by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief
In February of 2014 I slipped on a path of black ice, landing full-force on the back of my skull. I had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in for a journey unlike anything I had ever imagined.
I was originally told by doctors that I should be feeling better in 6-8 weeks — even though I couldn’t remember what I was doing while in the middle of doing it, had a constant headache, and was constantly dizzy and off-balance. Even though I doubted their words, I chose to believe them because, after all, they were the doctors.
When the eight week mark came and went I began to panic, thinking something was terribly wrong. Doctors just kept telling me to give it more time, there was nothing they could do for me. When I reached the one-year mark, I was told that this was likely the best I was going to get. A neuropsychologist went so far as to tell me I was faking it, and that I didn’t really have a TBI — I was just depressed.
Well, that wasn’t good enough for me! I knew I had to make a choice: I could either blindly believe what the doctors were telling me, or I could take my recovery into my own hands and DO something about it.
Recovery is defined as: the act or process of becoming healthy after an illness or injury.
Resilience is defined as: the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds -trauma, tragedy, personal crises, plain ‘ole’ life problems – and bounce back stronger, wiser, and more personally powerful.
For many survivors, we get stuck on the word “recovery” even though we may never make a full 100% recovery. I personally prefer the term “resilience” because I have definitely overcome the challenges that TBI put in front of me.
I chose to get better. I made the deliberate decision that even if I couldn’t get back to 100%, I knew I needed to get better than where I was at. I chose positivity and resilience.
Which one are you going to choose??
Amy Zellmer is an award winning author, keynote speaker, and TBI survivor and advocate. She is Editor-in-chief of The Brain Health Magazine. www.facesoftbi.com
This post originally appeared in Mind Matters, a quarterly magazine by the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance.