Brain injury survivors and their loved ones often try to approach life after an injury as if it is a fight. Battle hard, stay strong and never let your enemy see your weaknesses. But in truth, though there are some similarities in this analogy that are appropriate, life after an injury is not an actual fight. In fact, by treating it as a real fight survivors and their loved ones can sometimes hurt themselves by not allowing themselves to feel and process certain emotions in a healthy manner. By not processing emotions, individuals may allow these emotions to fester inside and come out at the wrong time or in the wrong situation. Not processing emotions can lead to difficulties such as depression, anxiety and relationship stress. I would like to encourage you to give yourself permission to feel these emotions.
Give yourself permission to get angry at the injury. It truly is a frustrating and unpleasant experience.
Give yourself permission to cry. There is no weakness in crying. This is an appropriate reaction to a painful situation.
Give yourself permission to mourn. There may be parts of you from the past that will no longer be part of your post-injury future. It is okay to mourn their passing.
Give yourself permission to laugh. Laugh at the moments of oddity. Laughter, in measured amounts, is a reasonable coping technique during times of distress.
Most of all, give yourself permission to experience and value the full range of your emotions. After all, our emotions are important aspects of who we are as people. They are a central part of simply being human. So please give yourself permission to be the complete person that you are, despite your injury.
Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: http://tlcrehab.org/