“Honestly! You look completely normal. Just like one of us. I couldn’t even tell you had a brain injury if you didn’t tell me.”
“You had a concussion? You look fine.”
“You look great! You must be feeling a lot better!”
They mean well. But looks can be deceiving. Head injuries cannot always seen from the outside. Sometimes, the perception of friends and family can do more harm than good. If people are telling you that us that we look “normal,” we start to think, why don’t I feel “normal”? It can be hurtful, although the person isn’t trying to be. You think, why don’t I feel better? Why do I feel so awkward/out of it/messed up/exhausted right now? And you try and you try to get better, and maybe even push yourself to do activities you used to do before your concussion… but it just feels different and you know that you should have been resting instead. It’s a constant battle.
The sheer fact that we don’t have a cast, a wheelchair or don’t have a physical sign of injury does NOT mean that we are any less injured than someone who has some sort of physical sign. Our injury is just hidden. It’s a bruised brain. When we try to live up to any expectations to be who we were before our brain injury, all it does is hinder our healing.
Even some doctors can take one look at you and think that you’re doing a whole lot better than you actually are. Nobody can see the splitting pain of a headache that makes you feel like your head is about to fall off. Nobody can see how hard it is to focus on conversations. Nobody can see the difficulty of trying to remember that word… (you know, that one word!!!….it means something like that other thing….it starts with that one letter I think….oh forget it).
One of the reasons brain injuries are so difficult is simply because they are the invisible injury. Make sure to surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through, and try to empathize with those who don’t understand and try to educate them on TBI awareness.
Most of all: DON’T PUSH YOURSELF, cut yourself a break, and allow yourself the time to heal so that someday you will be healed enough to do everything you want to do. :)
Sending lots of love to my fellow TBI survivors out there!! Feel free to leave any comments you want & I’ll do my best to reply!
Also follow @Hope4HeadInjury on twitter and @ hopeafterheadinjury on instagram and comment or tweet on there and I’ll get back to ya :)
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March 18, 2019
"Hope is possible..." - Misty's Caregiver Story
March 2, 2019
"The silent injuries are the hardest..." - Melinda's Survivor Story