Corey is working well with her journal therapy. It is giving me insight into her unspoken fears and frustrations; not that I know how to help her release them but it’s a start.
As you have come to know through our writing, brain injury causes great change and transition for the survivor and their family. With no preparation beforehand nor, typically, any substantial training in how to cope once the injury has intruded into our lives, we become overwhelmed. Thank goodness we began journaling! It has been a great source of healing.
I stumbled onto a ebook called ‘Writing Through Transitions’ by Leia Francisco via a blogger that took her writing course. She noted an important difference: the change is an event (for us brain injury; for anyone – job loss or promotion, marriage or divorce, moving etc) and the transition is the process of reacting to that event.
Leia explains further, that transition has three phases. She uses Dr. William Bridges ‘Three Transition Phases Model’
“1. Endings are the place where transitions start. The change, whether anticipated or not, means letting go of the old ways, old roles or old life view. We will leave behind something from the past as we move ahead.”
“2. The neutral zone is a confusing time, between the old way and the new way, between the known and the unknown. Things are up for grabs, and the ground beneath our feet may be less then solid. This can also be time of great creativity and freedom to explore.”
“3. New beginnings is the emotional acceptance and participation in the changed situation, role or life view. We redefine who we are.”
Leia writes, “we each experience these phases in our own way, with a unique psychological timeline, and we must go through all three phases if we are to learn and grow from our transitions.”
The sentence, Endings are the place where transitions start, gives me comfort and oddly enough…hope. My mind has been incessantly repeating this as our new mantra.
The neutral zone. What a brilliant label to describe where we’ve been living! We are between the known and unknown. There is no solid ground, no timeline, we can’t use what we knew in the past and haven’t learned what will help us for the future; yet, we are using each day (some days in pure desperation) to be creative and explore our direction.
New beginnings. Reading the explanation of this phase helped to remove one of my blinders masked by the daily challenges of the neutral zone. I am reminded; we are participating in our changed situation, role and life view. Although our direction and abilities have changed, WE ARE participating in LIVING LIFE.
Living it to the best of our ability, and enjoying the good minutes, will transition us through the neutral zone to new beginnings with greater opportunities and endless possibilities, xoxo