27. Survivor Story: A CEO’s post concussion journey

October 7, 2022
The TBI Therapist Podcast with Dr. Jen Blanchette and Carolina Guiterrez

In 2017, Carolina sustained a brain injury concussion after falling on her icy driveway. At the beginning of her recovery, she remembers having just one lucid hour a day. As a result, her relationships, business, and mental health all greatly suffered. Carolina felt unable to handle the normal tasks in her life. As a CEO and business owner, she even had to take out an equity loan for her home. However, with time and treatment, Carolina ultimately recovered from her concussion. Today, she says she has reengineered her life.  While the road to recovery was long and difficult, it is important to remember that full recovery is possible after sustaining a brain injury concussion.

Carolina’s experience with brain injury and concussion recovery is a great example of the importance of honoring your own innate cycles and patterns. As she noticed during her recovery, there are often good weeks and bad weeks. The key is to flow with your body’s patterns and use them to your advantage. For Carolina, this meant using her brain injury as an opportunity to learn more about herself and her internal rhythms. By listening to her body and honoring its cycles, she was able to more effectively recover from her concussion and create a sustainable strategy for moving forward. Her story is a reminder that we all have unique patterns and cycles that should be respected. 

Meet Carolina Gutierrez: 

Carolina is a business unicorn, founder, serial entrepreneur, mental health advocate, podcast host and counselor. Every step she takes in life is led by intuition. Formally educated in social work, the healing journey is a way of life for her. She is fluent in business and feelings and shines her brightest when speaking to the spirit of both. Her intuitive business strategy helps purpose driven business owners get things done. Authentic and conscious connection combined with grounded action describes her style. As a serial entrepreneur who started her first business at 12, Carolina Gutiérrez is a passionate Mental Wellness advocate. She guides business owners and seekers alike on the importance of intuition first, challenging you to think about work from the inside out. With her business & counseling skills, Carolina brings peace, time, and profits to business owners feeling overwhelmed.

Carolina said that 63% of entrepreneurs feel depressed during the week. 4x incidence of major mental health problems such as suicide risk.  Entrepreneurs have a fire to keep going but also a great deal of shame with failure.

 Concussion can be a significant contributing factor to the mental health problems experienced by entrepreneurs. Shame and depression are common emotional responses to brain injury, and entrepreneurs may feel especially vulnerable to these feelings due to the high stakes and high pressure environment in which they work. However, it is important to remember that brain injuries are often unpredictable and can happen to anyone, regardless of how successful or unsuccessful they are. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health problems after a brain injury, please seek professional help. There are many resources available to support you on your journey to recovery.


Our conversation revealed a few key takeaways. 

First, if you suspect you or your loved one has suffered a brain injury, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. I will add that research clearly shows that immediate intervention leads to better outcomes. 

Second, even though the road to recovery can be long and difficult, it is important to keep hope alive that things will eventually get better. 

And finally, in some cases, a diagnosis can provide much-needed direction for treatment. Carolina’s story is a perfect example of this. After years of struggling with undiagnosed ADHD, she finally received a diagnosis that led her to the treatment she needed. 

