Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cherie Call

      On the 11th of March I was able to meet someone that has been an inspiration to me for over a decade. I went to a very small concert put on by one of the most beautiful, uplifting music artists I have ever come across. Cherie Call was the first LDS artist I found when I was maybe 11 years old from the CD "Not Your Mother's LDS Music." Ever since then, I have fallen in love with every single song she has ever produced. Some are more religious (like Faith to Find the Answers) whereas others are not (like Heart Made of Wind) but they are all influential. As many of you know,
      As many of you may or may not know, I don't pick favorites. This is not only because I don't want to make any of the other [colors] feel left out, but also because there's a time and a place for specific favorites. For example, when you are feeling down, out of luck, and like there's no hope, I love the song Believe or Grace is Amazing. When I feel like I'm doing nothing in this life and I'm pretty much worthless, I listen (or at least I should) to the songs How to Move a Mountain, Somebody Else's Shoes, Invinsible. When you feel ugly, or hurt, like no one cares, listen to Beautiful, A Secret I Can't Keep, Somebody Cares, He Gives Flowers to Everyone, or The Ocean in Me. Or when you need someone to understand, to tell you that things are going to be okay, to help you through disappointments, the number one song I would always recommend is No.
      And this isn't even a quarter of her songs!!!! I love them all so very much. I love her so very much. Meeting her face to face was incredible. I was able to tell her a very short version of my story and tell her that she has kept me close to the Savior, close to what really matters and I don't know where I would be without her music. She is even sweeter in person than you would've thought from all of her beautiful music. Thank you Cherie Call for letting me meet you and for your amazing music! Thank you for never giving up! Thank you for helping so many people you may never know about. You truly are a hero.
P.S. Subscribe to me on Youtube to get Cherie Call and other great artists music! (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClzUohViVFqgivMwsxFyubQ)

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Hug from Heaven

      I had a cool experience that I thought might be worth sharing with everyone. First I think it might be worth mentioning that my mind has begun to shift, being more positive and I LOVE IT!!! How long is it going to last? With the TBI and its natural tendency to stay negative? I don't know, but I'm going to take it, embrace it and ask for more. Another small tidbit I will share is that I've changed the book that I am writing from being all about me to being a self-help book for those struggling, primarily those with a TBI, but really for anyone. I have decided that I am going to get this book written before Summer semester. How realistic is this goal? Once again, I don't know. Probably not super likely but that's why I'm going to need all the support I can get.
     Anyway, let's move on to the point of this post. This morning when I woke up initially (at 5:00 am) I had "I Believe in Christ" playing in my head. Super, right? Yes, super. Although I don't know all of the words anymore so I looked up the words on my tablet before I went back to sleep. Then when my alarm went off at 7:00 my alarm played one of my favorite songs "Beautiful Life" by Mercy River. Gosh I love this song! In fact I didn't just turn it off, no, I danced in my bed until the song ended before I turned the alarm off. But I still didn't have to be up so I went back to bed. By the time I woke up on my own, I had the song "He Loves Me" by Hilary Weeks playing in my head. Which is interesting because I don't know this song all that well. I know some of the lines of the chorus but that's about it. So I went to my iPod and played that song.
      Also, notice that I said that they were playing in my head rather than stuck in my head? Total difference. Anyway, then I called my daddy and told him about it and he told me that it must be a tender mercy, a little hug from heaven. I loved that! So I wanted to call my sister, and brothers and tell them about it, but they didn't answer their phones. Then I remembered when my aunts said that they loved my post about almost dying from the car accident, but how I identified so many tender mercies. So I decided I should make it a blog post. So here we are. Anyway, I just thought it was cool. If you agree, comment, like the post on facebook or something!
For awesome music, visit my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClzUohViVFqgivMwsxFyubQ

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Stand by You

     There are so many additional challenges that one with a TBI faces. There are so many battles that we have to fight every single day. But that does not mean that you do not have challenges that you deal with. That does not mean that you don't struggle, too. That does not mean that life is not hard for you too. We all struggle, every day. We all are attacked by the devil every second of every day. We are all part of the human race. And as such, we each have faults, flaws, imperfections, but most of all, we have the need to connect with others.
     Whether I know you or not, I want you to know that I will stand by you. "Even if we can't find heaven, I'll walk through Hell with you." I know what it feels like to feel completely alone, like no one is by your side. I don't want anyone to feel that way.
      On the reverse side, I have learned that there is so much strength that can come from within. Talk positively about yourself, think positively about yourself and your world will change. It's like I've said for a while, LOVE YOURSELF and you can overcome anything.
     But when you're still not quite ready to face it on your own, I'm gonna stand by you. Create your vision, know where you are going and ask people to join you in supporting your dream. These people will stand by you. Accept that they will be there for you when you need someone, and accept that you are strong enough to face the hardest challenges. Begin to acknowledge the fact that you, and only you can overcome the challenges that you deal with. Because you can. Then you will be able to stop asking "why me?" and start to establish a thought of "I'm glad it is me, because I can deal with this."
     I am not kidding when I say to create a vision and ask people to join your team. Do it, wake up every morning, think about it, dance, then carry on with the rest of your day. And support others when they ask you to be on their team. Stand by them.

P.S. I apologize, I feel like this is not a very well written blog post.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Motivation

Another one of the most challenging things associated with a severe TBI is the extreme lack of motivation. I'm not exactly sure what or where it is in the brain, but there becomes a literal, physical altercation that occurs that tanks motivation. It especially doesn't help in someone who has pre-frontal cortex damage (like myself) which regulates emotions. It especially doesn't help when everything that you once had planned and dreamed are now far beyond your reach. There is literally no incentive to do anything. I'm not just talking about big things like running a marathon, graduating college, going to work everyday, no. I'm also talking about little things like brushing my teeth. It's something I know I should do, I know all of the benefits to brushing, I know all the consequences of not brushing, but can I get myself to do it? Often time, still no. There are reasons for some things, like showering. I HATE showering. Amongst the typical washing, drying my hair, shaving, washing my face, brushing my teeth (again?!), which is hard enough to get myself to do, there is still the difficulty of standing on my own two feet for the short duration of a shower. Yes, my feet do ache that badly.
Anyway, I lost all of my dreams, goals, etc. I try to build new dreams but I don't find any real happiness (as noted in my post 2 posts ago) doing anything so it's hard to find something new to enjoy.....

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Consequences

     Another product of my TBI is not being able to connect all the dots sometimes. This kind of makes sense with the diffuse axonal injury I suffered, being that the pure definition of diffuse axonal injury is the axons connecting different neurons to each other got severed. I don't know if that sentence made sense. Basically the pieces of your brain that connect thoughts, information, muscle controls, etc are cut off and no longer work. Now my brain has to take a much longer, roundabout way to come up with the same result, and sometimes it just doesn't.
     For example, a + b = c, right? Yeah well in my brain it gets stuck after a + ..... I cannot come up with consequences for my actions. Since my accident, I never really have been able to, which is probably why I lost a lot of my friends in the first couple of weeks. Although I have gotten remarkably better at it, I still struggle a lot. From the beginning, I didn't understand that telling people to leave was hurtful. Quite honestly, that one is still hard for me. I continue to speak my mind no matter who it might hurt, not because I don't care who it will hurt, but because most of the time I don't have the comprehension that it will hurt anyone. I do things on a whim because another product of the TBI is being impulsive. I don't always think about things before I do them and I usually get bitten in the butt for it. I am not excusing my crappy behavior, I am simply explaining it and apologizing if it has hurt you. Because yes, I do not mean to hurt you, but I also am not always capable to think about if it will. So I am sorry if I have hurt you and I hope to inform you of life post-severe-TBI.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happiness, or Lack Thereof

One of the more devastating effects of my TBI is my inability to feel or recognize happiness. I say both feel and recognize because I seldomly ever feel happy, and all those close to me can attest to that. But even when I do, I can't recognize it as such. Anyway, it's one of those things that is quite bothersome but I've learned to deal with it, like all other symptoms of my TBI.
As I think about everything I do in life, I can't think of many things at all that bring me happiness. It makes it quite difficult to have the motivation to continue doing anything. I struggle to do anything, as does almost anyone with a severe TBI (I think). I have a problem with attention, even when it comes to people, which is where I derive most of my happiness. I have a problem with anything that takes a significant amount of effort, and with a TBI, that just so happens to be EVERYTHING.
All in all, I don't mean to be a downer, I'm just explaining life with a TBI. And life with a TBI sucks, bad. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I would wish everyone to be a support to those with a TBI. I love to pieces those who are my friends now and who have stuck it out with me for as long as they've known me. I can't ever say thank you enough, because I know what sheer and utter abandonment feels like and you are giving me the opportunity to not feel that way again.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Special Mother

Today is my mother's birthday. And like all mothers, my mom gets far underappreciated and doesn't understand the great impact she has on her children's lives. I can't speak for my brothers and sisters, nor for anyone else out there, but I know that almost everyone has a similar story. Let me share mine. 
From day one, she has loved me. She dressed me up, she played silly games with me, she would catch me doing mischievous things, she sent me to my first day of school, etc. She would pick me up when I would cry, laugh with me, explain things to me, tell me that I don't know everything when I thought I did. She held my hand during my tonsillectomy, and laughed at all of the ridiculous things I said on pain killers. She was excited with me when I was twitterpated for the first time. She let me use her as my excuse if I ever wanted to get out of a situation. She went to parent teacher conferences, she would talk to me about friend drama, she would watch how I would like the boys. She wasn't always in the forefront of everything (and thank heavens!) but she was always there, and I always knew it. 
And then my accident happened. My entire world flipped on it's head. I lost everyone. I literally had not a single person from before my accident that I felt cared about me - AT ALL - except my mom and dad. I didn't always treat her like it though. In fact many, many times I would scream and yell at her, in fact the only person that I had a TBI moment on and couldn't remember who she was, was actually my mom. I told her I hated her at times. I hated that she kept me in the hospital, I hated that she didn't let me see people, I hated that she did all of these things that I didn't realize were for my best interest. Just like the way we get frustrated about the trials God throws our way. It's always in our best interest. But despite all of the anger, all of the hatred, all of the pain, the two people that stayed there throughout it all, was my mom and dad. My mom deserves the utmost respect. I am not the first trial she has faced. I am not the first child who's dreams have been crushed. But I will not let it be taken for granted. She deserves everything, especially in the hereafter. My mom is an outstanding woman who would do anything for anyone of her kids. She has proven that over and over and over again. I'll say it again, my mom parents, teaches, acts, loves like the Savior. She's not perfect, because no one is, but she's pretty close in a lot of ways. I love you mom. Happy Birthday.