People often ask how Corey keeps her spirits up. The therapists will tell you that they are incredibly impressed with her work ethic. She can be in the middle of a session, hit her frustration level, bang her hand against her head, try to rip her hair from the top of her head and then take a deep cleansing breath to push through to complete the session. The description of this process does not begin to express what it is like to watch this young woman fight for her progress.
I have shared that in addition to these pages, my coping mechanisms include research for motivational or inspirational websites. I am also reaching out to TBI survivors and their families. Networking is a critical element to our recovery. I write “our” because the entire family is affected. One of my friends (father of a TBI survivor) posted a link to a story I shared with Corey today. The author of the story is currently 36. He was 18 when he sustained his injury. He was hit by a train – literally.
Corey listened to Jon’s words intently. It’s obvious from his writing that he’s maintained his sense of humor and Corey laughed as I read parts of his story. Jon’s story is an example of what Corey and I read and translate to our daily life. Every day is difficult, but isn’t it for everyone? We gain strength from other’s that are learning to walk the roads chosen for them. After reading aloud to Corey I asked her what she thought of Jon’s story. She said, “Good”. I told her I was proud of her; her reply, “me too”. “Why are you working so hard Corey”? She answered, “For me”. “You and me, we’re good”. She added, “Thank You”. I knew what she meant, xoxo
The following is today’s inspiration for us ~ an excerpt from Jon’s story; brainline.org
You might ask what my driving force is, what keeps me going every day in spite of the fact that I am physically a “train wreck”. It’s simple. I stay strong for all of the people who have helped me. On rare occasions, when I catch myself wishing that the train did end my life, I think of my friends and family and how it would be for them. If I start feeling sorry for myself, I try to remember that a lot of people look up to me. I’m a survivor, not because I want to be, but because I have to be for the benefit of those who see me as an inspiration. I am a reluctant role model.
Many people ask me how to deal with hard issues in their lives, be they physical, emotional, or spiritual. I know they look at me and think, if a train couldn’t put him down, nothing can. Then, I think – hell, yeah! If a train couldn’t put me down, nothing can! I’m a survivor who has used my inner strength to reinvent my life. I go to work every day and have my own apartment. I have many friends and I love to go to restaurants and flirt with the waitresses. And, best of all, I have a sense of humor that makes all those long faced non-survivors realize that life can be a joy – if you let it be. I have a lot of insight to share. If my opinion was pay worthy, I’d be rich.
Awhile back, I went to visit the doctor who, all those years ago, told my mother I would be nothing more than a vegetable. I went into his office and said, “So, what kind of vegetable do you think I am?” It gave me great pleasure to see the surprised look on his face. It gave him great pleasure to see how far I had come. This experience, though small in comparison, let me know that I can create my own miracles. I’m still working on staying happy for myself, to be my own motivation. But in spite of it all, I am a happy guy. And, I am rich! Wouldn’t you agree? I am rich in friends, stamina, and in life.
My life rocks.
Jon’s Words of Wisdom
“After your accident, you need to be understanding and patient with yourself. It takes time to get better. The hardest part is to learn how to give your self a break. Give yourself credit for what you have accomplished, even if that accomplishment seems small. And teach others to be patient with you. It is a 50/50 deal. You have to work together. You have to tell people to slow down and give you the time you need. It is hard when you could once do everything for yourself and suddenly you are limited. It is very frustrating when you find you can’t even wash your own face. It all takes time and practice. Just don’t give up. And remember – when you are feeling sorry for yourself and your lot in life, there is always someone in worse shape than you. Everyone has their problems that seem just as insurmountable to them as our problems seem to us. No one gets off easy.”
Good luck to you all, and thanks for listening.