How brain injury can lead to homelessness – one survivor’s story

How brain injury can lead to homelessness – one survivor’s story.

Just came across this, thanks to Twitter. Good to be aware.

My first brain injury happened when I was six-years-old.

When I was an adult, I acquired my second brain injury from a car accident. One year later, I was homeless and living in a shelter.

After my accident, I was no longer able to look after myself the same way as I had before. The hospital was more interested in healing my broken bones than looking at my brain. The law was more interested in upholding the law, and my boss at the time was more interested getting me back to work, rather than making the necessary accommodations for this to be possible.

Godfrey Dubon
Godfrey Dubon

I spent days, weeks, months and years lost without any direction. I had memory problems, a hard time keeping jobs and no friends. I started drinking more than ever, and I lost myself in the world of drugs and alcohol. I felt death would be heaven.

It is very hard to explain all details about what it’s been like to live with my brain injury. But I one detail I want to make clear: having brain injury is not a joke and being homeless makes it worse. I became sick with mental health issues and addiction. I had learning problems, problems with the law, problems holding down a job, and problems having relationships. But the biggest problem was that I did not know what was happening to me, or where I could go for help, or even how to ask for help.

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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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