#BrainQA, Question 1: What is one thing you’d like every brain injury survivor to know?

I started #BrainQA yesterday: Q&A to bring brain injury survivors together and to raise brain injury awareness. So how did it go? WOW is how it went! What an amazing, helpful bunch of answers covering a wide variety of topics about being brain injury survivor.

The following answers are users from facebook, twitter and instagram, thank you everyone for answering!

What is one thing you’d like every brain injury survivor to know?

‘When you feel like you’re not getting any better you are. Recovery’s a slow journey so you may not notice it happening but it is. Keep going.’

‘I’m a year and a half out from my accident and things won’t ever be the same but I’m learning to appreciate the new me. When you are able to release what was and embrace what is, it makes things easier. Things may never be the same as they were but I am grateful for the people who are in my life, for my abilities, and for the life I have going forward. It’s definitely a process

Be honest with your loved ones about what’s going on and what you’re struggling with. If you tell them you’re handling it well, they believe you, even if it’s not really true. If you’re honest with them, they can help.

‘Be kind to yourself, it’s a very slow pace to recovery, don’t have unachievable expectations, celebrate small achievements and don’t be too hard on yourself. You can learn from mistakes, your brain can relearn, keep going, get up, get on, don’t focus on what you can’t do yet and limitations, instead focus on what you can do and look to your possibilities!’

‘Hang on to the people who ask you questions about your experience- curiosity is the first step of empathy’

Don’t push yourself past your limits to try to meet others expectations. It only causes more pain and problems in the long run. Rest as much as possible.

‘Take time to rest your brain. You are brave.’

‘Meditate to relax the brain. Use meditation as a tool for mindful living.’

‘Find a good neurologist.’

‘Recovery is not linear and life is very unpredictable’

‘It will improve, slowly, but things will get better!’

‘This has not beaten you!’

‘Every doctor has their own specialty and not every doctor will have all the information you need. Even doctors who are trained in the brain don’t know everything there is to know. You will likely need to visit multiple specialists and do multiple therapies to rehabilitate all the skills that were affected. Find one doctor who believes you and can guide you to multiple caregivers. If that’s not working, keep looking and researching and learning. Just like a baby learns to walk over many months, it might take many months to rewire lost connections and functional networks. Don’t feel bad if you have to go back to the very basics.’

‘Your brain can rewire itself – it’s designed that way’

Set a goal for tomorrow that you know you can accomplish so you are taking baby steps in the direction you want to go. Don’t worry about the future or compare yourself to your past just take baby steps every day

‘Be patient. Take breaks. Keep your eye on the prize of healing. Ask for help.’

‘Be still.’

‘Be patient! It is going to take time. Stay in the fight. Go outside and get some fresh air.’

‘Don’t EVER except “your new normal”. You can always improve and heal. Keep pushing and fighting. It WILL get better.’

‘Your brain injury does not define you!! It may change you…and that’s ok, but it will never define you!!’

‘You are not alone’

‘You’re not gonna wake up one day and be whole ever again but you can work towards shortening the deficiencies in your life!’

What is one thing you’d like every brain injury survivor to know? Comment below. The next question is tonight at 8pm:

How often do you think about your brain injury?

You can answer on here, facebook, twitter and instagram

I also answer and I’m looking forward to hearing your answers tonight!

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