Feeling normal. Normal is good.

Back from Thanksgiving for real, now… Back in the swing of things at work, where everything is going crazy for year-end. They had another round of layoffs at work, but I was magically spared.

I’m pluggin’ away at my new job, rallying back after what was a less than stellar review of my first cut at the project I’m working on. Must be smart about this. Will be smart about this. Will use fewer pronouns, so I think faster 😉

But I’m tired. Tired and ready to just relax. After my 10 p.m. call tonight, when people overseas complete a job I asked them to do, and I check their work.

Still digesting Thanksgiving time. And trying to find space in my schedule to just take a break. One of my coworkers stopped by earlier today, saying they didn’t have enough work, and they were just occupying themselves with other things. I wasn’t sure what to say. I’d give anything to have less work — but this way I’m safe(r) from layoffs, I guess, which is good.

The main challenge I’m facing today, is accepting the fact that I had a normal Thanksgiving and I’m having a normal life. A normal life with average expectations. It’s to be expected that this new line of work will tire me out. And it’s to be expected that I can share time with my family and not melt down or lose it or freak out on them. It’s to be expected — today, anyway. In past years, not so much.

So, I’m tired, yes, but I’m still grateful. I’m grateful that I am having a normal life, with all its ups and downs. I’m grateful that I had a good time with my family. Most of all, I’m grateful that I am actually feeling normal. What a change this is, after 40-some years of NOT feeling normal.

I think I’ll celebrate Thanksgiving through the end of the year.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

3 thoughts on “Feeling normal. Normal is good.”

  1. The process of recovery is long and often filled with ups and downs. Much like life in that sense. The fine line in brain injury, especially mTBI, is to accept and recognize that TBI has a role in ones life but equally to understand that not everything is TBI. Some of it IS our emotional history, some of it is, just like with everyone, part of living. TBI survivors tend to be hypersensitive to every issue – and sometimes very grateful for regular stuff.

    Much of what you do is articulating overtly the process for self-improvement. Perhaps more people, TBI or not, should self reflect and consider how to own and address their issues without judgment. Half of our problems in communication come from the underlying judgments that exist in our thinking processes.

    One of the other fine lines that I encourage providers and others to recognize is that ‘intelligence’ and cognitive ‘issues’ are not one and the same. Brain injury, especially mTBI, is particularly frustrating simply because it is change. When you have had multiple injuries -such as yourself – that is multiple, major, and sudden changes of the most essential component of self.

    Key to all human happiness is a sense of well being – and that well being is derived from a variety of components – feelings of being loved and being able to love, the ability to have human relationships, believing that one can manage their environment believing in ones capacity to choose for oneself and the ability to self manage. The TBI survivor has some add on struggles to address – for example , our bodies have the capacity to input 12 million ‘bits’ of sensory data at one time, but we can only process 40 ‘bits’ in any moment. The TBI survivor has difficulty in filtering and processing speed, so they must work harder to manage their environment and be able to choose, self manage etc.

    You work hard on this, you have made mistakes and you will make more – many more – welcome to the human race – but you care profoundly, and try and keep trying, and succeed. You are intelligent, thoughtful and determined. There is much here for giving thanks.


  2. I totally agree — how much different would the world be, if we could just own up to our muck-ups and get on with figuring out how to make it right. Without punishing ourselves constantly for just being human?

    Wow – 12 million bits of sensory data… and we can only process 40? And we have to work harder? That hardly seems fair, but then, there are a whole lot of people who have a whole lot of troubles, sensory or not.

    Determined I am! Thoughtful, I try to be. Intelligent is always an aspiration.

    Thanks for you words.



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