More From Carolina 


More from Jen


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Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hey, Survivor. I have a great episode for you today. Carolina Gutierrez is a survivor, a business unicorn founder, serial entrepreneur, mental health advocate, podcast host, and counselor. Every sta step she takes in life is led by intuition. So she was formally trained in social work and is fluent in business decisions and feelings, and she suffered a concussion while falling on the ice. She talks to us a little bit about the challenges of being a CEO and a business owner, as well as really important statistics to understand about entrepreneurs. So those of you survivors out there. So if you have your own business, you might be at, at more risk for mental health issues. So she, she gave us some information on entrepreneurs and mental health and said that 63% of entrepreneurs feel depressed during the week. They also have a four times incidence of major mental health problems.
Speaker 0 00:01:11 So she talked with us about that unique journey of entrepreneurship where you have the fire to keep going, but the great shame of failure. And I know in the podcast we talk about the shame that’s inherent in TBI recovery, concussion recovery, brain injury recovery. But I think for my survivor, I also want you to hear, if you’re someone who was holding a lot of things together before your concussion or TBI abi, it can be really tough to feel like everything is literally crumbling in front of you if that’s your business or a big professional career, whatever it is. So, some takeaways from this conversation. First of all, if you suspect your loved one has suffered a brain injury, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. So research really, it, you know, tells us that the, the more quickly we seek care, the better we will get.
Speaker 0 00:02:11 So, if you’ve been struggling with symptoms for a long time, I really encourage you to be a squeaky wheel. Continue to advocate for yourself. You can continue to get healthier. Second, even though the road to recovery can be long and difficult, it’s important to keep things hope alive, that things will eventually get better. And finally, in some cases, diagnosis can provide much needed direction for treatment. So for her, it was after struggling with, with undiagnosed adhd, that she finally received a diagnosis that led to her treatment and that she needed. So I hope you guys will listen to this episode and really take a lot of the, the value nuggets that she provides to us. And also, I just wanna let you know on my website I have, if you need a consultation, uh, for coaching for brain health, I am offering free 15 minute consultations. So you can certainly sign up@tbitherapist.com. I hope you enjoy this wonderful survivor. Hi everyone, welcome to the TBI Therapist podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Jen Blin shot, where we explore the heart of brain injury. Hi, Carolina, welcome to the TBI Therapist podcast. It’s so great to have you today.
Speaker 1 00:03:40 Thanks for having me, Jen. I’m looking forward to your conversation.
Speaker 0 00:03:44 Great. Well, I’ll kick it off to you and ask you about the story of your brain injury, and it can be any part that you want.
Speaker 1 00:03:52 Sure. So, my brain injury, I can remember the date. I have a phone, a picture of the ice storm the night before it happened. And every time I see that picture, I remember it was February, 2017. And, um, I live here in Toronto, Canada, and we had had a mega ice storm. Everything was super, super, super icy, and I was taking my dog out and I fell on my driveway and my head landed first. And I didn’t really realize the magnitude of what actually had happened to me till about a week later when the symptoms really started to kind of set in. And I started to really, uh, face what my new reality was gonna look like for the next of a while. I, um, I probably had one lucid hour a day when that happened, and that probably lasted for about two months. And so in that hour I was paying bills and doing all the adult stuff that, um, we don’t really sometimes have choices about doing.
Speaker 1 00:04:58 But I would sit with sunglasses inside the house all day long. Yeah, it was, it was just a really, really scary time. Um, I couldn’t sign my name for a few days there, and that, that, that was probably the part where I, I felt my heart sink when, when I realized that I was actually struggling to, to just do something that was so natural and innate. Yeah. And, um, yeah, my recovery lasted almost a complete year. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, my, I’m a, I was self-employed or so I am self-employed, so my business suffered greatly. My relationships suffered greatly. My, uh, overall wellbeing, my mental health suffered enormously. You know, I’m not smiling because it was a good experience. I’m smiling because I feel that I’m at the other end of that experience being that it was five years ago now. Yeah. It, it, it definitely, um, I can, I can see my life before and after the concussion.
Speaker 0 00:06:00 Yeah. Yeah. And I think I was smiling back at you. So if you’re listening to this on the podcast, then you’re not gonna see the smiles. However, you know, I smiled back because it’s kind of like this knowing smile because it’s a story that I hear frequently that it’s just Im, it impacts so much Yeah. And so many parts of people’s lives after a concussion. So, so maybe if we can talk a little bit about, like, that, that year of recovery and what, what support did you get? How did you get better?
