When you have a TBI or even PTSD, there is a lot of noise around you. Everything feels like noise. It's like a radio frequency that is full of static. The station of your life just isn't coming in clear. The static comes from environmental factors, workplaces, people you live with, friends, children, spouses, etc. There is also the static that comes from within you. The noise of your own thoughts clammering away demanding you acknowledge their presence. It is an overwhelming situation to live within.
When the time is taken to acknowledge what's going on inside of you in a way that is free of judgement and fear, you light a spark. You spark the start of a pathway, if you never return to that spark you don't create a fire to blaze the trail.
Everything that I have done on my own path of recovery had to do with lighting a spark. I can tell you that I didn't always follow the spark for whatever reason. When you have PTSD, you can pretty much talk yourself out of anything positive because it comes pretty easily to be negative. The pathway of stress in the brain has been practiced over and over again, so it responds at a moment's notice, ready for duty. But the rational, positive, feel-good part of the brain takes a little extra practice. It's a pathway that exists, but again it takes that spark to light it up and to wake it up. It also takes returning to that spark and continuing to rub those sticks together to get it blazing. Do you see where I am going with this?
It is not enough to try something once, feel a bit better, drop it and forget about it; although, we all know we've done that. We've returned to our place of judgment and are somehow content with the discontent. It is like discontent becomes the loyal companion, even when it isn't serving our highest good of health and well-being.
Taking this one step further, one of the premises of meditation is to become content with the discontent, in order to reach an eventual state of improved health and well-being. With meditation, being content with the discontent is no longer about judgment; It's about simple acknowledgement that there are some uncomfortable thoughts and feelings rolling around in your brain creating some static. The static can be acknowledged and then re-directed to something positive, as many times as it needs to. This is different than simply accepting discontent as the loyal companion that just won't ever go away and well, it's there, so we might as well be miserable. Do you see the difference?
PTSD, TBI, and trauma are multi-faceted conditions that we may never know the entire story about. They have so many layers, so many pieces, and oh so many contradictions about them. I've come to accept the challenge of learning from every piece that comes up and I hope that you will begin to light that spark for yourself and for others who you may know that are suffering. Time isn't what heals. Our brothers and sisters from the Vietnam war know this, as they have suffered for so many years with little relief in their hearts, minds, and bodies.
Ask questions. Educate yourself. Do Research. Develop Tools.