Today on the podcast, we talk about acceptance. Carole talks about leading a good life and embracing her difficulties. She talks about the value of support and focusing on what she can do vs. what she can’t do.
Before her brain injury, Carole Starr was self-employed as a corporate trainer. She was also a classical violinist and singer. In 1999, Carole was broadsided on the driver’s side by a vehicle going 50 mph, resulting in a brain injury. Carole was unable to return to work or music and still lives with daily brain injury symptoms. One small step at a time, she’s reinvented herself. Carole is now a national keynote speaker, the author of the award-winning book To Root & To Rise: Accepting Brain Injury and the founder/facilitator of Brain Injury Voices, a nationally recognized survivor volunteer group.
Things we discussed:
- Early in her recovery things that helped were focusing on what she could do even if that was paint by number for 10 minutes.
- Acknowledging that brain injuries suck! And then moving on after that.
- Triggers are normal. Work on strategies when the triggers happen like Carole’s rebirth day!
- One routine that Carol does is put her rest times in her schedule. She doesn’t fill up that time with other things.
- There are signs when you are doing too many things, Carol knows when she is unable to cook meals.
Find something that you are good at! Find something that you can do. Carole remembers that painting by number helped her feel joy and feel confident to do other things.
Find a community of survivors. There is such magic when we talk to one another.
Have strategies for when grief comes up. Even after 22 years Carole says that it still comes up. In the beginning she describes her grief as a gaping hole, now it is smaller. She indicates that she honors her anniversary date of her brain injury by doing something new because she sees it as her “rebirth” day. She notes how far she has come!
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