Speaker 1 00:06:36 So I think the part that I struggled most with in getting better, and I am diagnosed officially ADHD and, and with anxiety, um, prior to this happening. So I was the type of person that I worked that diagnosis or that energy in a very active way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I was always moving, I was always doing projects, I was walking, I was, um, motion was, was kind of a coping technique for me. And what I realized is, is that that was not gonna work for me when recovering from a concussion. Um, my mobility was affected in that. Um, I had dizzy spells, I had vertigo, um, and to the point that I couldn’t even drive for a time being right. Like, I remember having to book a hairdresser appointment and have to get my husband to drive me to there <laugh>. Like, I was just, I felt just completely, I, I don’t think stuck is the right word, but I felt incapable and, and as an adult and as somebody who I consider myself to have been self-sufficient for a good chunk of my life where I was helping others, um, it’s a very challenging reversal of roles when you end up being at the mercy of others just for regular, you know, everyday things.
Speaker 0 00:08:10 Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. I was thinking as you were talking about like, what that was like as a business owner. So I’m thinking through a little bit of that lens, like, okay, you had all of these things that you had to work through, and then what happened to the business? Like, how did you manage that? And I don’t know what you were doing before and what, I kind of know what you’re doing now, but I don’t know if that changed or what that looked like.
Speaker 1 00:08:35 So my business, um, at the time I had started, um, two years before then I had started a full-time, uh, running a virtual admin agency. So I had people that worked under me that I managed them. Uh,
Speaker 0 00:08:49 Like a VA agency.
Speaker 1 00:08:51 Yeah, exactly. A VA agency. So I, I didn’t get too, too involved in the work, but I had to manage the work. I would source new work for them. My people did, um, ongoing retainer services as well as projects. So anything extra that wasn’t already established in my business came to a complete and grinding halt. You know, about six months before that happened, I had started implementing a new money management system in my business. And we also do system set up. And, um, and just getting your business organized and, and developing, um, procedures and policies and stuff that’s part of the project work that we do. Thank God I had set that up in my own business, and especially the money management because that money management system allowed for cushion in my business that was able to hobble me until about the eight, eight month mark.
Speaker 1 00:09:52 So my concussion happened in February. I would say it was September by the time I was sort of functioning where I would be able to actually go out and have business meetings speak cohesively on the phone. Because I remember I received a business call about three weeks after the concussion happened. If I could paint my ideal client, my ideal client was on the phone at that time, and I could not put the words together. Like I just sounded like, you know, I almost sounded drunk. And, and part of me, my husband was like, Well, do you want me to give her a call back and let her know that you this? And I said, It’s just, you know, like first impressions matter, right? And so, you know, that that was something that was really difficult for me because I said, Oh my gosh, I’ve spent all this time, this was the third business that I had ever built.
Speaker 1 00:10:48 So it’s not like I was new to that rodeo, but I’ve said, I’ve spent all this time building this and I’m seeing it crumble before my eyes. So, you know, your self-esteem takes a huge hit in, in, in this process of, um, surviving or learning to function. Cuz I don’t know if I survived, but I learned to re function after that concussion. I definitely, I had to slow down and I don’t do well slowing down <laugh> naturally. I’m just, I’m, I’m a very creative and, um, constantly working on new ideas and new things. Um, I jokingly tell people, you know, my brain is my money maker. So the idea that that that had to shift and be put on hold and prioritize rest above everything else and sleep and just being, um, was something new to me that had a very steep learning curve in my opinion.
Speaker 0 00:11:50 Yeah. I, I was just thinking through like all the, the words you were saying was bringing back to me. I can’t share the stories of those people that I worked with in my clinical practice, but I would say generally people who were really go-getters or they had a really kind of strong career life or just active life before an injury, and then after an injury, they’re just, I would just have to say, Please rest. Please take those breaks because I know you’re gonna hit the wall and then you’re gonna come in symptomatic and be depressed. And then we’re having to deal with that other end of what happens when you push through with a brain injury, which doesn’t look pretty, but it, it’s also hard when you, you feel limited, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, when I’ve talked with, with folks after brain injury, they just feel so limited and like, well, I can do two hours of work that sucks. Like, I don’t wanna do two hours of work and then have to rest. That’s, that’s not what I wanna do. And I think the pivot is, is how do you kind of move to working with it versus working against it or working against your brain, for example.
