New Perspectives Create a Different Outlook; When You Change Your View of the World, the World Changes

I have added more information to this post, so even if you have previously read this post, you have a wider spectrum presented.

 

When I was a child, my mother would often tell me her problems and hurdles in her life,even when I was young. Being I was so innocent and oblivious, I did not know that MY OWN VIEW AND PERSPECTIVE MATTERED to my own development as a person. The effect was that I wanted to change the world, be there for my mother in ways I could not. Thus the beginning of my low self-esteem from which I am recovering. Meanwhile, I have been making emotionally and mentally healthy changes which I would advise to others. At times, that has commenced lifestyle shocks depending on the circumstances. HOWEVER, I have a new stance on the changes I make. I do not know if many of you remember the show or movie Dragnet, but Joe Friday’s attitude towards others in his and his partner’s quest to investigate crimes is to focus on the facts versus the drama. Time after time, Mr. Friday has the chance to jump in with the dramatic aspects of people’s lives; however, he knows his purpose. With that in mind, THE FACTS of these changes I am making is that I have a new manager (even though it is still me). When one starts a career with one manager and then that manager retires or relocates, a new manager replaces the original one at the beginning of the job. Therefore, the employees may have to adjust to what “on time” is. This is true with my own life. I used to allow people to walk all over me.However,now it is outwardly like someone poked the bear. Whether it makes sense or not, standing up for myself as a person has at times evoked tears. However, focusing on the facts. I’m my own new manager and this is the way I do things now helps eliminate or reduce the shock as I focus on “just the facts, ma’am.” The truth is when we change our view of the world, the world changes. In this stance of changing oneself can be shocking. But if one views himself differently (like having a new manager internally), the view of himself and even the whole situation changes, making it more amiable to experience.

I have always mentally wore a pair of size umpteen steel-toed boots. There is only one person I would kick in the rear, and that is myself. Among poker players, there is much talk about “would’ve, should’v e, could’ve” as the players proverbially kick themselves for hands they should have won,could have folded, and would do if they could repeat the moment. Emotionally, I have played a poor game of poker throughout my life. However, I have a new habit that I am building. I mentioned this term in this book. SILVER LININGS. Due to a failure comes more wisdom and  knowledge. With that, there is so much more ability to succeed and even pass on that new knowledge and wisdom to those whom I love and also those who concern me. Robert F. Kennedy said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to fail and lose; I want to succeed and achieve my goals!

Living Without a Nose

Written by: Anonymous on February 24, 2015

Anosmia affects two percent of the population, but is largely unknown. How is life without smell and what treatments exist to restore this underrated sense?

It is perhaps the most underrated of the five senses, is that today we are so bombarded with visual information and sound, that we forget the importance of this noble sense plays in our lives.

The clinical term for the inability to sense smells is anosmia, and although figures on this issue are not clear, it is estimated that about 2% of the world population suffers from this condition.

For people with no smell, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, hot buttered pan, haunted herbs Granny, the smell of rain, perfumes and fragrance of your lover in bed, they are just stories of which were once part, or only mythology that will never experience for themselves.

A anosmic may be confronted with many challenges products of their condition. These can be both social and physical.

Like all the senses, smell not only serves to give pleasure, but primarily alerts people to possible threats. The inability to smell, therefore, makes gas leaks, smoke and food odors decomposing for anosmics, virtually invisible.

Anosmics can have an issue with hygeine. Not being able to smell your own body odor, you may feel insecure in social settings, falling into excessive use of perfumes and extremely consecutive baths. Nobody can say that it is easy to court with someone you can not understand, especially if it affects your relationships with others.

Types anosmia

Anosmia can be classified into two groups:

1. Congenital Anosmia

This is not very common and is present from birth in which the olfactory nerve does not exist or is not fully developed, or other commitments in the nervous system. Genetic causes are not clear yet, but it is known that Kallman syndrome also occurs.

Despite the logical difficulties, living with congenital anosmia in many cases can be quite bearable if certain precautions are taken, being the person never experienced the loss of smell.

2. Acquired Anosmia

This type of anosmia is acquired after birth, having multiple causes, such as:

Head injury: It represents a large part of the anosmic, and is given as a direct result of a blow to the head. There are many people who have lost smell due to a drop in bicycle or a car crash
Infection of the respiratory system: This is another major cause of anosmia acquisition and can occur after a cold or sinus infection.
Other causes for the loss of smell may be old age (after 60 years), allergies, Alzheimer’s, zinc deficiency, or as a direct result of prolonged smoking.
Adjusting to the loss of smell may be very complicated, resulting in loss of appetite (80% of the feeling of the food is given by the smells), depression, and decreased sex drive.

Losing the nose for smell can always cause profound changes in the way life is perceived, as many of the memories and feelings that we have acquired during our lives are closely linked to certain smells. A person who completely lost the sense of smell said: “It is like looking at life through a glass panel.”

Medical advances

In the olfactory theme there is much unfinished task, which has been lagging in medical terms for many years, and only now beginning to study seriously.

One of the institutions dedicated to understanding this issue is the Monell Chemical Senses Center, located in Philadelphia, which is currently working on the regeneration of cells of olfactory reception and in the identification of genes causing congenital anosmia, but whose results are not expected until several years.

Today congenital anosmia has no cure, but the cure has been seen in some patients with acquired anosmia, following a steroid treatment. Olfactory partial recovery results are also known through acupuncture.

It is literally true that a anosmic lost a fifth of external sensations, but it is important not to fill that empty space with insecurities and anguish. The loss of smell can be an opportunity to feel differently, more intensely. The world only begins when one is aware, and from this point, there are no limits to feel.

