This is not easy! People think they know what is best but for but most of the time they are not right. What someone with a brain injury is able to do depends on their determination and their willingness to not give up. I served in the military so I have some of these traits already. But often that isn’t enough. Often we need to fight for justice, to get rehabilitation, and recover to a point where we can live.
Relearning activities of daily living was not an easy task. Frustration often occurred after times of trial. Eventually that task would stick but then a new problem would happen. This never ending cycle made life very difficult.
And yet when that “initial” recovery phase was over, I thought that I was where I would be at the rest of my life. I took up cycling during rehabilitation. I felt free while I rode, free from canes, free from the looks, free to appear normal. In the cycling and Veteran community I feel accepted.
Society teaches very little about accepting others who may seem different. This past week I saw a photo with three men, two of which looked different. The lady favoring the one that looked normal and it really got me to thinking. Thank you to Brett S. Brody for posting this. Does society favor those that look or seem normal? What about those that are different? They may not look different but inside maybe they are dealing with a brain injury.
You would think by now that I’d have emotions and capabilities figured out. It has been over 11 years but I am still finding struggles. Very few people understand what I have to go through daily just to seem normal or the effort it takes me. Life is not always easy for me but I see this picture and it makes me think:
It took me nearly 45 minutes to do this course out and back, about 16km but then I realize that if I can do this then why do I think twice about everything else?
Let’s talk about finding a job. For most people it is very frustrating. The ATS and recruiting system need an overhaul. Hiring managers need to get better at responding back so people are not left in a state of dark. Now take that frustration and multiply it by at least two; sometimes more. Getting turned down once is disappointing, twice is a stronger sense of disappointment, and over 100 times leads you to a sense of wanting to give in. I am no different as a person with a brain injury. This may even set in sooner.
Life is what you make it no matter how you may look or act. Embrace it!