Speaker 1 00:12:58 Yeah, for sure. So this ties in a bit with the, with kind of, um, part of the work, the new work, I, I shouldn’t say new work, but part of the work that I am prioritizing now. So I still have that business. I, I have several other businesses actually, but all my businesses are united under the, the banner of prioritize, prioritizing mental wellness in everything that you do. So I, you know, my education is in social work. I was a counselor for years, so I’ve always understood the need for that. But one thing is understanding it from a clinical academic perspective. And another one is li living in those shoes, right?
Speaker 0 00:13:38 <laugh>, I have to laugh. I’m laughing with you on that piece of, you know, so many times with letting your mental wellness go out of balance and thinking that it’s fine when it’s not.
Speaker 1 00:13:49 Yeah. Yes. Yeah, for sure. Um, and so I think that what, what this brain injury, you know, if I, if I have to look at a positive from it, um, I think that it really highlighted a lot of the unhealthy mental wellness patterns that entrepreneurship inherently has and how this just exacerbated it. Like it put a just screaming big spotlight on them. Um, and it’s, it’s led to some of the projects that I’m doing now because I just really started to say I’m completely alone. You know, I have employees, I have people that, that depend on me, but this business lives or dies because of me right now. And that’s an enormous pressure to have, and especially when you’re only being able to function properly one or two hours a day if, if a day. Um, I know my pattern, It was interesting. I started to notice the pattern.
Speaker 1 00:14:54 So it happened, I believe it was the 17th of February, my injury. Like it’s so seared in my mind that date. Um, and I started to notice a recovery pattern in and about mid-April, and it was one week good, one week bad. Then it turned into, and that lasted for about a month, and then it went two weeks good, one week bad, then three weeks good, one week bad. Like I could almost time it unless I overdid it, and then I would start, you know, that, that pattern again. So, you know, there was a couple of things that came from that, the importance of honoring your innate cycles and patterns. I think, I think as go-getters and as natural, um, born entrepreneurs, um, where we like to create the ver the rules versus us adapting to the rules that have been set by other people. No honoring that, that inner knowing that I’m like, Hey, this is, this is what’s showing up for you.
Speaker 1 00:15:57 You need to recognize that this is you. Right? Instead of kind of separating yourself from that, that’s become really important. And I, and I find that the way I do business now, the way that I live my life, I call it kind of intuitive strategy because your body’s giving you the cues as to how you’re gonna work best. Um, how that looks on a profit sheet depends on who you ask and the values that they have. Um, but I’m okay with that now, and I, and I really think that that concussion, um, was a big turning point for me in that perspective.
Speaker 0 00:16:32 Yeah. I, I just wanna kind of piggyback on what you were saying or talk about entrepreneurs. And so I’ve read some research, I don’t have it before me, but I’ve, I’ve read it many times that I
Speaker 1 00:16:43 Have lots. I can give you stats if
Speaker 0 00:16:45 You want. Yeah. So, so if you have stats at the top of your head, that’d be great. But I know mental, well, mental health is much reduced than in the general population. So I don’t know if you could speak a little bit to that and why, if you’ve had a brain injury on top of being an entrepreneur or any other kind of life issue that you’re probably starting, you know, in recovery probably a little bit depleted, like absolutely, your resources are probably depleted.
Speaker 1 00:17:11 Well, and it’s not only your resources, but it is your mindset period. Right? Um, so 72% of entrepreneurs suffer either from directly diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness, I think. And some of the research is starting to indicate that it’s actually what draws us to entrepreneurship in to, to just, just in general. Yeah. Um, the level of uncertainty that comes with it, the level of high risk, the level of, um, impact that kind of reverberates to all people around you as an entrepreneur. Um, it, it’s something that a lot, lot of people don’t recognize. You know, statistics here in Canada, CAMH statistics says that 62% or 63% of entrepreneurs feel depressed at least once a week versus a general population according to the un. Um, four times higher instance of depression, mental illness and suicide risk mm-hmm. <affirmative> in entrepreneurs versus the general population. So you are just adding fire, you’re just throwing gasoline on the bonfire that has been going. Um, I call it a double edged sword because it’s part of what makes us good at, at daring to do it differently and pioneering different things. Um, but it’s also something that we need to get help with ASAP and really prioritize because, you know, that that creativity, that fire that fuels us to just keep going, um, can also consume us.
