Posted on January 19, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 18 of 19 in the series Angela

Insight After Brain Injury: Part Eighteen of Angela’s Story

Angela’s Insight after brain injury of herself has dramatically changed:

Insight after brain injury changes but not how you might expect.  I once heard a neuropsychologist say that the tragedy of a mild brain injury was that the survivor had such a clear memory of what they were able to do before, that knowing what was lost was a cause of depression.  Angela’s insight after brain injury:

Because I can explain so well to someone what I professional or otherwise, should be doing, so they are confused why I just don’t do it.  The answer is I don’t know how. I can say that to people but they don’t see that part. They see someone who is running all of the time, never sitting down, so obviously I am getting something accomplished. And I do, and I have made progress, small progress.  It is enough to make me want to keep going. it is difficult because I know it will never be the same. Like I know I will am never be the same. I know I can still be as good, I won’t ever be able to do the things I used to do. I liked be with friends, and actually be able to be that experience.  I want to change the world, and I always have. And that part of me is still there.

While it is difficult (insight after brain injury for the brain injured), in real time to have insight into others, they often have remarkable grasp of their own situation. They tend to ruminate over things in unhealthy ways, that can leave them trapped within their own thoughts.

Now I’m chronically thinking like and it’s the same thoughts.  Like I will come to some sort of resolution about something and then I just can’t shift my thinking off that at all, so if I, let’s say I’m having this conversation with you and later on when I’m thinking about this, I’ll come up to some sort of conclusion about this discussion, and then, for whatever reason, my brain will pick up on that one thing and then I will get stuck on this and I can’t move beyond it.  Like I’ve got to figure out how I ended up saying something that I don’t know why I did or why that was significant to me or, but then I’m chronically trying to figure out the impact that it had on whomever I was having this conversation with.

Insight after brain injury: As if on a treadmill of life:

Q: You’ve heard the cliché of dogs chasing their tails.  Do you feel like that applies to you?

Oh gosh, I say that all the time, although not the dog tail.  I feel like a hamster in a wheel running, but I am running so fast ’cause I am certain I am running towards something, like I’m going to get there, I’m going to get there.  I have it in my mind where I’m going and then I find out that I’m just still on the wheel running, running, running, running.

For the Final Part of Angela’s story, click here.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447