Zeno Mountain Farm and LoveYourBrain wrote -
Every year the ZMF and LYB gang gets together to hold a retreat for people who have survived brain trauma, their loved ones and friends. To pay for this, we join even more peple and run together as THE BRAINFARMERS- (Get it?)... Please join us in all the fun and friendship.
My personal story -
Six months ago I didn’t identify as a TBI (traumatic brain injury) survivor. I just considered myself a slightly clumsy, injury-prone 19 year-old girl. I didn’t understand why my doctors kept recommending and my mom kept enforcing that I not play lacrosse, or field hockey, or going sledding, skiing, or rock climbing, or trust me the list goes on… Three months ago, I hated the term mild traumatic brain injury, which for those of you don’t know is another word for a concussion. Mild traumatic brain injury sounds so serious and dramatic. I just bumped my head a couple of times and got dizzy. I refused to accept that I had to change my lifestyle, not just for a few weeks after each injury, but for the rest of my life.
Two months and 13 days ago, I was cleaning my room and as I like to say my door attacked me. This resulted in my sixth concussion in the past 5 years—my first and third concussions were from lacrosse, second from field hockey, fourth from sailing, and fifth from being elbowed in the head. My concussion in November however felt very different from the rest. I wasn’t playing a sport, or doing a high-risk activity; I was cleaning my room and barely hit my head. It didn’t seem fair. This realization that everyday activities may give me a concussion scared me into accepting that my brain isn’t normal.
I became connected with Adam and LoveYourBrain shortly after my sixth concussion, and it wasn’t until watching “The Crash Reel” that I started to understand what it means to love your brain.
The countless days sitting in doctor’s offices only to be told to try the same therapies again that didn’t work the first time had caused me to grow frustrated to the point where I didn’t love my brain—I hated it. I am frustrated with forgetting how to spell basic words or not being able to do simple addition and multiplication. Before my concussions, I identified myself as an athlete, now I identify as the girl with all the concussions. I not only lost my ability to do the thing I loved, but I also lost who I was. How after that am I suppose to love my brain?
I still wouldn’t say that I love my brain, but I am working on it. I am learning to accept my limitations and look for new opportunities such as yoga, hiking, and art. I am learning the importance of finding a community of others facing similar situations, something that LoveYourBrain has provided me with. I am very excited to be able to participate in the retreat this year and push myself to run a leg in the marathon, a big step in my recovery.