Posts

0 - Introduction

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I tip my hat off to you…or, my helmet.Because you’re here.You’ve made it this far.Opened yourself up to learning about another person’s experience with brain injury. You may have a brain injury yourself.You may know someone, or care for someone who does.You may be a professional who wants to get a better understanding of the actual day-to-day challenges.Either way, I tip my helmet off to you…then I put it back on before I hit my head again…
This blog is called “This Hat is a Helmet” for a very good reason.Or maybe just a reason.Good or bad or neutral, here is that reason: we all have many different roles.We are friends, siblings, spouses, parents, coworkers, professionals.We may be baristas, clerks, teachers, entrepreneurs, landscapers, performers, athletes.We may also be that person at the party with the bad jokes, or that other person at the party who thinks they are good at karaoke (but aren’t), or that other other…

Common Humanity: Part 2

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For audio reading of this blog post, go here: https://soundcloud.com/krystal-joy-466462472/common-humanity-part-2
I ask each of my clients this question: “What are your priorities and values in life?”
This question is so important. It tells me so much about what I have to learn and do to give my clients something that is true to them. Something that honours their experiences instead of placing on them the priorities and values upheld in white oppressive healthcare.
One time a client answered me with this:
“I value common humanity — the idea that we’re all here and connected in some way.”
Yeah. I feel this. Do you?



In Part 1 I offered a call-in to my fellow white TBI survivors. I asked why it seems there is little representation of BIPOC folks in brain injury blogs, media, and support groups. Systemic racism affects all communities, even ours in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
I am now sharing this again as a white person to invite other white survivors who are down for this conversation.
Let’s …

Common Humanity

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For audio:https://soundcloud.com/krystal-joy-466462472/common-humanity/s-f3G6pugiMzuHow are you doing today?
You don’t deserve to sufferPeople worldwide don’t deserve to sufferYet if there’s anything this pandemic has blatantly shown usIt’s that many people unjustly do

How have your symptoms been? For me the early part of this pandemic changed very little of my day-to-day, already having “practiced” self-isolation for so long. But I know for some Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors, the extra layer of self-isolation along with added bodies, voices, and stimulation stuck at home has been tough. In the beginning I saw comments in support groups about how the news was fearful of this virus. And with a low energy brain trying to make sense of it all, things like anxiety may have surfaced.
And now, something else very important has bubbled to the top as the calls for social justice have gained more momentum with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
I am a white person writing this, sharin…

There is Love in Grief

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This audio podcast podcast is found here.
Thank you for being here.

I have not been here for a while. Despite huge motivation to publish the many writings I have for this blog, a big bump along the journey presented itself.

Not a bump on the head, don't worry about that. But a blow just as bad.

I has intentions of typing this post out, but it felt better to record it before editing the text. The end result is a much more genuine and authentic audio production than I think a written version could ever truly convey. I understand this makes it less accessible to those with hearing impairments, and for that I very much apologize. But for me, I have devoted so much screen time to the audio editing, which means a whole lot to me. And I can't at this time prioritize my brain energy to typing this all out. If I were, it would delay this project even further and my heart just can't really bare it any longer.

Because this project has already been delayed. Months. I recorded at the e…

28 - Identity

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Want to save your screen time? Find an audio reading of this post here :)


I remember it being that time in the winter. It’s dark when you wake up, and the sun sets before you commute home from your day studying at university. It was after class and already dark outside. I was standing amongst a group of students continuing a discussion from the lecture we just had.
No matter how long I had been going to that school, I still looked around in awe at the surrounding building. The Faculty of Business was in the most beautiful building on campus — historic yet modern. Almost like a brighter more contemporary Hogwarts from the Harry Potter books. The walls, floors and staircases were made of brick, marble and illustrious wood. Three sides of the building were made of these materials, while the fourth side was a long fa├žade of crystal clear windows. Normally they looked out onto a green courtyard, however as it was already past sunset, the stars were visible on a cloudless winter night.
There w…

Long Pauses (Totally improvised)

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Want less screen time? Listen to this post instead! In fact, I recommend it! Get audio on Soundcloud here.


I recorded this just about a month ago. I have here the general text that goes with it, but the recording has a nice aside where I talk about the trouble with beautiful trees… ;P
I am back with more stories for you! Much more to come so stay tuned -- subscribe to the blog, like me on Soundcloud, or follow me on Instagram @this.hat.is.a.helmet.
Enjoy this comeback bonus track!
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I really just felt like talking into a microphone. So much has been happening. I feel overwhelmed. Things feel like they’re spiralling out of control. I have always found some solace and comfort in creativity — drawing, painting, writing. It’s funny how amateur podcasting is becoming it’s own creative comfort. I’ve never before today wanted to pull out my microphone and speak into it as an outlet. It just felt like I had to do it.
Things feel like they are spiralling out of…

27 - Time

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Listen to the audio for more fun and less screen time, here!


What I’m sharing with you today I didn’t write. Instead I dictated it to my phone. It was a beautiful summer day but my mood wasn’t as bright. I just felt I needed to get out my thoughts and feelings. So I picked up my phone and I started recording. What I recorded is a reflection on time — my time spent in my recovery and how time feels. I have here for you today the content of that recording, raw and unedited. A special edition of This Hat is a Helmet. Enjoy!
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I have often heard my friends who are parents say they wish they could slow down time. They wish they could stop it. They feel like their kids are growing up so fast. And they just want to preserve this moment.
I remember when I was young, my parents always saying that time went by so fast. It’s the summer right now and I was looking at my agenda earlier. It feels like summer just started, yet at the s…