The role of self-esteem in TBI
Why am I writing about this? There is always a purpose in my blog and that is to show how it was before the injury, immediately after the injury and some later time after the injury. You will notice that things will not always have to be sad. Self-esteem is a very important component, it will determine how motivated the person will be and the chances are that with higher self-esteem the patient will approach rehabilitation from a different perspective, making the most out of it and succeeding. We, the caregivers need also to have good self-esteem about ourselves and our role. We should approach the situation with a broad perspective and try to enhance or develop those skills necessary to sustain ourselves through the rehabilitation process.
So now the question is how can we do this? I will just share what worked for us.
When I noticed my husband was falling in the route of helplessness:
1. I made a list of his strengths and things that will require improvement through rehab.
2. I played videos about what TBI was, he could barely stay focus but that is okay, so I invited him to play in segments so he will understand one thing at a time.
Some of the skills were still there and we focus on the good things and not in what he lost. We worked together in things that will motivate him. Understanding his condition made him more aware that the symptoms he was experiencing were normal but he needed to use his strategies to compensate. He learned how to make lemonade out of lemon and he understood that life is what you make of it.
Today my husband is very motivated, he is very knowledgeable about TBI and he uses his strengths to empower others like him. He found the key to defeat TBI, he wakes up every day with a new mission, to motivate others and to create awareness. He challenges himself everyday knowing that tomorrow will be a better day, but with the certainty that today will never come back so lives to the fullest and he embraces life with pride and dignity.
I know it sounds too simple and it is not, it took tremendous amount of efforts and energy, but it was all worth it. I would not share this if is not because I am confident that like my husband there are many more TBI survivors that can make a better life than what they expected. We, the caregivers can make that difference in their lives and I tell you, you won't regret it. Takes time, patience and above all, love.
Remember that while you help and care for your loved one you also need to take care of yourself.