Perceived Failure

May 24, 2016

Summer 09 100Today I am feeling anxious, as I wait for an appointment with a new supervisor.  I feel shame and inadequate and emotional as I plan out different dialogues in my mind.  It is hard to be different, and to feel less than, and to have a brain and body that don’t work how I wish them to be.  I have fibromyalgia and post concussion syndrome, these effect my memory, my emotions, my ability to process and hold a  lot of information in my head, my energy level, and I have chronic pain.

I often have felt like a failure in the workplace, as I have worked at many different places over the years.  In the earlier days, I believe part of it was because I was restless, and my goal was focused on navigating college and what would help me get there.  I also struggled at times with coworkers or bosses, and processing through the criticisms that could often arise in the work environment.  Without a real sense of my own value, it was easy to feel shattered or angry when others seemed to be against me.  After having children, and becoming effected by fibromyalgia, work took on additional challenges.  Having little energy seemed to aggravate my weaknesses for lack of detail, and focus, and sometimes had less tolerance for rude behaviors.  Adding a mild traumatic brain injury to the mix, increases these difficulties even more as my brain struggles with memory, processing, and focusing.  In many ways these has brought more tolerance for others, yet it can be more difficult to hide my emotions.

As I write about my perceived failures, it brings a sense of sadness to my suffering. Regardless of the circumstances, or my part in it, the pain of these experiences caused me to doubt myself as a person, and doubt my self worth.  Regardless of where my next job leads me, this part isn’t true.  My value and my success aren’t dependent upon outside circumstances, but of who I am as a person.

I pray that when I go into my meeting today, that I remember the strengths that have been brought to me through my processes.  I have a variety of skills in the jobs I have done, as well as some attributes that have come out of my illnesses.  I am more creative in finding what works, and much more present in my body and spirit.  My acceptance, understanding and kindness towards others grows, as I find a small level of this towards myself.  I know what it is like to feel overwhelmed, helpless and without hope, yet also know what it is like to see and feel love, to find support that empowers, and to believe in taking the next step towards my dreams.  We are all on a journey, and I am grateful that each day brings me the opportunity to grow and be more of the person I desire to be.

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My Traumatic Brain Injury

April 12, 2015

Two weeks ago I was playing racquetball and hit myself in the head with the racquet.  I must admit that one of my favorite things in racquetball is to put all my energy into my swing.  Probably not the best in form, but is such a great stress release for me.  Unfortunately, while trying to hit a ball off the back wall, the power of my swing went straight to the front of my head with the rim of the racquet.  I not only hit my head, but missed the ball.  Within minutes my head started to hurt, and I got a bump on my head.  I have had numerous concussion training for coaching soccer, but couldn’t believe I could actually give myself a concussion.  So I continued to play, can’t recall how long, but the adrenaline kept me going.  I felt a little off, but seemed related to my sore head.

Since then I have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury/concussion.  I still feel pressure in my head, have a hard time with mental tasks and memory, my eyes hurt and are sensitive to light, and I feel nauseated.  I feel a degree of depression and anxiety, depending on the moment.  Some of this is my normal state, and some more extreme.  The swearing words that keep entering my fragmented mind shows my agitation.  Speaking can be challenging, as I substitute words, make up words, or feel like I am stuttering.  To the person on the outside, I probably sound normal, perhaps a little less intelligent.  To me, I feel like my brain is only partly accessible.

I am surprised by the lack of information about brain injuries and people suffering with concussions.  Perhaps I am just not finding it, as it takes more effort than I have energy.  I feel alone as I read how my symptoms either should have vanished by now, or there is no clear understanding of when they could end; days, weeks, months, years.  Not the encouraging words I hope to hear.  Hopefully this blog post will be a one time post, and my brain will heal itself shortly, and I can have one part of my body that feels protected from pain.  However, if this continues, just like in dealing with chronic pain, I must find a way to adapt to life with another limitation, and not give up hope on living life on life’s terms.


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