What happens to someone’s personality after a brain injury?

The answer to this is that you are probably more likely to win the lottery than to be able to answer this. In my personal experience this has been one of the hardest things to ascertain and still is.

When people ask me to describe how I feel the first thing that comes to mind is grumpy. This is a conscious grumpiness likened to the Grandad in Father Ted who sits in his chair and responds to questions with two choice words which I am sure you can guess.

When I started on my career path I underwent extensive personality profiling. At interview the managing director knew the best and worst parts of my personality and I was gobsmacked about how a test can tell so much about a person. Obviously I have relied heavily on this information in everyday life and have gained huge mileage that apparently I am very rarely wrong due to my analytical abilities! However I now have a brain injury so where do I stand now?

I literally have no idea what my personality is. I spend 85% of my time trying to remain upright, stop feeling dizzy/nauseas and concentrating on what I am doing and saying. It appears subconscious automatic actions no longer exist. If I do try to do too many things at once this will generally end badly. I can assure you that it is very realistic to cry over spilt milk when it’s the tenth time that day you have dropped something.

This brings me onto the subject of frustration. I think this is probably the biggest cause of my new found grumpiness.Simple tasks now take effort and concentration to carry out and usually involve annoyance that you know it’s simple and you used to be able to do it so why can I do it now. 

A very real example of this is caravan holidays. These can only be described as complete nightmares for some of us. Why I would want to cover myself in bruises from bumping into everything due to space restrictions, lose my balance due to the bouncy floor, risk my life everytime I leave the caravan by negotiating the ridiculous steps and just to top it off navigating back to a caravan in the dark in a park where all the caravans look the same. This does not make for a relaxing escape.  This is much to the frustration of the rest of my family who love caravanning.
Brain injury also has its oddities, you can decide if this is is a good or bad quality? I can no longer afford to waste time talking to someone or doing something I don’t want or need to be doing. This takes too much effort and I would rather use that effort wislely. Obviously this can occasionally come across as rude to others and that is the point of this blog. It’s hard work having a a brain injury, we cannot afford to waste valuable limited energies on pointless tasks. I am slowly becoming an mean, not so lean efficient working machine.

I can pretty much say I now and have the best and the worst personality in the world, it’s a working progress and will probably never be formed completely. I know so much but also know nothing, I just need to arrange this into some sort of order to ascertain who I am. I often find myself doing things in the way of my old personality but are they still me? I sound ridiculously confused but am in reality very simple. Frankly I don’t have the time or patience to concentrate too much on this as I need to get on with living.
I am learning new things about my personality everyday. I know I am a control freak but I need to be to cope with everyday life. I know I say the wrong things all the time, that’s life. I miss out on so much but frankly I am quite relieved I don’t have to go on upside down rides, skiing or bungee jumps. I can’t feel too much and keep myself on an even keel so I can cope with my situation. I hate being out of my comfort zone, I am not being a wimp or lazy it generally petrifies me and adds even more pressure to an already uncomfortable state. I can’t remember things from one minute to the next. I sometimes put the washing up liquid in the fridge. I may have done something but I come with no guarantee. 

If I love you, I really love you , if I like you I really like you and if I don’t feel anything that is not personal I just cannot process too much.

Someone with a brain injury is worth spending that extra effort on because there is a personality under the shell xxx

                                                                 

What happens to someone’s personality after a brain injury?

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