If you were to list off character traits of pre and post TBI Laura and look for the differences, one thing that would differ is swearing. Before I experienced my severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) four years ago I didn’t swear much. Now, post-TBI I do swear readily. In this week’s #TBIthursday post I explore why I think this change happened and vow to be more like Winnie the Pooh and say things like “Oh bother” instead of swear words.
#TBIthursday: No Swearing
Before my severe TBI, I worked a relatively high-pressure job as an advertising project manager. I worked in an environment that was less formal than most office environments. We worked hard but also had fun while doing it. Because the environment was less formal you would hear swearing. The thing was you would hear swearing from others but not really from me. Not usually anyway. I had to be quite stressed to swear and even when I did swear I chose the swear words that were considered more tame (no F-bombs, etc.). Now after my TBI I swear more readily (and even use the F-bomb with regularity)! I just had what Oprah would call an “A-ha Moment” and I think I know why I now swear with ease post-TBI.
My “A-ha Moment” came when I realized that throughout my recovery from the injuries sustained in the accident that I have had a difficult time communicating. When I first came out of my coma I was completely non-hearing and had difficulty speaking. Through a lot therapy and work and the healing properties of time, my communication skills have improved. Yet I am still living with a brain injury and I have days when everything, especially communication, is challenging. And because when I am struggling I usually don’t want to talk, I tend to rely on using swearing. I now realize I swear because it cuts to the chase. A swear is expressive, emotional and impactful and usually just one or two words. So, now that I realize that my sudden penchant for swearing is born out of working with an always tired and overworked injured brain, I can give myself a little grace when I swear.
Much like a parent who tells their child having a temper tantrum to “use your words,” I am telling my TBI brain to do the same. While I now realize why I am swearing more post-TBI, I still want to try to limit it. That’s when I thought of innocent little Winnie the Pooh from my childhood and his tendency to say “Oh bother!” That’s going to be my new non-swear swear.
Monthly Feature: Writing Update
Since it’s Halloween on Saturday, I thought I would link to the little Halloween stories I wrote last year. The first Halloween story was inspired by my pup Selby and her doggy cousin Bella. It’s a take on Sherlock Holmes entitled “Sherlock Selby and the case of the missing bone.” The other short story is inspired by the game (and movie) Clue and this story is entitled “Murder at a Minnesota Lake Cabin: A Case of Minnesota-not-so-nice.” I also wrote an essay last year about my hearing that was kind of Halloween-inspired. The essay was entitled “The Sounds are Coming from INSIDE My Head.”
I really didn’t realize I was so industrious and creative last year at Halloween. I am not nearly as creative in that way this year. I honestly haven’t been writing a lot. I have been spending too much time playing word games on my Mom’s Amazon Fire when I was meant to be reading my library book on it! I did finally finish my reviewed book “Unorthodox” by Deborah Feldman, and you can read my first mention of it here. When I posted that book review I admitted I hadn’t finished the book yet. Now that I have finished the book I can wholeheartedly recommend it as an excellent memoir and beautiful writing. Feldman’s memoir was poignant, eye-opening, and incredibly inspiring. It inspired me to get to work again on my memoir. And since NaNoWriMo is starting on Sunday, I have fresh inspiration in time to throw a lot of words on the page.
Like I mentioned in last month’s writing update, I am not participating in the traditional NaNoWriMo (where you try to write 50,000 words in one writing project [novel or otherwise]). Instead, I coined the term “PersonalWriMo” and decided I am dedicating November to completing a lot of unfinished writing projects. I also plan to commit to a real writing schedule. I have said I would commit to a schedule in the past and didn’t keep to it. In typical me fashion I tried to commit to too much and do too much. So to start the month I am starting with ONE SMALL GOAL. That is to write a little every day. Just for me. No commitments (blogging) and just write what I want. Because I am happiest when I write.
#CreativityForDays Weekly Project Summary
October was my month I created A LOT of cards. However, instead of inserting another placeholder image to say that I have been creating A LOT of cards, I thought I would insert one of the card images that I have enhanced with Photoshop (I just painted the lines that were already there to make them a little more legible onscreen).
A Selby Sweetie Conclusion and #Throwback
Getting warm in the cold: a then and now picture.