Self-love: It is time to end the hatred

It is easy to focus on your flaws. It is more difficult to partake in self-love. This post is about how I began my journey.

In honor of Valentine’s day coming up, I figure it would be a good idea to talk about self-love. Sometimes loving yourself for who you are is difficult.

It is easy to see all your flaws, but it is essential to realize that the people you are around don’t see your flaws the way you do. Imperfections can be many when you are dealing with a brain injury.

If I give you a minute to write down all your flaws, how long will the list be? If I give you a minute to make a list of things you love about yourself, will the list be shorter or longer?

Usually, the love list is shorter, and that is an okay start on the self-love journey. The important thing is you find stuff you love about yourself. If there is nothing, start small.

I am not thrilled with my weight and my current life situation. I do like the color of my hair and how passionate I can become about a task.

Self-love Journey

The things you love about yourself don’t have to be physical. You can like something about your personality.

It is easy to get down on yourself. It isn’t an effortless task to improve your life if there is nothing positive you can say about yourself.

To begin my self-love journey, I challenged myself to pick five things I like about myself. Keep this list around for when you are feeling down about yourself. Read the list and remember that there are things to love about yourself.

When you are feeling down about yourself, remember you can always change what you don’t like.

The practice of self-love promotes self-confidence. The more self-confidence you have, the more comfortable you are in your own skin, and it may get rid of some self-hatred.

If you haven’t gotten the chance, please read my story about why I began the blog, click here.

Hopeless: When a task seems impossible

When a task seems impossible, remember the task is just difficult and not impossible.

The dictionary defines hopelessness as ‘impossible to accomplish.’ I have had many times where I have felt hopeless myself, or the task I am working on is futile.

This feeling is not fun to have. It can leave you feeling desperate and ask what the point is. If something is impossible to accomplish, why bother doing it.

But there is good news. There is a difference between hopelessness and exhausting. As the dictionary states, hopeless is impossible and difficult is ‘not easily or readily done.’

When a task is difficult, it may seem hopeless. But most of the time, it is just a difficult task. Usually, the only job that is impossible is one that physically cannot be done, like a dog picking up a can of soup with their paws.

The dog is physically unable to pick up a can of soup because they do not have thumbs and cannot grasp the can. Sports have taken many strides from when they began.

For a long time, figure skaters believed that triples would be the highest jump they would do. Still, recently multiple skaters have landed quadruple jumps in competitions and therefore achieving the hopeless.

Hopelessness Turned Around

It is mentally draining to perform a difficult task, but the key is not to give up. The ability to keep working on a task, and performing it over and over again is impressive.

If the task you are working on begins to feel hopeless, take a break. You can always pick it back up again. It will do no good if you keep attempting the task.

I have found that as I become more frustrated, the more hopeless the task becomes. My mind and body do not follow what is needed to do to perform the job

It is okay to step away and come back to it later. The important thing is never to give up. Next week I will dive into how I handle when I feel like I am hopeless.

If you haven’t been able to read my story and why I started this blog, click here.

Dreams: We all have them

Everyone has their dreams. It is important to acknowledge that dreams are different. With our own timelines certain life events occur at different times.

It is normal to wonder when the right time is to follow a dream in life. I have learned that it is never the right time for anything.

Since it is never the right time, you should just do what you want to do. It is important to just go for what you want.

No one knows what is going to happen in the future, and we can spend hours worrying about it. Or we can create our future.

Being Left behind

The feeling of being left behind is real, and it hurts. The importance of doing what you dream of doing is valid. Others cannot take your dream away from you.

When I am feeling left behind, I try to remember that everyone has a different vision. No one shares my vision, and I don’t share theirs.

The fact that we do not have the same dreams means we are on different timelines. I am working toward my goal of researching ways to aid in rehabilitation after a brain injury.

Different Dreams

That is my current dream. At some point, my goal will be finding the man I love and starting a family, but it is not it right now.

My friends that are engaged right now that is their dream. It is excellent that they are living their dream, and I am living mine.

When you are feeling left behind or left out, think about what you are working towards. Remember what you are trying to accomplish in life.

If you are not working toward a dream right now, sit down and think. What do you hope to accomplish in life?

It doesn’t have to be significant or life-changing. You just must pick something. Try to start small if you are unable to think of a dream.

If you get the chance, please check out my story to have an idea of why I began this blog.

Timelines: We each have our own

Events in life will happen when it is the right time. Everyone is on their own timeline and it is okay to feel left out but there are ways to help feel less left out.

We all have our own timelines in life. Our timetable may look different than others our age, and sometimes this can be not very easy to accept.

