A few months ago Healine Magazine, the publication for the British Columbia Brain Injury society, approached me about running a profile on my post-accident story. The idea being that my story could inspire others, and also is a powerful recount of how professional interventions and supports can lead to long-term success even in the midst of drastic changes. I was honoured, excited and hesitant all in one. I was given the opportunity to maintain creative control, which allowed me to write the story and focus on the aspects of my recovery I wanted to. I elected not to focus on the logistics of the accident, or the nitty gritty of the years of continued rehab. Instead I kept it positive and choose to focus on the impact the accident and subsequent injuries have had on my educational and professional pursuits.
However, even with the opportunity to share my tale in my own words I was still anxiously left feeling less than brave. The story of my accident is something I keep close to my heart and only a few people, mainly my mom and Jay have been let in to see the full extent of my injuries. I often frame all the ramifications in positivity (because regardless there is a vast silver lining to my experience), and down play the severity. A brain injury is permanent, so although I have come a long way thanks to an amazing team of rock stars, so many of my challenges remain. Therefore, I still spend so much of my time and energy compensating for the long-term effects or masking my perceived deficits. Ironically, this level of protectiveness has ultimately been the only cause of conflict surrounding my accident. I have learned through trial and error that when you aren’t transparent with your needs, others are not aware of them and that is when a breakdown in communication occurs. Therefore, over the years those closest to me have challenged me to be candid with my experience. So when I agreed to do the story I shared with a few trusted people that it was going to print. However, I held fast that I wouldn’t share it with the wider world because no one I knew would be reading Headline and I could still protect my story. They all gently prodded me to be brave (since that was my goal in penning the story at all) and trust that those who loved me would only be appreciative to glean greater insight into my experience. So with their words bouncing around in my head I am now letting you, my big world of dedicated readers, friends and family, in on the story.
The print versions aren’t on shelves just yet, nor is the latest edition up on their website yet. But with that being said if you are in any medical center, neurological office or rehabilitation space in the province of British Columbia grab a print copy of the magazine in the next week or so. Otherwise, feel free to download the PDF version right now and head over to page 10 for my article: 2014 winter Headline. I hope you enjoy, and please share your insights and stories with me in connection to the article. Getting queries and e-mails from readers is one of my favorite aspects of up keeping this blog.