Default Settings After TBI

Before my severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and coma changed a lot of my core personality characteristics I was shy ☺️. I would blush easily, have a hard time talking in groups and to strangers and would struggle giving eye contact. I worked on it and as I got older I could work through some of these “shy instincts” but some were harder to bypass. One of the “shy instincts” that was impossible to bypass was blushing ☺️. However, after the severe TBI that rendered me in a coma for three weeks and completely altered many things about me permanently (check out this page I created with pertinent blog posts on my condition), I was no longer “Shy Laura.” I’m more apt to speak my mind and don’t get shy speaking to strangers or in large groups (just ask my Brain Injury Support Group… I’m down right boisterous). Yet, a recent experience has made me realize that even though the TBI changed me from a shy person to a more outgoing one it didn’t completely override some of my shy characteristics (specifically blushing). I still blush like “Shy Laura” and for that I’m using a computer analogy to say that there are still some “Default Settings” that come into play.

An image created using the Over app and images from Pixabay.

I have made computer analogies before when referencing how I was fundamentally changed with the TBI. When discussing how the injuries gave me drive and motivation to “write my story,” I used the computer analogy of rebooting or a hard restart. I suffered from various conditions before the brain injury (chronic daily migraines and chronic pain) that made me overcome and bogged down by pain. So much so that even though I’ve always wanted to be an author and creative writer I didn’t pursue it because of the pain. In this blog post I wrote about how the brain injury was a rebooting that caused me to have a blank Word document open up in my brain (after the TBI) ready for me to fill it with my creative writing. That’s why I started this blog and why I am focusing on writing my memoir.

In the beginning of this post I referred to a “recent experience” that made me realize that my shy tendency of blushing is persisting even though the TBI has changed me into a more outgoing person. I attended a meeting of an organization I have gotten involved in (I contribute blogs and social media posts for the organization). I noticed I blushed both when asking a question of the monthly speaker and when fellow members complimented my online work.

It was an odd sensation to have that familiar rush of heat to the cheeks even though I didn’t actually feel embarrassed. (I really don’t get embarrassed after my brain injury. And no, this is not a challenge to try to embarrass me.) However I couldn’t help but think that even though so much about me has changed that there is still a part of me that’s hardwired to be that blushing shy girl. And oddly I find that thought comforting. If you would have asked me 3.5 years ago what I would feel like if I was no longer shy I probably would have said: “Relieved and happy.” Yet now I’m using those two words to describe how I feel discovering the blushing characteristic is still present: “relieved and happy” to experience some default settings (of shyness).

An image created using the Over app and images from Pixabay.

Writing Memoir Update

I’m afraid I’ve stalled again. However, I have an idea that should help me produce a new #CreativityForDays post and get me writing in my memoir again. Stay Tuned! 📺

8 thoughts on “Default Settings After TBI

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  1. Isn’t it interesting how a TBI changes us? My girlfriend calls me Rod 2.0 mostly, although sometimes she considers upping it to Rod 3.0 because I’m still changing.
    I used to ride a Harley and play pool, now I garden and craft. My personality, I’m told, is much different than before.
    Personally, I like me now…and I don’t have much memory of who I was before, so it’s all good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is interesting. That’s a good point that we’re still changing as time goes on. A frustrating (yet true) thing I always hear from doctors is that a brain changes a lot after injury through time so it’s a waiting game. I used to consume music and podcasts like they were giving me air. Now obviously with my hearing I can’t. That’s why I can focus more on writing. And it’s definitely a good thing! I’m glad you like the changed you.

      Liked by 1 person

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