Mindfulness for traumatic brain injury can be both extremely helpful and seemingly impossible. For a long time, mindfulness and traumatic brain injury didn’t fit together for me at all. Over a decade my first brain injury (I’ve had three), I still deal with TBI symptoms (check out these eight signs of TBI). I’ve explored a wellbeing technique known as mindfulness for numerous challenges, including anxiety, mood disorders, “ordinary” stress, and so much more. It works to improve mental health. But what about for brain injuries?
My first traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurred more than a decade ago. Since that time, I’ve worked to thrive, to live well in spite of my unique brain injury sequelae. I recently discovered a whole new way to thrive with TBI. I now see the world through rose-colored glasses.
TBI can cause different types of visual impairments and disturbances. For me, my already-mediocre vision worsened, I began experiencing double vision, I developed depth-perception issues that exacerbated my normal clumsiness and rendered me unable to properly give high-fives (much to the amusement of my children), I developed significant sensitivity to light (termed photophobia despite the fact that it has nothing to do with fears and phobias), and headaches (I haven’t had a single headache-free day since 2004). Finally connecting with the right eye doctor has improved my vision and my outlook.
It’s never too late for the brain to heal. I recently learned this lesson, and it’s timely for Mental Health Awareness Month, and opportunities for growth and increasing our wellbeing are all around us. We simply need to know where to look. For me, this “looking” had the most literal of meanings. For mental health awareness month, I scheduled an appointment with a new eye doctor.
Dealing with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be overwhelming. The best part of that sentence is the phrase “dealing with.” I know from experience that TBI can indeed be dealt with. A delightful way to do it? Read! It’s brain injury by the book.
When I experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car accident, and proceeded to exacerbate it by sustaining two subsequent concussions, there were times when I felt as though I had suffered a great loss, the loss of who I thought I once was. My mental health and sense of self took as much of a blow as my head did. The sense of loss was accompanied by anxiety, often extreme, and mood swings, from low to high multiple times in a single day. I often felt as though I had lost myself, the person I had been for over three decades.