“Holy Weeping” A Devotion for Lent

When I Survey . . .

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”—Romans 12:15

One of the stranger symptoms resulting from the traumatic brain injury I got 17 years ago is my tendency to cry at odd times, such as while watching sappy jewelry commercials on TV or foolish pet videos on Facebook.

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SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . . Jennifer Stokley (survivor)

Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury Jennifer Stokley (survivor)

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

Jennifer Stokley – Brain Injury Survivor

Jennifer Stokley (survivor)

On May 10, 2007…

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The weight of closure


Have you ever felt weighted down, physically and energetically, by the sheer mass of a situation in your life?

It can feel like a ball and chain tied to your body, never ever giving you the freedom you know you both need and deserve to move forward with your life. It’s heavy, exhausting and debilitating. Sound familiar?ball and chain

This has been my life for nearly the past three and a half years, and now I can finally talk about it. So here is my story, which I’ve not been able to truly share openly until now (for reasons that will be revealed below).

On a Friday in November 2013, I came off a horse (who spooked) in a dressage lesson, hitting my head on the ground, with my helmet on, and hard. Lying on my back on the ground, I heard my friend and trainer yell across the arena, “Don’t move!”…

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I’ve been here before …

Even the DARKEST night will end and the sun will RISE

I’ve been here before. Pain unrelenting, rising and falling unpredictably, bringing life to a halt. Flashes of pain strike like lightning to cripple each moment. Stiffness screaming for relief while straining for every inch of movement.

I’ve been here before. Tears flowing down my face at 3am while the rest of the world sleeps. Uncomfortable no matter how I place myself. Pain shouting louder, as it does with most things after midnight. How long will it last this time? When will relief come?

I’ve been here before. The isolation and discomfort. Watching the world go by as life gives way to survival. Bystanders confused as to why these bones don’t bounce like the rest; unaware of the complications of a chronic illness, poor immune system and low bone density. Once again, that which sounds simple is not. There is good reason why I’ve been told not to fall.

I’ve been here before. Disappointment…

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The Energy of Being

Aim For Even: The Daily Dose

Wednesdays are my week’s fulcrum. It is the day after my dose of a weekly medication. My body is weaker on Wednesdays.

Sometimes, the pivot point settles quickly but no two weeks are the same. No point holding onto the unique. It won’t repeat.

A low energy Wednesday might mean a higher level on a Thursday or a Friday, possibly even a Saturday but not a run of three. The energy may remain low or drop even lower.

My physical energy level helps me read the signals my body is sending. Cells are in die off, and the body adjusts, a bit of respite from the immune system’s constant attack. It has been a long time since there was any actual truce but at times I glimpse a glimmer.

Medication may be my immediate response but it is not the only one.

Michael A. Singer taught me about the “seat of self—the…

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Receiving love when you have a chronic illness

Simply Sagastume

When it comes to relationships, its often easier to give than to receive love.

When you love someone, you want to be your best self for them. You want to fully and accurately show just how much you love them in every single situation. When you truly love someone, your desire is to give to that person as much as possible, often with no thought of what you might receive in return.

But what happens when you love someone but you also have a chronic illness? The reality is that, some days, you just can’t love your significant other as much as you would like to.

Some days, you are too tired to get out of bed, and all of your plans for the day end up getting canceled. Sometimes, a flare-up of pain will hit you at the absolute worst moments, and everything is dropped to focus on that…

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