[I wrote this in some time ago…all rights reserved, copyrighted, yadda, yadda, yadda…more so this is my heart…please be kind. If this should happen to resonate in your heart, or others you know, please share, thumb up on Stumble Upon or vote up on your favorite bookmarking site that this may come to bless and encourage others.]
To the world outside of brain injury:
Please learn we have changed from who we were to who we now are by an accident, an injury, illness, a stroke, a coma. We have NOT chosen this path or behavior we ourselves find foreign. The intense struggle, bewilderment, and pain we feel on a daily basis are all internal, at a magnitude that causes even the strongest hearts to want to perish.
Most of us don’t clearly understand this new path we’re on either. We are still as intellectual, insightful, intelligent, smart, it’s just the hard drive has been damaged and retrieving, storing, organizing information is much more difficult.
Please be kind.
We are doing the best we can, often fraught with social foibles, errors in judgment, decision making, and processing speed. Our hearts remain the same as yours, in great need of human compassion, companionship, acceptance, and truly unconditional love. Know our hearts behind our actions.
We are hurting and in deep need. Please care for us and our needs as you would yourself or your most deeply beloved and cherished friend or family member. Most of us feel painfully lost and alone, please warmly, softly, safely embrace us in the wings of your heart.
Your heart. Your time. Your gifts and talents. The recovering and relearning process can take years or a lifetime. We need you to help us find our feet. We want to do as much for ourselves as we can, but need help until then, if indeed we get to be fully independent again.
We are greatly imperfect, as all humans are, but we can’t hide it like everyone else and some may take offense by our blatant honesty and unmistakable human frailties. We may offend or even hurt you, please know this is not intentional…our brains, our emotions, our hard drive have been damaged, and we can sometimes be unpredictable.
Please love and support.
The success or failure of our getting better, truly getting better, relies solely on the support around us. I have often felt I have pushed the envelope of unconditional love, but if I could have done differently, I would have. It is not easy learning to rely on others.
Please be open.
We often bear the weight of our own expectations of how we “used to be,” “should be,” or “wish to be.” As far as it is entirely possible, please do not impart your own expectations for how we should or could be. If we could do better, no one wants that more than we do.
Please take care.
As outsiders, care providers, friends and families of anyone with a disability, please do take excellent care of yourself. Accept the amount you can and cannot assist, get support if you need, and please take time out to nurture and refresh yourself.
Please let go.
Of how we used to be, how you would like us to be, the past, and the future…live in the moment with as much courage, integrity, and authentic positive spirit as you can.
Please be yourself.
Be honest. Be yourself. We know when promises are not kept; little do those folks know the hope of those promises is the oxygen we live on. Not being able to do for ourselves leaves us vulnerable, exposed, scared, and again, often feeling very alone. You can do a lot for us just by still being yourself. You don’t always have to be there giving everything, but like a patchwork quilt, a little bit can become a treasured heirloom of priceless beauty when others share themselves too.
Though we may not always show it, we are immensely grateful for your loving kindness, companionship, and understanding. Many a brain injured person has been pulled from the brink by someone on the outside who took a step toward them and brought them back from the edge. There are simply no words to thank someone for saving another person’s life. I only hope the satisfaction in your heart lives as a daily reminder.
Thank you for listening to our hearts, and making up a vital part of this net we are caught by lest we fall too far.