The holidays just occurred, and there were a lot of engagements and moments to share with loved ones.

I am personally of the age where most of my friends are getting married or in long term relationships where I am not. This difference in life is okay; they are where they need to be, and so am I.

I am still working on accepting this fact and I need to allow that I will find the right person. Currently, I am trying to figure out what I want in my life and what I am looking for.

This process includes me trying to figure out my life out. Now that is no small feat; I am journaling every day in order to understand what I want my life to look like.

The transition period of when you and friends are coming out of school and creating an adult life can be tough. We are in the place where the is a sense of unsure and do not know where lives are going.

This post is going to be the beginning of a series about personal timelines, I guess you can call it. Next week I will post a discussion about dealing with the immediate feelings towards being left behind and what has helped me begin to cope with this process and period in life.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my story, please click here.

Fear: The World can’t Help it.

We all experience fear. This only difference is how we handle it and if we let it rule our lives. This has suggestions on how to overcome fear.

With the new year upon us and there is a bunch of unknown. At least for me, the unknown means fear.

Everyone becomes afraid, and it is a natural human emotion. Fear can aid in a survival situation. It can alert you as to when something is wrong.

The problem is when you let fear hold you back from what you want to do. I am a creature of habit; fear interferes with my chance to move forward with life.

The process of getting a new job was stressful for me. For the first two months, I walked through the door, scared as to what the day would hold.

The stress and fear did not keep me from walking through the doors and facing each day. After a while, I became more comfortable, and now I wouldn’t change where I work for the world. My co-workers are some of my best friends.

Overcoming Fear

There are different ways not to let fear get in the form of how you live your life. It will prevent you from moving forward in life.

When I am doing something that scares me, I try to think about how doing the thing that scares me will benefit me in the future. This allows me to continue the event that scares me.

This suggestion is easier said than done, but I sometimes need to push through the fear and do the act.

I have found that something that helps me is relaxing, I need to take deep breaths and imagine how good things will be after the event. I also (as cliche as this is), go to my happy place, which is somewhere where I am happy and not stressed.

Fear pushes us to new limits if we don’t let it hold us back. Practice and find ways that work for you to conquer your fear.

Self-Care Importance

Self care is an important part of life for anyone, but is is vital for someone with a brain injury.

Self-care is an essential part of making sure you are happy and healthy in life. Everyone needs self-care.

Self-care is especially important if you are dealing with a brain injury; because it takes at least twice as much energy to perform a task.

You need to know when you need time for yourself and take a break from everyday duties. It is okay. Everyone needs mental health day from time to time.

When living with a brain injury, it may be more necessary to take these mental health days. Some people may not understand why you need to do this, but that is okay.

With a brain injury, you may need more mental health days than others; this is because you are using more brainpower to get through the daily tasks others coast through.

If you have people in your life that do not understand this, I say you get rid of them. They are not healthy for you to be around, and if they are real friends, they would understand what you need.

Self-Care and Support System

Real friends will respect that getting through the day may be more difficult for you than it is for them. You may need to cancel plans or reschedule them because you are having a rough day.

Family plays a vital role in this process also. They need to acknowledge that sometimes you need to have time for yourself. They of all people should understand what you are going through and the struggles you face every day.

Since family and friends know what you go through means that they need to respect what you need. Your family should be your most substantial support, and they should give you what you need.

When you have sustained a brain injury, you need to do what is right for you. The ability to take care of yourself allows you to live the healthiest life you can. A good support group will enable you to do what you need.

If you haven’t read my story of why I am blogging, please click here.

Balancing Time: Grad School and Work

Graduate School with a full time job is difficult to make happen. It is a lot on one plate.

Balancing time: the School and Job Experiment

For six months, I attempted to hold a full-time job while trying to attend graduate school full-time which requires balancing time. My school made this possible by offering my master’s degree online.

I woke up in the morning, went to work, went to the gym (sometimes), came home, ate, and did school work. I am not sure how people do it. Some do it out of necessity and kudos to them.

It wore me out. I never took time for me and became not pleasant to be around. I was losing friends and family. Everyone in my life could tell it wasn’t working for me.

The End Result of the Experiment

If going to school and having a full-time job is required for you to be in school, I will write about how I survived this for six months in an upcoming post.

The main goal is time management and making sure self care is one of your top priorities.

This lifestyle was not sustainable for me. I ended up having to choose one or the other. Finally, I let my school slide through the cracks and needed to pick one or the other.

I picked school. School is going to allow me to move forward in my life. I changed my full-time status with my work to part-time. The status change will enable me to spend more time doing school work.

