Real-world TBI recovery

I can *try* to play it safe... but it's not in my nature. (Don't try this at home, by the way.)

TBI recovery is like anything else – if you want to do it well, and if you want to get a good foundation to work from, you have to have discipline, constancy, and you need to keep practicing, keep training.

Overcoming TBI is like doing the impossible. Like being in Cirque de Soleil. Like freerunning or being a parkour traceur. You end up doing things that nobody else ever thought was possible.  Until you did it. And even then there are skeptics — or just plain people who don’t understand or appreciate how “impossible” the thing you just did really is.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to get to a point in my life where I’m “good”. And it occurs to me now, after my morning walk-run-jump, that where I’m at my best, is in the unknown. Far outside the comfort zone. Making myself nervous – for a very good reason.

If there’s one thing that has held me back, over the past years (probably my entire life), it’s been the mis-conception that there can ever be a comfort zone for me. It just doesn’t exist. I’m mentally, spiritually, even physically incapable of staying inside a comfort zone. I don’t belong there. Never have, never will.

And the times I’ve gotten most into trouble, have been when I started aiming for a comfort zone… got it in my head that I needed to get to a safe place, get settled, get integrated. That doesn’t really work for me.

‘Cause when I get comfortable, I stop paying attention to the level I need to. I back off. And backing off is about the last thing I need to be doing. I need to be ON. I need to be alert. I need to be with it. And I need to do it in a way that doesn’t fall back on stressing my system unnecessarily to produce the stress hormones that keep me ON.

That sort of “On-switch” is far from sustainable. It just takes too much out of me.

So, I need to find a new and better way.

I’m looking for that now. Looking for how to do this. Looking for how to be this.

I realize I’ve gotten comfortable in this job, which is a huge mistake. Being in synch with everyone is fine, but I can’t get too comfortable. People around me crave comfort. And safety. And predictability. And their physical condition (or lack thereof) shows it.

That’s not me. Not me at all. I need to stop trying to assimilate with them. Just stay true to my vision, follow my own lead, and do what my decades of experience tell me is the right thing to do. TBI did not take from me my general fund of knowledge, just my facility at accessing and using it appropriately. And that’s coming back now, thanks to working with my neuropsych.

Adieu zone de comfort. I’m off and running…

Diving back into the real world, for a real-world recovery.

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.

6 thoughts on “Real-world TBI recovery”

  1. hi there….looks like FLEXYX FNS is different from LENS or Low Energy Neurofeedback System that i’m being treated with. It was developed by Len Ochs, PHD. you can see a brief article by him at not sure how different this system is from FLEXYX or if it’s just another name for the same. Cheers!


  2. James, your brain probably wants alcohol because your liver can’t metabolize it. If your liver can’t break down alcohol into chemicals that your body can flush out, it turns into things like methyl alcohol and formaldehyde. If your liver can’t break down alcohol safely, you are embalming yourself from the inside out, and your body is desperate for relief — so you drink more. If you’ve got a lot of drinking behind you, you may have so much sludge built up in your system that the only way you can get free of the pain is to keep drinking — which just puts more sludge in your system.

    It’s probably not your brain that wants alcohol – it’s your body. But alcohol tricks your brain into thinking *it* is running the show.


    You may need to get some sort of treatment… or just give it up, dry yourself out, and get yourself back on track. But it’s not your brain that needs fixing – it’s your whole body and spirit, too.

    At least, that’s what my friends who gave up drinking 20+ years ago tell me.

    Good luck.


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