5 things my brain injury taught me for which I’m grateful

grateful brain injury

With the holidays approaching, so has the sale extravaganza of the December month. However, despite all the slick and fancy photo advertisements, I’m convinced that having more stuff doesn’t make you a happier person. I do believe that you can feel happier by practising gratitude. To reflects more often on the things that you are grateful for.

But can you feel a sense of gratitude for something that made your life difficult?

Living with a brain injury meant I had to change my life. Which at times made my life really though. Therefore I can’t say that I’m grateful for having a brain injury. As there are too many thing I no longer can do or no longer can enjoy.

5 lessons I learned

That being said, my life before was far from perfect. I did learn some valuable lessons. So I can say that I’m grateful for some things that my brain injury taught me. When I pondered as to what my brain injury had given me, these five lessons came to mind instantly:

Appreciating friendships

I used to put too much value on work and having a full calendar, at the expense of my friendships. Thankfully I realized my mistake. In tough times you need the people around you. Who you are as a person isn’t determined by a job or a full schedule, but by how you treat others.

Not taking things for granted

Life can change in an instant. There also aren’t any guarantees that tomorrow will be a good day. Which taught me not to keep pushing the things that are important to me or that I like to do forward. Our only certainty is that we are alive in this moment. So make sure you make the right decisions for yourself.

Enjoy experiences rather than possessions

Having more possessions only means that cleaning and tidying up takes longer. Which takes energy that I much rather spend on something else. I also value new experiences as they make me feel more alive. As a bonus it gives me something to remember on my bad days, as a distraction and motivation.

Valuing the small things

I learned to pay attention to the small things and to find enjoyment in things like a hot shower, the feeling of sunlight on my skin or the taste of fresh bread. As a result I can enjoy these things far more than before. By valuing these small moments, you can make sure that each day as a silver lining.

Being more compassionate

I think that I became a more compassionate person, as a result of my brain injury. I’m more aware of the fact that we all face our own struggles. That many illnesses and disabilities are invisible. Which is why I want to be kind and understanding person whenever I interact with someone else.

Now I don’t think I ever will be grateful for having a brain injury. But maybe I can change the way I think about it, by contemplating on the positive consequences more often.

Thanking you

Finally I also want to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to you. Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and for interacting. Writing this blog helps me to make sense of myself and the world. I love reading your comments. Sharing your encouragements and experiences motivate me to keep on writing.

Thank you for being you.

grateful brain injury things pin

Have you learned something by facing hardship for which you are grateful?
If you ever want to share your story or question than do reach out to me!

4 Replies to “5 things my brain injury taught me for which I’m grateful”

  1. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful. It was once my default setting. Post TBI it’s a choice and your post has reminded me to embrace a ‘gratitude attitude’ to live happier and to manifest all the good things to come as I rebuild my life. Thank you for the time you’ve taken.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to reach out! I’m glad to read that it’s inspired you. I wish you all the best and take care!

  2. Thank you for this, it’s good to change perspective and be reminded that in this horrible experience there are lessons to be learned.
    I too see so much change since my brain surgery, I’ve had to adapt to so much, I’ve seen friends disappear, kindness from strangers and met so many brave people who are living with illness but persevering in their difficult circumstances.
    I’ve realised many more people have ‘invisible’ illness’s that they are battling with, we just don’t know what’s going on in people’s life’s.
    It is hard to say I’m glad this brain tumour came along, it’s made me more understanding of others and myself, what and who nourishs me and depletes me, surely I could have learned that lesson from a broken leg ?
    Maybe not, when you are stripped right back of all identity and are so vulnerable, you see life from a very different perspective, it’s painful and fearful, out of that comes bravery and strength.
    The only way is to build on that, even with a dysfunctional poorly brain. I too am very grateful for all I have learned so far, I realise I need very little in my life to sustain me, I’ve learned my family and husband are extraordinary. I’ve learned that with my faith, I’ve found a peacefulness in the midst of a storm.
    It’s not over yet, as a have a remaining tumour to face and I am still recovering slowly from surgery, but there is still purpose in my life.
    Thank you for your thoughts.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful words. The words, that living through a painful and fearful time, brings out our bravery and strength, resonated with me.
      (and yes, I too really wish that we could have learned these things in a less traumatic way)

      I’ll keep you in my thoughts and hope that your recovery goes well and you can slowly regain your strength.
      I can’t imagine how it must be, knowing that you have to face another tumour as well. I wish you resilience, strength and hope.

      There definitely is purpose in our lives.
      Take care and be kind to yourself and if you ever need to vent, just let me know. 💚

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