My most recent post was a bit of a behemoth! I was writing about personality changes after TBI and I got a little carried away! So I thought I would post a more bite-sized version of that post since the information I found was perfect for March’s Brain Injury Awareness Month.
In the last five years (nearly 6) since my accident and injury I have gone about introducing myself to the brain injury-altered version of me. While I recognize a lot of the same characteristics in this new version there are also definite differences. The overall impetus for last week’s post on personality changes post brain injury is that I’ve KNOWN in my heart that I’m different even though family and doctors reassure me that I am nearly the same. So that’s why the nerdy librarian researcher in me went about testing my theory of personality differences after TBI.
I ended up taking an online (free) personality test that used the Meyers-Briggs scale for charting my personality. I took the test twice, each time answering for one version of me: Pre-TBI and Post-TBI. I ended up testing the same each time (ENFJ-T on the Meyers-Briggs type). I then found an article that discussed personality changes post-brain injury and that article gave me the words for describing what I feel is different. Chiefly it’s my emotions and emotional responses that are different. That might sound like a tiny thing but honestly when you’re navigating a changed world and changed brain, emotions and emotional responses are huge. To put it in perspective, before the TBI I was a quiet studious librarian-type who had a hard time speaking in large groups and being assertive when it was necessary and so my emotional responses were largely internal. I suffered from anxiety and shyness and was happiest being invisible. Post-TBI me is like me only as a 5 year-old. I am still the quiet studious librarian type but now I don’t mind speaking in public and making sure I’m seen, heard and that my emotions are known and external.
I have been writing about these personality changes and emotional responses for a while. Here are some related posts:
- Certain Truths: With my TBI I am “set in my ways”.
- Default Settings After TBI: I may be less shy but some “settings” seem to be hardwired, like blushing.
- Writing with emotion after Traumatic Brain Injury: My emotions may be different but thankfully I can still access them to write.
- Writing and Feeling with emphasis: I compare how I can write emotions but not easily remember to feel them.
Is it a bad thing that I’m more emotional and uninhibited? Yes and no. As an adult living with other adults (my parents) constantly wearing my emotions on my sleeve is exhausting for all of us. And since anger and irritation are the emotions I am quickest to express it’s physically tiring. I have noticed that with all things more layered and sophisticated responses start to appear the more I heal. After all, my little TBI is not yet 6 so she has plenty of growing, learning, and changing to do.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. To find out more about Brain Injury and specifically Brain Injury in the United States, visit the Brain Injury Association of America website and more specifically the campaign page for the 2021-2023 “#MoreThanMyBrainInjury” campaign. Why I care about Brain Injury Awareness Month and why I write about brain injury: In September 2016 I was in a near fatal car accident where I suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that resulted in a 3-week coma. Ever since I have been living a very changed life changed by the disabilities I now have. In the process of recovering and healing I rediscovered my voice as a writer and love of writing and have been working on a memoir where I am writing my brain injury story. I hope to complete my memoir this year (2022) and pursue getting it published. I write about my brain injury and pursuits in writing my memoir every week in a post on this blog called #MemoirMonday (check out my MemoirMonday page to read more on that and check out my About page to read more about me).