Speaker 0 00:18:41 Right. And I think what I know for myself as an entrepreneur, I think I can speak to that a little bit, is, uh, and, and I’m not a brain injury survivor, however, I can speak to the entrepreneurship piece, that there’s, there’s that duality of the creativity and the action that, that is beautiful about entrepreneurship, that we don’t talk about the dark side of failure and accepting failure when it happens, and like going into shame and, and fear of vi visibility,
Speaker 1 00:19:13 Shame, shame, uh, guilt and, um, secrecy.
Speaker 0 00:19:18 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:19:18 Three-headed monster of business, right?
Speaker 0 00:19:21 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that we tie, we tie that success of our business to the success of us as people. So my business failed, I failed.
Speaker 1 00:19:31 Absolutely. And it’s the, think about it, it’s the only endeavor where, um, we consider failure part of the initiation, talk to an entrepreneur and, you know, an entrepreneur are gonna say, Oh, poor you. They’re like, ah, you reach that stuff in business, Congratulations, you find,
Speaker 0 00:19:51 Oh, you haven’t failed enough. That’s why you’re not successful. You just need keep failing. And, and like inside, I’m like, that sounds horrible.
Speaker 1 00:19:58 <laugh>. We’re masochists if you think about it, right? <laugh> right in, in, in this kind of grueling self punishment mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But if you, if you turn the tables a bit and look at it from that, that fuel and, and ongoing fire within us for the need to create and to build things in new and interesting and different ways, surpasses any of all those other things that we’ve talked about. Right? It’s like asking us to quell that fire. Good luck. Right? I think it’s, it, it’s the equivalent of asking me not to breathe if you ask me to stop creating mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So tying a brain injury into that, I think, I don’t wanna minimize other people’s experiences because I had to walk through shoes and, and I can’t say what others have felt, but I found it to be, um, a really toxic milkshake that came together and that was being forced down my throat for that period of time.
Speaker 0 00:21:05 Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:21:08 Hmm. Yeah. I could, I could, you know, I, I, as a counselor, you probably know this, you, you know, you said you have worked as a mental health therapist before. Yes, yes. I think we said, we talked about that. You know, I, I’ve imagined myself, like, what would it be like if I had a brain injury? Like, could I do this work? And then what would that mean for the work that I do? Like how, how would I even do it? So I think, you know, I’ve definitely thought about these thoughts before, but that lived experience is another, it’s a whole nother layer of what do I do now?
Speaker 1 00:21:39 Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:21:39 And what do I do with this business or with my life?
Speaker 1 00:21:43 Well, and I, I think for me, what what was really shocking about the experience was how flippant society throws around the word concussion. And maybe it’s not done on purpose. I, like, I’m not attesting any malice. Oh,
Speaker 0 00:22:01 It’s concussion, right.
Speaker 1 00:22:02 But it’s just, that’s exactly it. And it’s like, oh, he’s out, like, you know, being, we’re up in Canada, hockey’s everything. Oh, he’s out for the next three games cuz he has a concussion and I’m sit and I just never thought anything about it. You would just hear that most normal thing in the world. And then I’m in the concussion, I say to my husband, How did that, how was that guy on skates after only being out three games? I’m like, I, I’m like, there was times where I was holding onto the wall to walk to the washroom because I couldn’t keep my balance. And I’m thinking these athletes are being thrown out there, you know, and what we’re seeing in football and, you know, that whole controversy, it’s like, you know, we’re really doing ourselves a disservice as a society in not speaking and really, um, having people understand the impact of what that word is and putting a true meaning behind it instead of the, let say fair way that I feel. It’s, it’s, it’s
Speaker 0 00:22:57 Currently used. Well, you know, it’s interesting. I had a, I was talking on like a business podcast interesting enough about my work and they, they didn’t understand that a concussion is a tbi. Some people don’t know that. Some people I know. Yeah. And then we go into, Oh, but it’s a mild TBI there. A mild TBI for some people means they’ve lost their job, they’ve lost their family, they’ve lost some people, everything. And that’s mild. So I think we even think to think about that language, like I almost think of it like no one tells you you have mild cancer. Right.
Speaker 1 00:23:33 <laugh>, That’s exactly not to laugh at people with cancer,
Speaker 0 00:23:36 Please. No, no, no, sorry. A hundred percent. But, but just the language
Speaker 1 00:23:41 Or a little bit pregnant, right?
