Friday, September 16, 2011

Traumatic Brain Injury: Feeling Useless or Unproductive?

Many times after a Traumatic Brain Injury we feel as if we are not good with anything.  In my experience this is a feeling that comes and goes.  From my personal stand point, at times I feel it becomes very difficult to engage on things.  Most importantly, it is those things that others expect us to do but we cannot find a motivation or a drive to get our hands on the given tasks.  I have to say that even utilizing the compensatory strategies it is hard to find that drive or motivation.  Everything seems to be a lot of work.  Even the things we used to enjoy before the injury.  I experience these feelings quite frequently.

I have learned to go around my impairments in a way that I do not focus on them.  There are some areas that are what makes us functional, those I do face with courage.  At the end we want to achieve complete independence, with or without impairments.

So, how to feel useful and productive?

The answer lies within our own selves.  What works for me is not going to work for everybody, but it can give you a general idea on how to to avoid such feelings.  I always try to focus on the things I can do well, and set a goal on a daily basis.  This set goal is one that can be achieved, is realistic and can be measured once completed.

For example:
I like to write and journal.  Let's say today my goal was to write this post.  Since I have been doing it for a while it has become something that does not take that much effort.  As soon as I finish writing it I will be able to see that I achieved what I had planned.  As for realistic, my goal was to write a blog post, I did not set myself the goal of writing a book or an essay today. In no way that can be a realistic goal, it is not likely that I will be able to complete that goal in one morning or one day.  It do not matter how many road blocks or struggles I find on my road today, at least I can say that I accomplish one task and one goal.

In my opinion feeling productive has a lot to do with what we accomplish in a day.  Accepting our limitations is a crucial part of overcoming feelings of uselessness.  We have to set those goals that we know we can achieve.  Setting goals that are too hard or close to impossible will bring those feelings we do not like and we want to avoid.

So, how do I succeed at accomplishing what others require me to do?  My life has become about setting goals and accomplishing them.  I have created a task list that goes by days and deadlines.  Every morning I look at the tasks for the day.  As I accomplish any given task I cross out the task as completed.  My goal every day is to clear the tasks that I have on my list.  At the end of the day I have a great feeling when I see my list being cleared.  When I am not able to clear it, I still feel good because when I look back I can say that I accomplish many things in the day.

Every Traumatic Brain Injury is different, I know that compensating is different for all. I hope that my experiences and strategies can be helpful in achieving success.

No matter how your day goes, always remember that "IT WILL GET BETTER".


  1. ATTA BOY VICTOR!!! Some days it might take you awhile but you always seem to come up with the right thing to say or write. Thank you so much for being you. This gives me a good idea for my article for the next Newsletter. Thanks my friend! Lee

  2. Thanks this is really helpful. My dealings have been pleasurable and positive experiences.

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