Although it is nearly 13 years since I got hit by a car and I worked really hard at getting my life back together I still have this feeling that part of me has been lost. I was incredibly lucky as the firm that I worked for at the time of the accident kept my job open for me and I returned to work 2 weeks after being discharged from hospital all be it for just 1 day a week. Then over time I gradually increased to 4 full days, learned to drive again so my life seemed to get back to almost where it had been before. In 2011 I was made redundant. Then to just add insult to injury ( literally) as I had strived so hard to get well again I had my disability taken away from me. I have since done lots of different things to try and get myself work, I went back to college trained as a florist set a little business up doing that, then got selected to train as a Weight Watchers leader so did that for a bit until my aged father became ill so I had to care for him, he passed away in 2013. I then got a great part time administration job with a Foster Agency which then went to full time but this contract ended in Feb 2015. My most recent attempt at work was to train as a Support Worker ( Relief ) which I am technically still employed as but have had no work since April and to be honest is not really something I was enjoying so now I feel really lost. I keep applying for jobs and have had a few interviews but I feel so useless and my internal buzzing ( that is the only way I can describe the feeling inside me ) has never stopped. I was once prescribed medication for this but it felt like it slowed my reaction time to everything down and I would rather not take any medication. In 2009 I had my book published, called "It Was Not My Time". this was about my accident. This was written after reading Kara Swanson's book " I'll carry the Fork" which had been recommended to me by 1 of the Neuro Surgeons I had seen. The reason I came onto this page today was after watching the Louis Theroux Brain Injury show and I realised that this damage to my brain is never gonna heal and as much as I try and make out I'm ok I'm never going to be who I was before the accident and apart from the scars there are no visual signs there is anything wrong with me. I have been thinking about starting a Blog but I'm not sure if this is just me clutching at straws to make myself feel useful so any advise would be gratefully received.

19 Replies

  • Hi Denise and welcome.

    You might be surprised by how many of us struggle/struggled with that need to feel useful.

    I'm sure you will get a few replies but , for what it's worth, voluntary work and crocheting for charities really helps me feel useful.

    Have you looked into mindfulness?

    Love n hugs


  • Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

    I did some charity work working in a local Gallery which is sponsored by the charity I ended up training to be a support worker for and I have just started knitting toys, have just ordered a Clangers kit.

    It's reassuing to know I'm not the only person that feels like this so that's why I was thinking about writing a blog, keep me in contact with thre wider world.

    What is mindfulness ?

    Thanks Again for welcoming me

    Denise :-) xx

  • It's probably best if you do a search as my paraphrasing might be misleading.

    Love n hugs


    PS you're welcome

  • denise do you live in the hounslow area

  • No Steve, I live in Cheshire. I have family in Slough.

  • hi denise only asked because there was a young man i took to a gallery in richmond and he lived hounslow area

  • When I was made redundant I volunteered at a Gallery called The Best Of Northern Art, we used to have quite a lot of Adults with learning difficulties coming into the Gallery and I enjoyed working with them and helping them create things. This is why I thought becoming a Support Worker would be fulfilling, however I just ended up being a live in Housekeeper. I am not a big fan of housework in my own home so having to do it as part of my role of Support Worker has not been enjoyable !!

  • denise before my stroke i worked with adults with learning disabilities and mental health issue, the guy were encouraged and supported in daily issues.

    if id worked in a home where the sevice users were unable to do things for themselves then fair dos.

    i found it very rewarding and at times alot of fun.

    the care sector is screaming out for people, look around your area do your homework on what would be expected of you and maybe give it another go.......care homes work to equal opps as well.

    go on give it a go, im sure youve got plenty to offer , its just finding the right home.


  • Support worker is a wide ranging role, I'm based at a house folks range from non verbal/massive brain damage when young, who need full care, to folks who need to be prompted.

    Can do attitude trumps experience/qualifications.

    I have retained this job since my accident, they have and remain careful of me. I am doing less hours and reasonable ajustments are made.

  • Its so hard to find employment when you have so much going against you (speaking personally) you just have to keep going somehow!

  • Hi Denny.

    Feeling usefull is hard when it seems no one will give you a chance.

    My employer kept my job open for 2 years whilst I struggled with my physical rehab.

    Then pulled it away when I thought I was recovered. It was like the end for me though looking back I would never mentally have been up for the job.

    Since then finding a " use" has been hard. Various voluntary work later with varying rates of success I have decided payed work although it would be nice does not rate my usefullness.

    Helping others and trying to make a differance to others does.

    Hope you success.


  • Hi Denny,

    I agree with Pax and Randomphantoms. Like Pax I don't have a 'job' as I cannot sustain one. You can be useful without having a 'job.' I also practice mindfulness and find it really helps. Find what suits you and brings you pleasure. I love the sound of knitted clangers! Can you put a photo of them up when you have made one? Or PM me a photo? :)

    Best wishes


  • I only ordered the Clangers wool & patterns today and am just in the process of knitting some famyard animals but as soon as I get started on the Clangers I'll send you some pics :-)

  • We'll said Pax :)

  • Hi Denny,

    You were questioning doing a blog for yourself maybe it will help just to get those feelings out you never know, worth a go. It is difficult feeling like we do as others don't have a clue and no one can see how your feeling especially as we always put on the "im alright" mask. Have faith and some thing will come up, chatting with likeminded (literally) peon here hopefully will help too. Take care. Nick xx

  • Thanks Nick, it is so nice to know I am not alone in the way I feel xx Den :-)

  • Dear Denise,

    You sound like a very resourceful and motivated person. You are clearly a "doer" and the fact that you are even considering blogging says that you a person with up-to-date awareness and skills. I am giving you this objective external feedback because you need to see yourself as others do and face the world with all the confidence that corresponds to that. At times I have a tendency to focus on what I am not: The skills that I don't have, the experience that I feel would be valuable, in short, my weaknesses. Sometimes that motivates me to work harder and grow, but many times, it simply leads me to "underplay my hand", so to speak: In that state, nobody feels powerful or projects their best self; as a result people have a harder time seeing your assets and potential.

    Denise, I am confident that if you do what seems to come naturally to you -- explore, engage and perform -- but also really recognize and celebrate your many wonderful capabilities and traits, you will find opportunities to make other people and institutions better and will reap commensurate satisfactions and rewards. You have so much talent and will that others need.

    (BTW: I agree with your other friends who recommend mindfulness as well. That will help you find and strengthen your center at the same time as you engage with the world around you. )

    All the best to you!


  • hi denise welcome to the " disability doesnt always have to be physical club " !!!

    people look at us and think or say glad to see your back to your old self again .........that is until part of a new you rears its ugly head and people cant understand why youre being the way you are.

    eg had an appointment with the neurologist last week my wife needed to go to the toilet so he saw someone else and made me wait 30mins before i went in .

    before my bi it wouldnt have bothered me, i went in all guns blazing and since my bi i swear continually , only know im doing it when my wife tells me off.

    yep definately not the same person i was before my bi.......

    good luck


  • denise i used to take a downs syndrome man to a gallery.......he liked the pictures but also made himself useful tidying up

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