Angela’s 4th Quarter 2015 Letter

Dear Friends,

Every day we get to witness growth in each other and ourselves.  I am blessed to be a part of this growth in people either through direct therapy or indirect at our weekly Friends of Brain Injury (F.B.I.) meetings.  Each month at F.B.I. we focus on a different theme.  For example, in October the theme was dedicated to “Harmonizing the Emotions.”  I found this topic helpful as we approached the holidays of Thanksgiving and now Christmas.  Managing emotions are a big part of brain injury recovery.  In Laureli Blyth’s book, Brain Power (2000), she talks about becoming emotionally balanced.  What does that mean?  We cannot always understand our emotions, nor do we always choose the right ones in the right situations.  Our behavior can change from minute to minute based on what is happening around us. Keeping our emotions in balance requires maintaining a perspective that is healthy.  For example, when we say something to a friend that can be hurtful, we later feel regret.  Learning to prepare ourselves to avoid those situations allows us to be honest, but also be mindful of how we deliver messages.  One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 11:12 – Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.  We cannot take back hurtful words, and we may forgive someone for speaking them, but many times the words are not forgotten.  I know many people who have been mentally impaired by hurtful words.  As a speech pathologist, I see clients with organic and functional voice disorders.  We use our voice to communicate love and also hate.  Our voice is our identity and therefore it can be abused through shouting or damaged through years of being yelled at and verbally abused.

Steve

Steve has made amazing steps in recovery!

By using the excuses, “This is just the way I am ” or “You know I don’t mean it,” people choose to remain in the state of unrest.  We need to choose to want to balance our emotions.  Our emotional state is the sum of all neurological and physiological happenings in any given moment.  As a group, we talked about the statement by Blyth, “What you create today, you realize tomorrow.” Comments from the group included feelings of worth and also sadness.  We may not realize the impact you have on someone by your actions, but eventually you think about it and hopefully make changes that improve your life rather than hinder your own growth.

I ask that you decide in your life where your emotional balance is.  Are you in charge of how you behave and how you communicate to others?  Consider choosing how you want to feel at this moment, alter your posture, take a deep breath, and find a peaceful place to spend a few minutes.

I hope you make an effort to visit us at one of our group classes and/or F.B.I. on a Tuesday night.  Your emotional state will change dramatically.

 

Merry Christmas,

Angela Mandas MA CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
F.B.I. Facilitator

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