I wasn’t aware that I was going anywhere until, I decided to look back and see from where I’d come. For over 39 years, I have been recovering from a severe brain stem injury that I sustained while I was a student. From being a patient who was on life-support, in a neurosurgery intensive care unit in Ann Arbor, to the Rehabilitation Institute in Detroit, I have continued to crawl out from some horrendous circumstances, one step at a time.

Immediately after my trauma, I needed to learn how to walk, talk, think, and take care of my most basic needs. If I considered the magnitude of what I had to accomplish, I would have given up. But I didn’t think that way. I did not focus on long-term goals. Rather, I chose to concentrate on things that I could accomplish immediately. I built one success upon another. I have continued to very gently push myself toward excellence.

After returning to undergraduate school at the University of Michigan, I gradually began to re- learn how to reintegrate into the mainstream by simply doing it. Because I didn’t know what rehabilitation professionals might have said I couldn’t do, I went ahead and did. After my brain injury, I completed college and attended graduate school in social work, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My employment history is very short. I worked briefly in two alcohol treatment programs before getting fired and giving-up. I then applied for Social Security Disability benefits. Just because I was now considered 100% disabled by the federal government, I did not quit trying to attain goals. I did what I what I was able to do. I could establish relationships and talk with anyone.

I found a position that I could perform at a local head injury support group meeting. I could be a brain injured peer counselor & help others to reintegrate into the mainstream, because I had done that. My experiences and education would only enhance my credibility.

After reading a book that introduced me to coaching, Therapist as Life Coach, Transforming Your Practice, I realized that was in fact what I had been doing. I then chose to further my knowledge of coaching, by registering as a student at the International Coaching Academy.

Since that time, I have participated in another student’s Mind to Succeed program. After that experience, I have been able to identify & achieve goals that I previously did not consider. The lessons taught in the Silva Life System were obviously at the root of this program. I’m very pleased with myself and I see no reason to stop trying to excel.

Am I pursing excellence? I honestly don’t think in those terms. I simply so what I have always done since I was injured. I try to do a little better today, than I did yesterday in all areas of my life. I’m better at some skills than others. I’ve learned that I must be interdependent with those in my environment and be grateful for all my privileges. When I do that, I feel good about myself. When I feel good about myself, I can contribute to the global community.

For more information, please visit: www.survivoracceptance.com

Author's Bio: 

“You can do it if you believe you can”
This belief is at the foundation of the life of the author. Thirty-nine years ago, she sustained a severe brain stem injury while she attended undergraduate school. She crawled out from some horrendous circumstances and gradually began to reclaim her life. She combines her social work education with her experiences as a trauma survivor, to provide modeling, motivation and support counseling services to those who have experienced catastrophe and those that support them. Nancy began writing about recovery from trauma fifteen years ago. Her work is available on her web site.