Why We Started

Hello! My name is Jing and I am the Founder of The MindReset. To help understand the origins of this blog, and now community, I will share with you a little bit of my journey as a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor. My accident was on July 3rd, 2013. I don’t remember what happened, when I became conscious, or when I left the hospital.

TBI Hospital PhotoMy baseline when I woke up was an inability to walk, smell, taste, feel emotion, hear very well, or even recall much of my past (retrograde amnesia).

I acquired headaches, tinnitus, migraines, and an identity as a chronically disabled individual.

I am an example of someone who fell through the cracks of the United States’ fragmented “healthcare” system. Poor insurance coverage, disorderly health systems mergers, and non-collaborative care all contributed to why this happened to me. Instead of going through the traditional TBI rehabilitation process most TBI patients go through, I ended up following the path I determined prior to my injury – I headed to pharmacy school that fall of 2013.

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A little less than four years post-accident, I graduated with my Doctor of Pharmacy Degree and then in December 2017 completed my Masters in Public Health.

The journey of how I went from a patient in the neuro-ICU to other side as a health provider certainly was very challenging. Through this blog, you will get some idea of how I did it.

As a brief preview, it honestly required making an incredible amount of mistakes, experiencing an uncomfortable amount of frustration, and pushing through a lot of mental barriers, especially pain and self-defeat…there were many, many times when I wanted to give up. However, the community that surrounded me is a testament to the power of humanity. To those who collectively decided they wanted to see a super-closeted, crazy struggling young lady not only survive, but thrive; I am forever grateful.

In this second life, I strive to inspire others to do the same goodness that was done for me. I vow to help the ones who helped me break the chains of relentless trauma and suffering and to help anyone else who is stuck in that place. It is brutal, to say the least.

Now I am located in Washington DC and serve as the 2017-2018  Executive Resident at the American Pharmacists Association. I feel honored to have the opportunity to hone my skills in association leadership and management among some of the most influential and respected leaders in my profession. I would like to use my training to advocate for pharmacists, health providers, and patients to improve health in communities throughout the world.


Back in July of 2017, I originally created this blog to:

  1. Document my life – I have a memory disorder,
  2. Help bring awareness for traumatic brain injury survivors,
  3. Build a community for patients like myself – a lot of us are hidden, for valid reasons, but our quality of lives certainly can be heightened with support from others with and without TBIs.
  4. To provide tools and perspectives – I implement a lot of resiliency strategies to operate in the “abled” world despite having persistent disability…so at least outwardly, for the most part, I appear normal…
  5. To be liberated. There is something so freeing about just being able to be my authentic self.

{There are so many people and populations who can relate to the struggle and the need! For example, my peers in the LGBTQ community have shared with me how unless they express their gender preference, it is not immediately apparent. Similarly, for my peers who have experienced sexual abuse, domestic violence, have mental health conditions or anything else that might occur behind closed doors or is not obvious to the eye, the fear of being stigmatized and rejected by normal society is so real and so damaging.}

However, moving to a new city by myself, starting a new position, finishing my master’s, balancing my health, and being more independent than I had ever been, proved to be more time-consuming and difficult than I thought. I had to take a break from contributing to the blog for a while but was fortunate to have a few writers step in during that time when I was not able to fully commit.

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Now in 2018, I have turned a new leaf. I feel more adapted to DC’s fast-paced environment and I completed my academic training. Essentially my bandwidth increased and then a series of events occurred that really motivated me to create something actionable.

On the third Wednesday of January, I met a mother of a 21-year-old TBI survivor who had just woke up that week. I could tell she was trying to be really strong, but it is difficult to hide fear in the wake of almost losing someone you really love. I had my TBI when I was 21-years-old, so I was happy to serve as living proof that what science currently says about the fate and healing trajectory of TBI survivors is not necessarily what it has to be. She told me she was both inspired and hopeful – and that to me is gratifying enough.

Then a week or so later, the parent’s of two of my best friend’s in DC were both hospitalized. A story that really resonated with me was of one of their parent’s experiences rehabilitating from a stroke. I was told that tears would come to their eyes every day and the incident was putting a lot of stress on the family. This killed me. I know those feelings all too well. Then not soon after, the spouse of the individual with the stroke was hospitalized for symptoms related to stress. Then in the news, a bunch of children entered the trauma loop because of a school shooting in Florida. COME ON.

I honestly had had enough. 

I have heard enough stories of those suffering around me…I also really dislike complaining about things because there is usually an option of doing something so there isn’t as much to complain about. Furthermore, I know other people want to do something. I know those who are suffering want to heal. And I know those who care about them want them to get better.

So because of this, over time this blog has transformed into a community of individuals who seek to inspire the world to rethink the way we live to create more Supportive, Inclusive, Compassionate, and Kind communities. 

The community is present on social media, hosts monthly live events, provides weekly digital engagement opportunities, supports similar organizations/movements that align with our mission, partners with other associations to provide trainings to help educate the public, but takes it one step further by allowing those who are trained to apply their knowledge…and it all stemmed from the stories of those who persevere.

One really important thing about this blog. I recognize that it puts myself and potentially some of the other contributors in a position of extreme vulnerability. Therefore, I ask you and I trust you to be kind. I encourage you as the reader to take this as an opportunity to self- reflect and use this as a litmus test for whether you are currently attuned to being compassionate. If not, I don’t think it hurts to start practicing now 🙂  And of course, we are open to feedback, because all of us are continually learning.

Self-reflective questions:

  • If I find myself passing negative judgment, why am I doing this?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Does it contribute to the betterment of our society?
  • Whatever I am thinking, would I honestly be comfortable with someone else saying those things to me? About my mother, father, grandparent, sibling? To someone I really care about?

Last thoughts on vulnerability:

“It’s okay to be afraid, because you can’t be brave or courageous without fear.” 

– Dave Chappelle, Comedian

I hope you enjoy this blog, learn a lot, and change the world with us!

Sincerely,

Jing

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2 thoughts on “Why We Started”

  1. Great to see this, Jing, let me know how I can help. I hope you will be able to visit our BI group in Madcity again soon. In my severe isolation I’ve fallen away from much techy activity, but for you I’ll try to figure out how to contribute to your Blog.

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    1. Hi Charlie, I know you often express how loneliness affects you and have sent very interesting links via e-mail to several members in our group. If you would like to contribute to this blog by writing a piece about your experiences with TBI, I think it would be really valuable. Perhaps your voice will put others at ease that they are in fact not alone – shoot me an e-mail with your piece! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

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