Speaker 0 00:23:42 A little bit pregnant, You’re pregnant or you’re not, You have a TBI or you don’t Yeah. Like there’s, we just need to come up with like standardized care. And I think with, especially with concussion probably cuz it’s been minimized because of the athletic culture of the wanting to get back and needing to, you know, have that status.
Speaker 1 00:24:01 Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s something that, you know, when people nowadays tell me, Oh, they have a concussion, or I, I suffered a concussion. Like, um, I have my own podcast and somebody canceled on me last minute and she goes, I fell last night and I’ve been diagnosed with a concussion. My immediate response is one of compassion, clearly because I’ve been there. But also, this is very serious, Please take care of yourself. Like, I, I I’m, I I almost sound like a PSA <laugh> because people just don’t like, unless you go through it, you’re, you don’t really understand the, the reverberating impact that this has on everyone around you. Like, I remember my husband, um, the pressures that we had to refinance our mortgage because I was not bringing in enough money in my business to cover our bill. Like if we look at the, the personal impacts of it, you know, it’s a, it’s, um, it’s an invisible condition. So for example, my mother was like, I think you’re exaggerating. It mustn’t be that hard. And it’s like, well, just because I look normal or what you consider to be normal, it doesn’t mean that I am. Right. So, you know, it, it, it just, um, I really wish that people would take that away and, and obviously your listeners are going to, I’m, I’m probably speaking to people that are outside of your normal, uh, listeners, but I, I think that public awareness needs to definitely be something that’s improved in here.
Speaker 0 00:25:38 100%. We can’t say enough, I don’t think we can say it enough that an invisible injury is an injury and we need to be just curious to people’s experience. So if I work with trauma as well, trauma with brain injury, but just also trauma with other conditions mm-hmm. <affirmative> and also an invisible concern. Mental illness can be invisible. Often we can’t tell, but people are struggling. Yeah. So, yeah, I think it’s awareness. I think it’s just being curious about other people’s experience without trying to label like what that thing is. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Oh, it’s still, you’re still dealing with that because people don’t know what to say. They’re just, they’re ignorant and so they don’t ask a question of like, Oh, tell me more. I don’t, I don’t know what that’s like.
Speaker 1 00:26:27 Yeah, yeah. For sure. I think it’s a matter of approaching life, um, from a curious and uh, OB observing standpoint versus that judgmental, you know, just put push through type of attitude. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well,
Speaker 0 00:26:47 Okay, Carolina, I wonder if you can give our audience who are typically survivors and professionals who are in this brain injury world, if you can give them some insights, some takeaways about your personal experience with anything really with life, with recovery.
Speaker 1 00:27:07 So, um, one of the things that when I look back now, I wish I would’ve done more of during my recovery would’ve been to get more, um, kind of physical therapy around it. Um, I was seeing one person, but you know, budget was really tight. I just told you I had to refinance our mortgage. Right. Um, but looking back, I would probably have done more of that sooner. Um, for sure. Um, I think the other thing is that, um, I can’t speak to everyone because I don’t know your story and, and I don’t know what life after recovery looks like for you. Um, but I would say keep the hope alive, um, that it, it will get better. I know every time that a pattern would fall into place for me again, where I’m like, good week, bad week, um, I, towards the end I took it as life letting me know, you still need a bit more rest. You still need a bit more rest. Um, and you know, sometimes we have to learn that lesson early and sometimes you learn it later, um, and in a bit more challenging ways. But it, it’s there for a reason.
Speaker 0 00:28:27 And I just wanna ask you to add about adhd, cuz I think a lot of folks might deal with attention issues after their brain injury. And you talk a little bit about that. I think when I, I looked at your website, can you speak a little bit to how it’s your superpower now? I think you put
Speaker 1 00:28:43 <laugh>. Yeah. So my, I was diagnosed later in life. I was diagnosed in my other thirties with adhd. So, um, I struggled an entire lifetime, uh, without understanding. Um, I jokingly tell the story that my mother used to find my keys in the freezer, and that’s an absolute truth that is not made up. Um, so that just talked about kind of the orbit of chaos that was around me. And
Speaker 0 00:29:09 Same, I put ’em in the fridge. So
Speaker 1 00:29:10 Yeah. Okay. <laugh>,
Speaker 0 00:29:12 I’ve not diagnosed, but I’ve thought of it many times.
