▸ verb: allow participation in or the right to be part of
▸ verb: permit to exercise the rights, functions, and responsibilities of
▸ verb: allow to enter; grant entry to
▸ verb: serve as a means of entrance
▸ verb: give access or entrance to
▸ verb: afford possibility
▸ verb: declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of
▸ verb: admit into a group or community
▸ verb: have room for; hold without crowding
I am often unsure if I am using a word correctly when I am writing – so I am constantly looking up words. The result of this behavior is that I have gotten fascinated by words. I love looking them up. Instead of just getting the help I need to clarify a meaning, I have found I learn so much more about the word. And the most amazing thing to me, is that often the word I am looking up is far more apt than I had at first realized.
Such is the case with admit.
I looked up the word admit because choosing whether and when to admit that you have a brain injury is a question for anyone with a TBI (or any other type of brain injury). And now, as I am beginning to publicize my blog more via Twitter (@ejbrowne) and Facebook and am beginning to build a following, I find the act of admission and full blown honesty about my deficits and challenges to be a little worryisome; similar to how I feel about admitting my brain injury and the resultant challenges out in the world.
I am fairly high functioning but where the holes are — the holes are. It is confusing enough to me living in the middle of it. Therefore it is extremely confusing to someone who does not know about brain injuries. They cannot see or understand the challenges I face. And I am not sure I want them to either because often when someone is aware of the challenges that becomes all they see.
The TBI related challenges are only a small part of me. It is this delicate balance of trying to function like a “normal” person, and being thought of as “normal” versus admitting to the brain injury to ask for help, or understanding, or to at least not appear as such a dufus or fool.
For instance, I am writing a book on Time Management and Life Management for people with brain injuries. It will be a good book; I am hard at work at making it a good book. So my worry is that some readers who do not understand brain injuries might find it hard to understand that I can be an excellent researcher and writer, yet goof up my insurance payments.
The other thing along those lines is that I am far enough out from my injury that I am not sure what “normal” is by “normal” standards. I have been meaning to write a post entitled “I’m just like you; Only More So”. Because “normal” people do most of the same things we do as brain injury survivors such as lose words, forget an appointment, miss a bus, etc. So when you complain of those things they say “Oh, I do that all the time!” No, they don’t. Not even I do.
Lastly, the other challenge in admitting the brain injury is that I have good days, often even good weeks and months. Then I can go through a bad period, or just due to the luck of the draw a bunch of stuff can pile up all at once like in the post below. When you tell someone you have a brain injury they think you are always the same; as in always having problems.
However, I think admitting my brain injury and the reality of life with brain holes is important. The more people share, the more people will understand; the more people understand the easier it will be for brain injury survivors and the easier it is for survivors to become thrivors. Additionally, the more people understand the more people will recognize brain injuries and we will begin to stem the tide of undiagnosed brain injuries.
So, here is to admitting.
I admit you to my blog – allow you to enter my world as a TBI Survivor and Thrivor. I admit that I have a brain injury and admit the difficulties and the blessings that that reality creates – declare it to be true and admit the truth of its existence and it’s reality. I admit my readers – into a community of survivors and supporters where we have room and hold without crowding. Welcome.
- The wonderful cartoon at the start of this entry is by Jeff Gregory of Jagged Smile and is used with permission. Thank you again, Jeff.