2012 Meeting Dates

2012 Meeting Dates:
May 24 | June 28 | July 26 | August 23 | September 20 | October 25 | November 29 - Holiday Meeting | December - No Meeting

Please contact us for location information.

(253) 851-0007 or GigHarbor.BING@gmail.com
If you don't catch us on the phone, there is an option in our voicemail for group information.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TBI Camping Trips - This Summer!

There are two camping trips this year, one in Eatonville and one near Spokane. 
For more information or to register, visit http://www.braininjurycamp.com/

Upcoming Event

This was included in our newsletter from the May meeting. Just wanted to share again. Other additions to the blog coming soon!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Link to Moving On Workbook!

Here's the link to the workbook we've been going through in the past few meetings. I'll also add it to the links on the right side of our page. You can print the workbook from home, just keep in mind that it's 64 pages, so you may want to print it in chapters as you work through the program. I apologize for not updating our blog sooner! Feel free to e-mail or comment with requests or suggestions for more posts on the blog. Now that we're all settled in our new office, I have a feeling I'll have more time to update this blog :-)

MovingOn: A Personal Futures Planning Workbook for Individuals with Brain Injury

We're excited to see everyone at our next meeting, May 24, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at Harbor Wellbeing.

- Morgan

Our April Newsletter- Including Kari's Kale Recipes


Stages We Go Through With a Chronic Disease or Condition
by Meniere's Resources, Inc. on Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shock and Denial
Shock, when initially diagnosed because it takes you by surprise and hearing that there is no known cause and no cure are harsh words to hear. Why me, why now? What did I do to cause this? You feel stunned, immobilized. Denial when you continue to think you can fix it by your own drive or resolve to overcome the disease by efforts to find out the cause, when in reality, you are really finding your own triggers. Many will blindly follow others in a drive to find the cause and others will continually make sweeping statements and analyze things to the point of immobilizing themselves and often others in their quest to find the cause for themselves.

Emotional Release or Pangs of Grief and Distress
The feeling you get when you think no one cares and you are alone. Anger that your life is compromised and you can no longer function the way you once did. You feel helpless because things are out of your control. This is a time when you are desperate and seeking help and knowing that you may not find it and the medications, treatments, surgical procedures are not working in a way that you expected them to. The major pity parties and maybe even some more denial (refusal to believe what is going on) fits in this area, certainly frustration is here too. (Include other emotional issues you have here.) This is often a time when we rush to do things that are quite drastic even when we have been told that eventually things fine a spot to level off.

The feeling that you don’t know what to do next and learning how to cope and manage things that are overwhelming you and you don’t know which way to turn, what to do next. Doing the simplest things turn into major frustration and confusion and thinking rationally becomes impossible. I think this is when we are still grasping at straws trying to find the “magic” that will make us well or at least control the monster we are living with. The Meds, the injections, the surgery, and trying to decide what approach we want to take become a major task.

Which shall I try?
What do I do feeling?
Where do I go for help and understanding?
Why is this working for others and not working for me?

This is a time that talking to others often leads us down a path of again attempting to find answers that may now exist. We are vulnerable and easily confused by others who suffer a similar complaint. We need to face the fact that no two people will respond exactly the same to medication or treatment and we need to temper and make our own judgments about what is really helping and what isn’t and work more with our Dr. while still listening to others in a support group.
Is when you realize that you cannot do all that you used to do and your life has changed and especially when having to go on disability. You feel guilt for not pulling your weight, for placing burdens on others that once you were able to handle. Your lifestyle is changing and it is out of your control. I speak for myself when I say: (I lived the guilt stage for at least a year. Guilt when you no longer able to participate in social things the way you used to, etc. The guilt others inflict on you (and you allow it) when they tell you that you look fine and what is your problem and are you still not feeling well and how are you now that you aren’t working, are things getting better? You will feel like you are constantly defending yourself and attempting to validating yourself to others. (Gosh I hated that!) Trying to prove that I still COULD do it all and feeling bad when I no longer was able.

Hostility, Anger, and more Frustration
Could also go here again. Why me, why now? There is a feeling of total lack of control over what is happening and anger that you no longer can do what you used to do quite well. The inability to make yourself understood or to understand others. We have anger at those who don’t understand and don’t seem to care. We feel angry at ourselves for our own feelings.

Inability to resume a normal life
Because what was a normal life is no longer possible. Everything has changed. Your life is upside down. The helplessness and hopelessness you sometimes feel. You are still trying to prove that you can function the way you once did and can’t or not able to. You can’t see anything positive in your future. You are too focused on the things you are not able to do.

Acceptance, when you finally “get it”
Nothing will ever return to the way it once was. You recognize that the way it used to be and the way things are now have changed. You need to rethink how you do things and learn to accept help from others and admit your own limitations. You can accept the dizzy days, the vertigo, the hearing loss, the inability to function normally, and all else that goes with it.

Is when you see a new way of living emerging and you are content with yourself and happy and can move forward but on a different path from the one you were on. You make accommodations and set short goals and realize that they may never bear fruit and you are flexible enough to accept that. You realize that there is still life in you and you just are living it differently. You begin to focus on what you are able to do and not on what you can’t/not able to do. I have seen many people going through these phases of shock to finally acceptance and hope. I think that we see a lot of anger and hostility at times. I just say to myself that this is all part of the process. This is how I feel about the phases we go through, living with a chronic disease. I hope it helps others. Remember that we are all individual in the way we handle things and when we see anger, pity, guilt, that this is all part of the process before we can learn to accept our changed life and live with it and refocus on what we have that we are able to do. Some of us pass through stages over and over again or get locked in one stage longer than someone else. We all pass through at different speeds and that is fine. YOU are okay. This is NORMAL. It was only when I was able to look back on the path I had traveled that I saw where I had been. I remember writing this and giving it to my Dr. to let him know what I thought about how this affected me. He and his nurse said they had made that observation themselves about different patients they treated. I think he was happy to see that I had finally reached the hope stage because I was a terrible patient when I was in the denial, anger, and pity stages.
I wanted things to change, I wanted answers and I wanted to feel better – immediately!
Joyce L. White

Monday, January 30, 2012

Right Brain vs. Left Brain -- Which are you?

We included this website in our newsletter this month, just wanted to repost to make sure everyone got it!

Brain Test - Left & Right

Click the link above to take the test. (You can enter a fake name on the website). We recommend that you read the analysis given at the end of the test for some interesting information. Enjoy!