Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military, Not Everything is Lost...
How many times we have heard the news and politicians talk about traumatic brain injury (TBI), the signature injury of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? How many times have we heard TBI referred as a psychological wound? How much Soldiers and Family Members know about this signature injury?
We have heard TBI in many forums and many times being referred as an invisible wound. Invisible? I constantly ask myself. Yes, maybe because it is a close head injury most of the time or because there are no scars to reflect the injury. TBI may not be seen, but like the air cannot be seen but creates the wind, that same way a close head TBI cannot be seen but can be felt in so many ways. As a wife of a TBI Soldier I can assure you that this invisible wound has been felt in so many ways in our life. Many times I have expressed how different our life is but there is no one way to express these changes. Is the air invisible? Yes sure but with force the wind can destroy many things. That is how TBI acts in some families. This invisible wound have destroyed families, friendships, careers among other things. As invisible as it can be, also can have detrimental consequences in somebody’s life.
My husband and I never took for granted what we had and we still do not take for granted all the blessings we enjoy everyday. Some days are more challenging than others but overall life have been turning to a more new normal. It has not been easy, mostly because I did not give up on anything I was doing, I maintained my full time job and I continued in school but with many sacrifices. Like I said before in other postings, I have been so blessed to have wonderful people in my life. It was during those moments of sorrow that I counted my blessing more than ever, this empowered me because at the end of the day I could only see what a beautiful life I have.
Why do we struggle? Sometimes I asked this and what I could think was about the desires of the heart. We struggle because we are not in a comfort zone, everything changed, everything became something that it wasn’t, something that we did not expect, something that was not desire, that is why we struggle. What if you can turn your situation in a comfort zone, would you do it? Like the tree that snaps and brake cannot be put together, that same way soemtimes life will not be same, but the question is, will you let new branches grow. It will be the same tree with different form, that it is how I can best describe life after TBI. Do you know that where we live in El Paso, TX we do have beautiful flowers. One flower that I like very much is the Oleander. These flowers can be of various and intense colors. How these beautiful flowers grow in the desert in an arid, dry and hard rock ground? These are not conditions for beautiful flowers, how they make it? I used to ask myself. Same as these flowers bloom in unsuitable conditions, let us bloom and show our best colors while going through sorrow and pain. Sounds easy you can say but I can tell you with certainty because that is what I have been doing. I found joy, peace and happiness despite my circumstances. I personally pray, read the bible and seek God’s face and direction.
What strategy will you use to transform your sorrow and pain into something beautiful and marvelous? Whatever it is I encourage you to start acting now and do not let the roots of your life and relationship die. The foundation is existent so let the new branches grow and enjoy every minute of this new grow. Just bloom and be an extraordinary you!