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The Power Of Patience And Positivity

THE POWER OF PATIENCE AND POSITIVITY

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COMMUNITY STORIES | 3.5.2016 | BY CHRIS MACKENZIE

When I was a senior in high school, I sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury on my way home from a football game. I was in the ICU for six weeks with the prognosis that I was not going to survive due to the numerous injuries I had sustained other than the brain injury. After six weeks in the ICU, I went to Spaulding Rehab Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. I spent another six weeks there relearning to do many of the basics in life. These included basic reading comprehension, walking, eating food, showering, and even getting dressed. The more I learned, the more my memories of how to do things came back to me. A year after sustaining my TBI, I went back to high school to graduate with honors. Now I am a junior in college. 

Love spending time with my family, here I am with my Father and uncles.

Love spending time with my family, here I am with my Father and uncles.

Patience is important during recovery, and so is the positive outlook that everything will be OK in the end. For me, music helps with the frustration that I've experienced during recovery from my TBI. Before my accident, I was a star athlete in two sports, and initially after my injury, I was very angry that I couldn't play anymore. However, I soon realized that helping your teammates from the sidelines is just as beneficial as playing. Advocating for brain injury awareness has helped with my recovery as well. Informing people about brain injuries and how to help those affected by them has been an important aspect of my recovery. I find that looking forward to the future with a positive outlook and being determined that I will overcome these roadblocks has really helped me over the past four years. 

Here I'm hanging out with my cousins and twin brother at my college. I am wearing the green button down and black hat in it.

Here I'm hanging out with my cousins and twin brother at my college. I am wearing the green button down and black hat in it.

Since my TBI, setting goals for myself has been very helpful to keep me moving forward. Having a goal is important because it gives me something to look forward to. I know that if I continue working hard in my recovery, then the hard work will pay off in the end, and that setting a goal helps a lot when the hard work can be difficult. Having the goal of going to college helped me graduate high school, even after my class and friends in my grae had graduated and I was graduating with a new class. After college, my goal is to become a middle school teacher and a motivational speaker. I know that with these goals in mind, I will not only graduate college, but I will become successful in what I want to do. 

Kevin Pearce and I when we met 3 years ago.

Kevin Pearce and I when we met 3 years ago.

Meditation has helped me greatly with my stress. I like to meditate at the beach, closing my eyes, listening to the waves crash, and paying attention to my breath. I meditate every night before I go to bed, because it helps me let go of the numerous thoughts rushing through my head which means I sleep really well. Also, meditation after studying has helped me do well on exams and presentations. When I've practiced yoga, it's been really good for finding my center of balance, and has helped me work through the frustration that I've experienced in my recovery. 

"Be patient with your recovery. Good things always come to those who are patient and hardworking." - Christopher MacKenzie