Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!

Life sure does throw some curve balls. Sometimes it even throws you ones that you thought you’d never have to face again. You see, this isn’t the first time I have been down this road. This was my third brain haemorrhage, in my short 30 years walking this Earth. Some would call this unfortunate and unlucky. Not me! I believe that everything in life happens for a reason. And while some experiences are difficult, painful and damn right challenging – they tend to teach us an extraordinary amount about life… if we are prepared to listen. As a child, it taught me patience, determination and resilience. As an adult, it is teaching me that accepting things the way they are, and the way they are not, is where inner peace and calmness can be found. It has taught me that suffering IS optional. What do I mean by this? Well, we live in a world where there is an extraordinary amount of suffering that goes on around us, whether it be our own personal suffering or the suffering of others. Suffering, to me, is a state of mind. It is a choice – a choice in which we have control over. Pain is just a fact of life – each person will experience pain, in varying degrees. Some more than others. But as an individual, we have a choice over the impact that pain has on lives. We can carry it around with us and let it weigh us down. Or, we can acknowledge that it is there and make a conscious choice to let it go. I continue to witness so much unnecessary suffering, day in and day out, over such trivial and small issues in the grand scheme of things. I see the impact that this suffering has … More

A different kind of extraordinary.

Life as you have known it, can change in a split second. It will never be the same. And just like that, YOU have another chance of creating a different kind of extraordinary!!! While it may not feel like that right now. I can promise you, that all that is standing in the way of living a truly remarkable life – is you. Regardless of your brain injury, or any other challenge you face. I understand only to well, the seemingly impossible task of a massive recovery. One that feels like it will be a long uphill battle that drags on, and on, and on, with no end in sight. It is easy to get swept up in feeling defeated, lost, lonely, bitter, angry , frustrated –  the list goes on. And, for a time, its ok to go through these emotions. You are human. It is a part of your healing journey. Healing is just one aspect of a long road to recovery. Especially for people who have had moderate to severe trauma. It can change ones emotional and mental state, just as much (if not more) than the physical. It is known as the ‘hidden disability’ for many people, because it can affect ones behaviour, cognitive functions, their ability to communicate, emotional instability, impaired executive dysfunction, hormonal imbalances and memory – just to name a few! It it a monumental recovery process on so many levels. But just like anything, it is possible to achieve great things, regardless of how hopeless the situation might feel to you now. And it all starts with your mindset… ‘Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’    Napoleon Hill How does one create a strong mindset with the pieces of a very broken body and the now distant memories of a life that once was? … More

Hello 30….Hello Third Brain Haemorrhage!!!

I brought in the New Year, 2017, in Fiji with my partner.  Celebrated my 30th birthday a few days later, with much excitement building for my trip to Canada, and to top it off I had just started studying for my dream job – to become a mentor…and not just any mentor – A brain injury mentor. I have always felt incredibly passionate about wanting to help people who have experienced brain injury, create and build a life that they truly love living after brain injury. I worked so hard to get to this point. I was right where I wanted to be, and it felt amazing!!!! Fast-forward to the 10th of January 2017, when I landed in Canada for a dream snowboarding trip that would see me road trip solo from Vancouver to Fairbanks in Alaska, and back down through the Rockies, Banff and Revelstoke before making my way back to Vancouver…I was on top of the world! Under an hour later, I was asking a staff member at the airport to call me an ambulance as I was certain I was having another brain haemorrhage. I wasn’t wrong! After brain surgery to remove a large AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and evacuate a heamorrhage, I was on a flight back to Australia 17 days later with 50 staples in my head and feeling very ordinary! Utterly devastated, yet so incredibly grateful that I had pulled through my third major brain haemorrhage in my 30 years of walking this planet. Now I am someone who is incredibly active and spends that majority of my waking hours outdoors, doing something physical whenever I can. But over the past few months, I can’t tell you the amount of times that I struggled to get out of bed. All I wanted to do was … More

Some days you’ve just got to grieve!

Most days are filled with positivity, determination and a fierce ‘I’ve got this’ attitude. These days are great! But as the saying goes – what comes up, must come down. I spent so long trying my best to not have these ‘down’ days, because I felt that being a hugely positive person meant that I shouldn’t have these days…That I could somehow rise above the despair and the sadness.  Then I realised that this was in fact bullshit! And from that space, I felt like a I could authentically honour my feelings as they appeared. It was okay to go from positive and happy, to being engulfed by sadness and frustration. I didn’t have to tell people that I was great, when in reality, I felt like shit and I just want to put on some sad music and cry my eyes out for a day (or two). My third brain haemorrhage has definitely been the easiest. It’s kinda funny saying that, only because going through any major brain injury isn’t at all easy. But there is so much to be thankful for this time around – I wasn’t paralysed. I didn’t miss many crucial years of my childhood. I didn’t have a full-time job of intense therapy just to regain basic speech, motor skills and movement for years on end. And I do remember my life between age 9 and to age 30….winning!!! I still remember the awesome and adventure filled life I have led thus far. In saying that, I still grieve. I grieve for the days that I spent rock climbing, hiking, diving, mountain biking, snowboarding or any other physical pursuit I could get my hands on! I grieve the conversations that I was able to have, that didn’t require a ridiculous amount of concentration just to grasp … More