit by an 18-wheeler truck? This is my story. My story is about an experience that not many people face. Those people who do face what I experienced may not be as blessed as I was. I can truly say that God has His hand on my life. No one saw it coming and no one was prepared. Not only was I in an accident that affected me physically, but the very core of my spiritual life was turned upside down.

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We Are More Than Our Brain Injuries by Cheryl Green

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Cheryl Green has met people who say some of us over-identify with our brain injuries. They complain that all some of us ever talk about is our brain injury. But it’s not for others to say. A brain injury can affect all parts of your life in the present and the future. If it’s your identity, that’s wonderful. If it’s what you want to talk about, that’s wonderful too. It’s not like we’re the only people on the planet who get really into talking about one thing.

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