TBI Recovery – Get Organized

Get it together

Ken Collins wrote a great comment on the post Breaking the silence – and it’s well worth the read.

Some of the lessons I have learned after 37 years of living with a brain injury.

There are four major areas to work on during the brain injury recovery process:

Get Organized – Be Responsible – Follow Through – Move On!

Great advice! In my experience, all these work together. Getting organized lets you be more responsible, and if you’re already feeling responsible, getting organized can help you be even better at it.

Getting a day planner, using calendars and alarms and reminders… having extra “tools” like a key holder… keeping to-do lists… and making shopping lists… all good, as well. I do them, and they have saved my butt many times.

For shopping lists, I try to group the items according to where they are in the store, so I don’t waste a lot of time walking from one end of the store to the other. Come to think of it, I’m going to make up a “master shopping list” of things I need that lists all the things I usually buy in the order they appear in the store…


Okay, that’s done. I just made up a map/list of my most commonly bought items, grouped by where they are in the store. I actually don’t get a lot of stuff at the store – we eat very simply, with healthy foods, fresh meats, fruits and vegetables – so it’s fairly easy. Plus, there are only two of us.

I think this is going to help – including for my spouse, who can get “lost” in the store very easily and ends up spending so much time just wandering around from one end to the other. By the time they’re done, they are exhausted. So, maybe this will help.

There are a lot of things we can do to help ourselves, and getting organized is one of the most basic ones. The nice thing about it, too, is that you can tell very clearly when you need to be better organized. If you start out thinking something is going to take an hour, and it ends up taking two hours, then something is amiss — and something needs to be done about it. Granted, for folks with dementia or brain injury, it may not be all that obvious, but if you know for a fact that other people can do something in a fraction of the time, getting better organized can go a long way towards helping you get there.

And getting organized is something you can do — and practice — yourself. It can take a lot of practice, and a lot of trial and error, but with time it can come together. You just can’t give up. Take a break, yes. Step back and get a different perspective, yes. Do something different to keep from going crazy, yes. But don’t give up.

Well, I’ve got to get going. The day is getting away from me… again. I’m back from my trip to see family, and I’m starting to return to the land of the living, here. Yesterday was a slow start. Today is better.



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.

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