TBI Survivor Blog Series 2021

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Photo of France Theriault

I Will Win

“…Having the possibility to create new neuro-pathways and changing the ways I navigated life has been a fantastic revelation.

Uncertainty and indecisiveness have been my loyal companions after I had a Traumatic Brain Injury in 2013.

Simple, day-to-day decisions were no longer easy and simple at that time in my life. For many years after my tragic cycling accident, I was tangled in fear, doubt, afraid of making mistakes and unable to process the overwhelming information that came my way.

But I knew a few hours after that cataclysmic event that  I would win. Not immediately, but definitely.

When it was time to make a decision, I was asking others because I was constantly debating the pros and cons of being stuck in angst.

Many years later in the healing process, I realized my visioning inabilities, as well as my ability to think or plan the future with imagination and wisdom, was altered.

Easily distracted, reduced concentration ability, difficulty remembering things, convergence insufficiency, oculomotor dysfunction and visual information processing dysfunction were ripple effects due to post-traumatic vision syndrome.

Dedicating time, energy and financial investment in neuro-optometric rehabilitation had been the best gift I gave myself in 2019.

In this process, I  learned to understand how I was approaching various situations in real life and in my rehabilitation. I observed my inner dialogues as well as the uncomfortable physical sensations I felt when I had to do a task for the first time without knowing if I could do it.

Most of the time I needed many attempts, I adjusted my plans, I deconstructed the tasks in small steps in order to achieve 80% success in my daily exercises. I used my filters to quiet my mind. I started wearing bifocals and prism eyeglasses early in my rehabilitation. This new approach made a significant positive difference. I incorporated the rhythmic tempo of a metronome to assist me in the successful winning process.  I gently and kindly offered myself encouragement and comforting words as I went through the process over and over. Sometimes it took me a few weeks to find success on the horizon. I became more comfortable with the uncomfortable and the unknown.

I realized my perseverance, my curiosity, my creativity and my endless desire to overcome a challenge were my greatest attributes. Having the possibility to create new neuro-pathways and changing the ways I navigated life has been a fantastic revelation. I am so grateful for my willingness to hold a vision to win.

16 months of neuro-optometric rehabilitation lead me to have a deeper sense of knowing my capacities/abilities and knowing I can achieve everything I desire. What amazes me the most at this moment is the continuous ripple effects I am witnessing as I embrace life passionately realizing I am seeing grand possibilities I once was incapable of perceiving.

So if you are struggling with a Traumatic Brain injury or a different life-altering event I would like to invite you to BELIEVE YOU WILL WIN, perhaps not immediately, but definitely dear ones. Whatever your win is, I am cheering for you.

Kindly,

France Theriault

*You can follow me on Instagram at Standingbyyourside where I share inspirational stories, sharing insights of living a beautiful & meaningful life 8 years after having a Traumatic Brain Injury from a cycling accident.

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