The more time is crucial for me to have because of my brain injury. I required longer to fully grasp a concept that we are learning in my classes, I need to and can now spend more of my day focused on school work and bring my grades up.

I take what I do seriously and want to be the best I can be. My lifestyle change allows me to do my best in school and decide if I am indeed cut out for it.

Please check out my story if you haven’t yet.

The Single Life: Living Your Best Life

There is this expectation that people of a certain age need to be in a relationship to be happy. I personally have found that I am happier being single.

From the time I was seventeen to now (24), I haven’t been single for more than a few months. After my first break up, I probably was searching for the next guy I dated but not too actively. I dated that person for about 2.5 years and dumped him, then found interest in another guy, and we dated for about 1.5 years.

The Journey

Now, I have now been single for about 9 months, and I love it. It turns out I was never actually searching for these men, except for the first one. So I spent a lot of years being in a relationship.

Finally settling into being single, allows me to revisit parts of me that were forgotten while in a relationship. I now have been able to figure out who I am as an adult.

As I grow into myself and figure out what I care about, I can find someone that actually supports my likes and accepts my dislikes without me having to change anything for them.

My routine

The life of being single has freed me to, as cheesy as it is, to focus on me. A routine has been created by me, for myself. I work, go to the gym, read, and write.

There are times, I have forgotten where I have put my phone many times. I am not waiting for another text to respond to. There is no technology in my hand when I go outside and enjoy it.

That need to be continuously connected was probably an issue coming from me and shows me that I haven’t found the right guy yet. I feel like I lost myself, and now I am starting to become myself again.

The Joy

My family has even noticed the change and welcomes it. If you are in a relationship with the correct person that is great. I am not trying to rag on relationships. I have just not found that person yet, and I am not enjoying the time I have with myself.

No matter where you are in your love life, it is vital to understand what you need and give your brain a break. The person you are with should be able to respect that and know that you and the health of your mind comes first.

Please read my story if you haven’t yet.

New Normal: Everything Changed

A brain injury adaptation. It is not just over when everything is healed. It is a process that takes all your life.

A brain injury is not like other physical injuries people endure. When someone breaks a limb, they go through rehab, and if all goes well, they are back to normal after some hard work. They have a new normal.

A brain injury is, sadly, not exactly like that. After a brain injury, you are living with a new normal. Rehabilitation is a vital part after a brain injury. This will help you to go back to as normal as possible while learning how to live with your new normal.

A brain injury requires you to adapt to your lifestyle. This is possible. It requires times and patience. Trust me, this can be difficult.

I have lived with my brain injury for 24 years, and there are still things I need to figure out. For my situation, my brain isn’t fully developed yet so things will keep changing.

New Normal: It never ends

A brain injury tests people’s ability to handle adversity. Things may be going smoothly for a while, and then something pops up can be complicated. This is normal in my experience.

It has been years at times. I may forget that I have a brain injury, and then I face a new challenge. This new challenge reminds me of what I live with and that I need to enjoy every minute.

I am not condoning blaming all of your troubles on your brain injury. After years of living with your brain injury, there is no real way to know if this would have caused issues without the damage. It may be possible to have an educated guess as to if the brain injury does effect because of where the injury is.

I am not saying you are not allowed to blame your injury, just don’t let it be a crutch in your life.

Please check out my story if you haven’t already. Click here.

News that the injury happened

Support is vital to the healing system. A brain injury is new to their life and need to work on accepting what happened.

No matter when you get your brain injury, someone is going to give you the news that you sustained a brain injury. Whether it is the doctor or family when you wake up or if it is your parents when you are of the right age.

The news is difficult to hear, and I could imagine it tough to give. It is a life-changing event, and people handle rough news in different ways.

I think that the best thing people can do when they break the news to them is just giving it time. The person just heard something tragic about what happened to them.

It will take some time to accept it. There are days where I have not accepted it, and I have had my injury for 24 years. I have known about it for probably 16 years but still.

Taking the News in

As the person telling them, let them come to you with questions. The sheer fact they found out they have a brain injury is overwhelming enough.

They will ask more questions about the event when they are ready. Some may be ready to ask questions right away and others it may take a few days to begin to wonder.

If it is you who has received the news, allow yourself to take it in. It is a lot to hear. When you are ready questions will come, and you can begin to understand what happened and what it means for your future.

There are still things I am learning about my brain injury. After one has come to terms with the event, they may start thinking towards the future.

Thinking about the future is a good sign, I believe. This may involve talks about therapy and ways to get back to their best life.

This is not a subject to push on. Let the person who gets the news come to you.

Please read my story to further understand why I started this blog.