BY: FRANCE THERIAULT
Featured Image Description: A letter board that says in white block letters, ‘Never forget how capable you are’. The statement is surrounded by a ring of yellow flowers. A person’s hand is in the image, implying the person just created the message on the board.
I feel the electric current that emanates from these words: ‘you are wildly capable.’
How invigorating these words are for me at this moment in my life where I am able to connect the dots and look back at the multitudes of micro-changes that took place in my healing journey.
Like many people who live with brain injury, especially in those early days, I was tired, lost and very confused. Pain clouded my fragile capacity to envision the future, even the near future. I didn’t know how capable I was.
How could I feel capable back then?
My arduous, long and imperfect recovery unfolded with many ebbs and flows, so many more than I expected.
Over the years, I started to lift the heaviness that immobilised me. One of the first tasks I took was to assess my life. Spending countless hours by myself, mostly in silence, I looked closer at my moral values and finally I started to edit them.
I thought, ‘How do I aspire to live with my brain injury?’
‘Slowing down’ was something I wouldn’t accept pre-concussion, even though I am certain it appeared loudly and persistently in my life. After my brain injury, connecting with my needs and desires became a necessity.
As the days and the months unfolded, I let my inspiration give me more clues. I paid paying attention to the signals and synchronistic signs that were coming my way.
I desired to be more:
- Free to be
- And certainly more confident
These questions became the balancing act to create something tangible. I hoped I would eventually be able to create something beautiful where authenticity could shine brightly.
Healing from this invisible injury became a full time commitment and my inner quest brought me many discoveries.
I was surprised how capable I was. Determination showed up punctually at first and with time determination and I became a fabulous duo especially, when I met hope along the way.
More than once patience invited me to extend my faith in her, but so many setbacks and disappointments eluded my trust with patience. I learned over time to be more patient. Patience and I needed to be in harmony so we could move closer to some of my dreams.
Finding tools and support to assist me to create a different life brought me to realize the unexplored potential inside me. This discovery process was possible due to a great amount of trials and errors as well as many attempts to become more efficient and at ease with new activities while my brain was healing.
I needed to find ways to adapt to some of the tasks in my new life after brain injury. I learned to take frequent breaks, pace myself and reaching out for accountability all helped me achieve my goals.
Being open to exploring new projects or activities such as improv classes, watercolour, NIA dance, writing blogs or Tai Chi made me understand I can adapt, learn, unlearn and create new neuro pathways if I was willing to persevere and stay focused on what I want. After all I just needed to believe I had the qualities or abilities that were needed to do or accomplish something. When in doubt, I had many encouragers, loyal supporters who profusely gave me kind encouraging words.
When we venture into newness and doubt appears we can always revisit some of our victories, some of our attempts and find solace in our immense repertoire of accomplishments. What we have overcome is phenomenal, extraordinary and extremely valuable. My wish for each one of us is to be proud of all our efforts and to continue to create our own reality.
I hope you will always remember to never forget how wildly capable you are.
Follow France on Instagram @Standingbyyourside65 where she shares stories and insights about living a beautiful and meaningful life 9 years after having a Traumatic Brain Injury from a cycling accident.