Patient Support Voice, Reflections

What does privilege mean?

The theme for posts this week will focus on privilege and what that means to us as individuals but also as parts of larger communities.

It’s when I look past the difficulties I have spelling the word that I can see the impact the word has in my life along with everyone else. I think what many people think now when they think of privilege (thanks again, Grammarly) is white privilege. First, let’s look at what privilege actually means. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines privilege as “a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor”. (side note, privilege was in the top 1% of definition searches on the website. Hmmm…) One step further, the definition of White privilege according to Dr. Francis Kendall, who works as a consultant for organizational change focusing specifically on diversity and white privilege, is ” an institutional (rather than personal) set of benefits granted to those of us who, by race, resemble the people who dominate the powerful positions in our institutions. I understand fully that I am in a very privileged position. I also understand knowing that I am in a privileged position, it is my obligation to use that privilege in order to better the world for everyone, not just the privileged.

Privilege is often broken down and compared between ethnicities and then also gender. One place that is not always looked at is the differences between being able and disabled. Disabled is a very broad term in regards to what it refers to. Being disabled means that you are limited in some way because of a physical or mental condition. This can cut across so many different areas of someone’s life. I personally have not felt marginalized because of my color, gender, or abilities, but I have seen it happen to people I really care about.

This is the important idea that I want to get across and communicate with others, Just because I do not personally feel marginalized does not mean I shouldn’t get involved. Too often I feel that others are complacent with circumstances that don’t directly impact them. The point is, you have a heart, listen to it, it will tell you whats right. You have a voice. Use it, to help others who may not know understand. I put forth the importance of living each day knowing that it can be better than yesterday, for yourself but also for others around you.

I will leave you with a quote that I have read many times to start my day and remind me of what I can do:

“Never be complacent about the current steps; don’t agree and follow the status quo. Be determined that you are making an indelible impact with great change. Now, dress up and go to make it happen!” – Isrealmore Ayivor


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Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MindReset community.

The MindReset is a community of individuals who seek to inspire a social movement geared toward creating a more Supportive, Inclusive, Compassionate, and Kind society where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theMindReset/
  • Instagram: @The_MindReset
  • Twitter: themindreset
  • #TheMindReset #TMR #SICK
  • e-mail: themindreset@gmail.com
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Patient Support Voice

Sometimes, those who take care of others are the ones who need help.

Hey everyone, today I want to touch on some of my own struggles being in the supporter role. It has been very important for me to establish my own layers of support to make sure that I am being mindful of my own needs.

I have found it difficult at times to always be as encouraging as I probably should be, and something I have noticed about these times is I seem to not have enough spoons available to take care of someone else’s emotional needs as well as my own. When I refer to spoons, I am referencing spoon theory, which is a way to measure how much available energy you have to devote to different tasks throughout the day. Understanding and planning where and when to use your spoons is a way to be considerate of your own capabilities.

Understanding my own needs is imperative for the ability to actually be supportive of another. If I am unable to take care of myself, how am I supposed to take care of someone else? In regard to this, I have worked to establish my own outlets for when I feel overwhelmed or stressed in order to still take on what may be my most important role. Find a couple friends, a relative, maybe even someone at work that is available to have a chat with here and there. Unload some of the burdens so they don’t overwhelm you. Finding a stable support system for myself has enabled me to give more to those that need me.

I cannot stress (pun intended) the importance of self-care enough. I have had times where I thought I could do it all, manage every aspect of my own life and someone else’s only to crash and burn. In the long run that doesn’t help anyone! Another point that I want to make about finding your own support system is that in becoming your supporter, that person is also supporting and contributing to the positive outcomes of who you are supporting, so for me, every person that supports me is also supporting Jing in her recovery process.

The larger our support networks grow, as does the opportunity for advocacy. I will continue to reach out to others because it is what those impacted by TBI need. I hope that all of those who read this will do the same.


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Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MindReset community.

The MindReset is a community of individuals who seek to inspire a social movement geared toward creating a more Supportive, Inclusive, Compassionate, and Kind society where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theMindReset/
  • Instagram: @The_MindReset
  • Twitter: themindreset
  • #TheMindReset #TMR #SICK
  • e-mail: themindreset@gmail.com
Patient Support Voice

Importance of Altruism

I believe that in order to be a compassionate and dependable supporter of those with TBI, it is necessary to have the essence of altruism within your soul. For those who may not be familiar, altruism is characterized by a selfless nature, putting others needs before your own. From my perspective as a supporter, I view it as being there and looking out for another’s welfare selflessly.

There will be times when you will need to reach down and give more than you may be comfortable, but the impact your compassion and kindness will have will be integral in the healing process, so even when it’s hard, don’t give up!

The road to recovery is a very long process and is never truly over. The ones we support will continue to need us to be there for them in many different aspects. Sometimes the needs are more taxing than others, but showing up for them when they need a little extra help is what being a caregiver is all about.

