Updated: Apr 3
This is a true "walk a mile in my shoes" kind of blog post bringing awareness to the impact of traumatic brain injuries. "Each year about 2.5 million individuals have TBIs of which approximately 50,000 result in death, and over 80,000 suffer permanent disability. Why does this matter? TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults ages 1 to 44. Populations that are most affected are youth and elderly who have falls." (Brain Trauma Foundation,www.braintrauma.org)
Picture a teenager sitting in her room. The lights are off, the room is dark and any bit of noise is noticed. Imagine sunlight and noise being the epitome of frustration and anger. Envision a teenager with a pounding head, a frown and little hope of normalcy. Imagine a teenager in isolation, filled with fear yet faithful to her recovery. This teenager suffered a severe head concussion. At 18 years old her world was flipped upside down. She was angry and unmotivated.
After months of recovery and emotional & physical transition the teenager began to feel grounded and a sense of normalcy just in time to head off to college. The journey towards a 4-year degree involved explosive tears during study sessions, forgetful of knowledge during tests and unexplained exhaustion upon socialization with friends. But, with determination and a sound support system she made it to graduation day. How she made it through still standing was a story in itself. She left as an alumna that led student organizations, experienced internships and received a job right out of college. You could say that she defeated the TBI, but, there's more.
The Ever-Evolving Incomplete Ending
Upon entering the workforce she found her voice and purpose in life. She enjoyed serving others. While this purpose started out through service in the nonprofit realm she later found her true gift, teaching yoga. Today, she uses mindfulness to help others control their minds and bodies. She finds ways to incorporate strengthening the mind through breath work and yoga. The journey to recover from her traumatic brain injury is a daily practice. She is ever-evolving and her recovery isn't over yet! If there is one thing that we know for certain it's, "the mind is a terrible thing to waste." Honor your mind. Fuel your mind. Strengthen your mind. And, love your mind! You only have one.
XOXO, The teenage girl (Stephany McMillan)