Whats the Point?

I had a TBI 26 years ago and went through various rehabilitation and work rehabilitation/permitted work/voluntary work and the goal was to get myself as well as possible and get back to work. I only really started working full-time 5 years ago and I was led to believe that being in work was going to make me feel so good. However after five years I don't feel like that. Any type of future seems so far out of my grasp. Nobody seems to understand. I just feel trapped. Whats the point?

14 Replies

  • are you enjoying the work? and did you ever? or is it simply not something you want to do forever?

  • I'm guessing from your username that you might have issues with your serotonin level ; do you take any type of antidepressant ? Cat x

  • I have been taking Seroxat for years and I felt like it wasn't actually doing anything and I am now taking Sertraline 100mg.

  • Just shows how different our physiologies are. I've tried over a dozen antidepressants, including Sertraline, over the years with nothing but horrible side effects, even after persevering for months each time. But Paroxetine (Seroxat) has worked well for me for over 25 years with no ill effects.

    Do you think you are still depressed ? In other words, does the prospect of changes to your life offer give you any sense of optimism ? x

  • I get this, what's the point in such a long process and hard work and now you've, despite coming so far and achieving what you've done it's still no comparison whatsoever to your old abilities and yourself? I question this myself daily... I try not to think about it though, just crack on best you can. My BMI was almost 17 years ago... message if you want to chat further, though sorry I've not been much help just letting you know your not alone... Katy :-)

  • It's a common theme, and, as much as I'd like to reply with a bright and breezy "You never know what tomorrow will bring!" or "You survived something terrible!", I think a lot of us will relate to this near-mourning state, that sometimes seems a half-life.

    There's always a point, even if it's just to stick two fingers up at anyone who ever told you you "couldn't" do something, or to wake up one day, and be kind to yourself, just for the sake of it. These questioning/pointless phases come and go, you'll have been here before, though perhaps not as deeply so, and, you overcame the "What's the point?" then, so you can again. A lot of us on here can empathise/sympathise, depending which side of the BI-fence we are.

    I'd dearly love to suggest you go out in the bright, autumn sunlight, and marvel at the leaves that change, and fall, and grow again, but the way the light is coming through the tree in my front window is making my eyes feel a bit sick, so that would be pretentious twaddle. What I'd like you to do is to think of something you do enjoy (not 'work', because it doesn't scan that you like that very much right now), I won't assume to know what you enjoy, that's for you, but there IS something that makes you smile, somewhere. You might not be able to do it today, or this weekend, or even this month, but the thing that makes you smile is still out there, when you're ready.

    Talk to 'us', if not to me, I know I'm probably babbling, after a fairly heavy medical appointment this morning, but we genuinely do care about each other, and we'll help where we can.

  • I had my accident 6 years ago, so nothing really in comparison but I ask myself that same question every single day. If you find the answer, please let me know.

  • I've asked myself that question many times and I still don't have a good answer. I find I'm usually asking it when I'm trying figure out how the future is going to be, which isn't here yet. So when I'm able and aware I am doing this future thinking, I switch to "what can I do right now to make this hour or day better". Otherwise for me it gets a bit overwhelming. I'm not saying this solves the long term thinking, but it does get me out of the hopelessness of it. Wishing you a better day today.

  • Hi, My BI was in 1989 - ten days before my wedding! - so I can appreciate the timescale. Work is an issue central to the lives of many quite apart from the brain injured and you do not give any information as to the nature of your disillusionment or whether/how it relates to your BI. Are you back in your pre-BI job? Or into something new? Where was it that you wanted to go? I hadn't heard the one about work making one feel'so good' - and would be sceptical of any such generalisations BI or not! But you mention feeling 'trapped' and that sounds as if you need help to become 'empowered' (as the jargon goes!).

    I agree that it is well nigh impossible for those who have not experienced a TBI to understand or empathise. They have so little to go on either visually or in their own experience. With those close to us we can literally tell them how to respond helpfully - and thank them/recognise it when they do! But often with people we encounter we understandably do not want to plunge into our back story - so it is best for our own sanity if we deliberately 'cut them some slack'.

    As I see it everyone has their own unique path in life. Mine was jolted big time by my TBI but I still have a life (sadly many do not survive), have had two children and still have my partner. Happy pills provide an invaluable cushion but at some stage I will want out of the pain and the struggle. Knowing I have the option of the nitrogen cylinder is empowering but I can still be a useful PA to my loved ones - and fate might have something in store for me to do yet and I am up for it...

  • I feel like that I have been led on so many wrong paths before my accident and after. It is not the job I would have like to do but I did not have many options. At the time I felt great when I first got my job because it got me off Incapacity benefit and stopped me being dragged into ESA but after 5 years I keep thinking is this it or is this the best I can do. How often have I heard "well you should be glad you have a job or there is always someone worse off". I still want to to better for myself but I just feel trapped all the time.

  • I see! Well, turning career consultant, have you assessed your current job and position - highlighting those factors that you like/suit you and those that do not? It is useful to think about the positives as well as the negatives - most aspects of life are a mixture of both. Is there a partner or friend who can be your sounding board for this process? ie listen and recall that your had said such and such about something or they had the impression that... can you sound out any work colleagues?

    Now it is usually possible to 'tweak' some things to make quick wins - and these are actually very important as they enable you to feel empowered!

    The second exercise it to scan around/ahead to ponder what you want out of life, where you want to be. To do this properly is a big task - but tackling is busy/demanding/empowering too. you can talk to people working in the sort of job you want, look up career consultants online and see what they offer (free) and start to build a file of information and contacts.

    Having made a good start take time out to write or update your CV - I suggest that you start from scratch and then go back to your old one and compare it. Only then look up CV drafting online and amend/improve/extend it as seems sensible. (If you start with your own draft you know that it is from you and hopefully has that feel.)

    I had better pause there - do try to get stuck in as things do crop up when you are looking or positioned or talking to people. I would just say that it is only a next step - life is not about reaching an Eden but a journey. This step will lead to the next.

    All the best in your endeavours!

  • I had my TBI 16 years ago and feel similar, I found this great quote that helps.

    All that matters is what we do.

  • I have downloaded this and put it on my phone and will use it when I am having one of those moments I often find myself in. Thank you

  • Yep that's it Angel! I also liked the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything - 42.

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