Surviving Severe Brain Injury: Lethan Part Eleven
The title of the story, is “Who Am I, Again?” In the question is not just the existential struggle of a talented young man to find himself, but to find himself again after a severe brain injury. It also a challenge for the other characters in the broader story of brain injury to find themselves and surviving severe brain injury.
“Sarah has made a commitment to getting better. “
One day I will walk again. One day I will write. One day I will read. Just make take a little bit of time first, that’s all.
“Tony has got a real simply philosophy on life.”
Just three words: Born. Live. Die. It’s what you do with that middle word that makes you who you are.
“Larry tells me that if he could have any wish in the world, any wish at all”
I got no idea what I would actually wish for, probably more wishes or something like that. But one thing I wouldn’t wish, I wouldn’t wish that my accident didn’t happen. Now I’m not saying that I’m glad my accident happened. I mean, it has sucked and it’s been real hard, but you know I also met a lot of really cool people who I wouldn’t have met if it hadn’t been for my accident. And I’ve done a lot of cool things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. And you know, my accident, it’s kind of made me who I am today.
The answer for Lethan is “I am Lethan. “
That’s one big thing that was really hard for me. I wanted to be the actor Lethan but it was only when I finally began to let go of that and recognize hey – I’m not who I was before. I’m still Lethan, but I’m not who I was before – let’s figure out who I am.
I began to work with my skills and my abilities as they now are and were then. I began to rework those abilities and see what my new limitations were – what my new strengths were and what my new weaknesses were. It was about being open to change because as the guy used to say when I worked at the mini mart (and I was handing people change for cigarettes or whatever) “the only thing constant is change”. It’s the one thing that’s true – you’ve always got pennies.
http://tbivoices.com is the voice of the who the brain injured person was before, who the person becomes – the impact of surviving severe brain injury has on the life of the injured person – the impact it has on the family. The goal of http://tbivoices.com is not only telling the story but shifting the science of brain injury – by in a systematic way, letting so many of those impacted by surviving severe brain injury individual to speak.
Thank you Lethan for launching this project and thank you to all of those who have lifted their voices so far.
I like what Larry says: “I wouldn’t wish that my accident didn’t happen. Now I’m not saying that I’m glad my accident happened. I mean, it has sucked and it’s been real hard, but you know I also met a lot of really cool people who I wouldn’t have met if it hadn’t been for my accident.”
That is so true. If I hadn’t had my “accident,” I probably wouldn’t have met my wife, we wouldn’t have had our son. I might not have been able to help so many people the way I do now, by working at the Brain Injury Association of Tennessee (http://BrainInjuryTN.org).