Having altruistic characteristics is something I pride myself in. I often will give to others without regarding how it will impact me. There are times when I stay up much later than I want, get little to no sleep because I know it makes someone else’s life a little better. Sometimes being selfless isn’t actively doing things for others, it is also being thoughtful about what they may need at any given time. When I want to go to the gym and Jing wants to go with me but needs an hour to rest beforehand, it’s something I am always willing to do even if it messes up my schedule a little bit.

As a caregiver or supporter, a little can go a long way and the little things that you do have value and do matter. You may not always be affirmed by those you are caring for, but the role you take on is essential to help enable them to reach positive outcomes.


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Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MindReset community.

The MindReset is a community of individuals who seek to inspire a social movement geared toward creating a more Supportive, Inclusive, Compassionate, and Kind society where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theMindReset/
  • Instagram: @The_MindReset
  • Twitter: themindreset
  • #TheMindReset #TMR #SICK
  • e-mail: themindreset@gmail.com
Patient Support Voice

Compassion is key.

Hello Everyone!

My name is Cole and I will also be contributing to this blog in order to bring a different perspective, one from a supporter role. Jing was able to progress in her recovery very quickly so she has not needed a caretaker for a couple years now, but others who suffer a TBI may need a caretaker for an extensive time period which is not easy.

My background is as a student and a behavior interventionist. It is great I have the opportunity to share as I realize TBI not only impacts the person who experienced the injury, but also those around them a great deal. Just like those who have been injured there are times for caretakers or support systems that can be very difficult. I will provide some of my own experiences as I continue to post on this blog. I hope you find them helpful!

I was lucky enough to run into Jing a little over a year ago, and she has had a huge impact on my life ever since. Something about Jing is she is a very straightforward person. The first day we spent time together, she let me know about her circumstances. Initially, now that I look back at it, I don’t think it really registered with me. I had never met someone with a TBI. When I think about it now I admire her so much for this as it is not easy to talk about conditions that are debilitating to someone you just met.

One big thing I want to express to you all is that TBI does not just go away. To truly be supportive of someone with TBI you need to be prepared and understand it is a long process that will have its ups and downs. You will build grit and resilience along with those you support and become a stronger individual and in turn a stronger team.

This is where compassion is so huge to the recovery process. Those who are recovering may need their supporters to be their own personal cheerleaders, always being understanding and encouraging while making sure not to be negative and critical. After a TBI, the person who experienced the accident is starting over. They are growing and learning through their experiences just like children. It is our jobs as supporters or caregivers to help ensure those experiences are what’s best for the road of recovery.  Your role as a caregiver or supporter is critical to the overall well-being of TBI patients, so understand the value your position holds and make it count!

If you have any questions please feel free to ask! I have provided links in the resources tab For Family & Friends of Survivors for more information about ways to provide support!


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Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MindReset community.

The MindReset is a community of individuals who seek to inspire a social movement geared toward creating a more Supportive, Inclusive, Compassionate, and Kind society where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theMindReset/
  • Instagram: @The_MindReset
  • Twitter: themindreset
  • #TheMindReset #TMR #SICK
  • e-mail: themindreset@gmail.com
4 years old, Paying It Forward

The value of kindness is greater than gold.

Today I got pho with Anita* and Ollie*. Anita is from El Salvador and speaks wonderful Spanish. When I stay after hours to finish my work, the cleaning staff do an incredible job of making sure everything looks tidy for us the next day. I personally am not a huge fan of cleaning, so to me, what she does is a big deal. I recognize her and the other custodians because they do necessary work that is worthy of appreciation.

One day Anita was tidying up the kitchen. I said thank you in English and realized Spanish may be a better option. We started conversing in her native language and over some time she started sharing some really good food places…OKAY – going through my belly is immediate entry into my heart.

So today I got to have lunch at a place where her and her son frequent often. She looked extra beautiful, not just because she was dressed differently than her normal work attire, but she radiated happiness. Ollie is also very handsome, but especially his soul.

Anita said to me that she told her son there was a chica at work who was very amable. Who didn’t just “Hi, hello, how are you?”, but would stop to chat in Spanish which she really liked.

Hmmm, I’ve been in situations where I have really appreciated when others took the time to get to know me beyond surface level. Personally, that helped me practice being more vulnerable, but more importantly, it encouraged me to thrive.

For me, encouraging kindness and empowerment is extremely important. I am very aware of how these attributes allowed me to be in the position I am in today, and I am always incredibly grateful. It is pretty busy in DC, so one-on-one thank yous for being my friend and being nice is a little tough to swing, but don’t worry, I still practice what others gave me by giving it to others…which I believe they probably appreciate too.

After all, the value of kindness is greater than gold.

 

*Names changed.


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Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MindReset community.

The MindReset is a community of individuals who seek to inspire a social movement geared toward creating a more Supportive, Inclusive, Compassionate, and Kind society where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theMindReset/
  • Instagram: @The_MindReset
  • Twitter: themindreset
  • #TheMindReset #TMR #SICK
  • e-mail: themindreset@gmail.com