Speaker 1 00:29:14 <laugh>. Okay. So, so Jen, you completely understand there <laugh>. Um, and so for me, what really changed, so just to make a long story short, in my early twenties I’m like, I can’t live like this anymore. There’s something wrong. And so I started just researching how to get organized. Like I thought it was a personal failure. I thought, you know what, I just haven’t tried hard enough. And, you know, I hobbled along with kind of the things that I learned. I would, magazines, blogs, books, you name it, I’d pick it up on, you know, just getting kind of organized in general is a very broad umbrella term. And then when I was returning back to school, I wanted to get my master’s in social work. Um, I said, you know, I really need to figure out, maybe it’s a learning disability that I have. Like I just, something’s off and let, let’s just go get an assessment.
Speaker 1 00:30:04 If I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do this right. And I’m gonna cover all my bases before I, I I go down this road. And that’s where the assessment came in. And um, the reason I call it my superpower is because once I had that official diagnosis, um, superimposed over all of the research that I had done for about 10, 15 years on getting organized, it really just put things into perspective and said, Oh, this is what’s going on and now this is how I particularly can, um, use all this knowledge that I had gained over all those years for my specific type of adhd. And so it really, you know, after being pissed off because I was just livid for three months because I, you know, I’m looking back at why didn’t anyone catch this? It was so clear. But because it just shows up so differently for women.
Speaker 1 00:30:58 And, you know, looking at my age, I grew up in the late eighties, early nineties, the awareness wasn’t the same. So once I was able to kind of get over that and move into, okay, well this is my reality, what am I gonna do? Um, then it really changed for me. And, um, I leveraged that awareness of how mine works, um, and all that knowledge that I had acquired and I started applying it in all areas of my life. And now part of one of my businesses is getting businesses organized. And when I started to tie in the mental health component in recognizing how prevalent mental illness is within the entrepreneur community as well as ADHD rates, I’m like, Oh, this is why what I do works and it makes sense and why there’s such a need for it. So I’d like to say that, you know, I thought of this very clearly at the beginning, but I’ve, I’ve stumbled onto it in, in a really interesting way that Providence sometimes has in our life.
Speaker 0 00:32:00 That’s great. I was <laugh> as you were talking. I was like, did she come on this podcast to, to tell me what I need in my business or
Speaker 1 00:32:09 <laugh>? I absolutely did not. But we can talk after if you want in, we can talk
Speaker 0 00:32:13 After. Yeah, I think you, I think we have a chat. So anyway, so I’m just mindful of our time. We have to wrap up unfortunately, although I could talk with you so much longer, so we might be been great. We just have to have you back. I mean
Speaker 1 00:32:25 Oh, I’d love to. This has been great. Thank you so much,
Speaker 0 00:32:27 Jen, you or something
Speaker 1 00:32:29 <laugh>. Yeah, for
Speaker 0 00:32:29 Sure. So I do have a closing question or two. Sure. Yeah. So a fun one. So what is your favorite holiday or holiday food or both and why?
Speaker 1 00:32:42 Halloween since I can remember. Okay. And it’s just the dressing up. I love the dressing up. I love the scary ghouls and goblins. I love that. You know, you’d be able to stay up past your bedtime as a kid and be out and, you know, just play, make believe all the time. So, um, if it was Halloween every day, I would be the happiest person on earth.
Speaker 0 00:33:02 That’s fun. I
Speaker 1 00:33:03 Love it. I think it should be an official holiday. I’ve petitioned for it, but no one wants
Speaker 0 00:33:06 Oh,
Speaker 1 00:33:07 <laugh>.
Speaker 0 00:33:08 Yeah. I, it is fun. I know I have, I have little kids and they, it’s just like a whole thing as we get closer. Yeah. Cool. So what is one thing that you would tell a brain injury survivor?
Speaker 1 00:33:22 It takes time as somebody that thinks that they can manipulate time, which I think I thought that I could. There is, there’s, there’s just nothing aside from just time for it. And, um, a lot of people told me that, a lot of doctors told me that. Um, and I thought that they just somebody that learns the hard way. So I learned the hard way that it’s, you know, that it’s, it’s time and there’s nothing to replace that.
Speaker 0 00:33:52 Awesome. Thank you so much Carolina. I’m sure people are gonna want to reach out to you. Can you give us, um, a way that people can reach out to you and find out more about what you do?
Speaker 1 00:34:04 Sure, definitely. Um, if you go to book carolina.com, it’ll speak to my speaking engagements and all of the different businesses that I’m involved in and the causes that I like to speak about as well as my, the link to my own podcast. So, um, yeah, once again, book Carolina, like the state carolina.com.
Speaker 0 00:34:23 Perfect. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today, and I hope to connect with you really soon.
Speaker 1 00:34:30 Definitely. Thanks Jen.
Speaker 3 00:34:36 Thank you for joining us today on the TBI Therapist podcast. Please visit tbi therapist.com for more information on brain injury, concussion and mental health. The information shared on today’s podcast is intended to provide information, awareness, and discussion on the topic. It is not clinical or medical advice. If you need mental health or medical advice, please seek a professional.


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