As a teacher of yoga, meditation and ayurveda, a career I have cherished for over 15 years, I am often telling my students “ I teach what I need to learn”. This statement has never been more applicable than it has been this past full year of slowly healing from a TBI.
My once vibrant, multitasking, superhuman, energetic being, was bed ridden for the better part of a year. In the early months of recovery I thought, because I was a supremely healthy, yoga practicing, kale smoothie drinking, yogi health practitioner, that I would heal my TBI in a few weeks, multi-year-long recoveries were for someone else.
This mind set went completely against everything I had been teaching for 15 years. Sure, it was optimistic to believe in recovering quickly, but it was not respectful of the magnitude of injury itself and only led to great despair I was not better after a week or a month, or even a year.
My brain was seriously injured, speaking and walking were very hard tasks. I would mix up words constantly every few minutes, calling light bulbs lobster pots, for goodness sake. Being around more than 3 people at a time was crippling for my brain. A trip to the grocery stores and all the stimuli of shapes, sizes and colors that came with it would leave me in a puddle of tears in the car and sometimes bed ridden for days (you all know the symptoms), my brain needed time, and lots of it, to heal.
Recovering from a TBI can be likened to planting a tiny seed to grow an apple tree. That seed is vulnerable. It needs to be tended to daily with nourishment and love. It needs to be protected from rough times, like bad weather, and above all it needs consistency and patience.
If at the first sign of growth we pulled on the lime green sprout bursting out of the ground, to hurry it along, we will only kill it and we would have to start again, by planting another seed. If we shouted at it to hurry up, it would only wither from the impossibility of the demand. It can take years of perfect nourishment and commitment to an apple tree before it will ever bear fruit. The same is true for healing a TBI.
I encourage you to look at your TBI in the very same light. We are all unique and each TBI is different. We all heal at our own pace, but one thing is true for each of us, we need to respect the speed of Mother Nature. She knows you want to heal and she is on top of it. The body wants to heal. What she asks of you is to respect her speed, wisdom and grace and to be as committed to optimal health along the path as best you possibly can.
I look forward to sharing many ayurvedic guidelines to help you down the path of healing over the next few months.