Overcoming an Obligated Way of Living

When I was a little girl, I remember hearing such things as, “Abi, be nice.” That’s what one is supposed to do, correct? Of course! However, between only hearing positive remarks about my acadmic skills and nothing in regards to my character traits FURTHER MIXED with hearing my father nag my mother on occasion, I felt inferior to who I SHOULD BE. For as long as I remember, I have contemplated a road to take and then mulled if it was acceptable given what I was SUPPOSED TO do and be. Over time, I did not even give thought to this sort of thing. Living a life of obligation to the world became reflexive. Much of my recent changes lately have been indirectly inspired by my husband, Dan. For years, he has told me to remove him from the pedastal upon which I placed him and be his equal. Based on my instinct, this has been quite the challenge . Then I thought of being assertive. However, in my head, I have still had a battle with obligation: what Abi should and should not do. Since I lived a life of prudence and obligation for so long to the point of changing my habits, it has been difficult to even grasp the chains that I seek to remove. I have learned that I have been afraid to take a step away from the impositions I have placed upon myself. After all, there is prudence in the decisions that I make minus the concept that I am a human too. FEAR is an emotion based on an illusion. It is False Evidence Appearing Real. There is one more challenge, and that is being able to look at myself in the mirror and identify my good character traits. The way that I first had a notion I had that I needed to point out my positive character traits to myself was when I was watching  “The Help.” There is a scene near the end of the movie where Abileen says goodbye to Mae after she is fired. Abileen reminds Mae to remember she is special, kind, and important. I’m learning to identify the good in me.For when I do that, the obligated life fades. Furthermore, if there is an area that I still feel I should change, confirming myself on who I am and what I can do is much more fulfilling than constantly saying I could be better in a multitude of ways.

Assertiveness: An Old Word Yet a New Personal Concept

Note: I’ve added to this post thus changed the date of publication.

I was raised that an opinion or feelings communicated to my parents was an act of disrespect. I later married a man who was quite a psychological bully as well. Between these three people, it has never set well with me to be assertive. The solution is typically to become neutral and complacent. Sometimes, complacency is a difficult mode to find. I would say that is even moreso adequate as an effect of the accident that I experienced. My old being knows nothing outside of complacency and submissiveness. However, there is a new improved fighter in me, and that fighter does not always want to be complacent if there is no middle grounds. I want others to be themselves and somehow find a way for me to be myself simultaneously. What then is the answer? Assertion! Interestingly, it seems to almost relate to my spinal injuries as my muscles redevelop, as I must build a backbone. However, these are psychological muscles that have spent an entire life sleeping. Awakening these new muscles and acting upon them may be rejuvenating at times; however, there are moments of lifestyle shock to the point of great displays of emotions. Largely, there has been a notable display of tears. I feel like I am utilizing muscles that have never been used, as if that part of me was paralyzed. The silver lining of this is that exercise is strengthening and enpowering. The details to recognize is for whom are you trying to be assertive?

  • Is it a self-gratifying action?
  • Is there fulfillment for both parties?
  • Is it sacrificial to your fulfillment?
  • If so, is there a long-term objective for which your assertion has a plausible cause?)

If your cause is for one party and not both parties, then there is likely to be pain, especially if you care about the other party as well as yourself, especially if you have a low self image. The goal should be either of equal fulfillment or the hopeful future of it while training yourself to be strong and do something that is not unpleasant for either party. When you have never grown a backbone, it may be enpowering when you do; however, if you are anyone like me, it may be painful at times. However, I have heard of physical “growing pains.” I know that this area in my life is exhibiting growing pains at times as well.

 

One way that I am traveling down this road is to also at times be assertive towards my husband in a sensual way. Even that has been a foreign concept. However, with his desire for us  to appear and be equal versus me having him on a pedastal, this has forced this whole issue now that I am more brazen in life. As stated, some of these experiences have been agonizing; however, having fun and being assertive in a playful way with my husband helps me build these muscles in an amiable way. That way when I am in more serious circumstances when I need to be assertive in order to not be lost in the situation, I have already had practice in a more affable position.

I am going to digress to make a point. You all may have read more about me and know that I have eight children: seven that I birthed. When I had the first child, it is as if I was a pendulum on a grandfather clock and was offset to the left. When I had the second child, I was offset to the right… I slanted in the other direction. That is the same stance I have taken through lack of experience and… ignorance with this new idea of assertiveness.

I must say that being assertive is a new experience for me, and there have been some feelings of lifestyle shock due to grooming from my parents and first husband on how a child and wife should be. My first few experiences seemed caustic to the receiver. In two out of three of the first occurrences, I wanted to have a voice. HOWEVER, I was catty while attempting to have it. (I was not being a pendulum in a neutral environment, rather being offset.) I have a major pet peeve in reference to someone stating what I think or feel as if it is a fact. The flip side of the very same peeve is to state that I am not listening EVEN WHEN my whole focus IS where it should be. When this is done, I feel like a child.

When I began having an idea of what assertive is, I took things too far in my communication and dismissed remaining neutral and even being humble (offset again) to my instructor during a lesson. The way that I have planned is to not get emotional if I am told I am not listening. Instead, refocus and either state my understanding or ask for the content to be repeated. That way, I give my instructor a chance to clarify or me even a chance to show I AM listening but may be misinterpreting the concepts and execution of the lesson.

My latest attempt at assertiveness was excruciating; however, it was centered. I have been trained so long to follow my superiors that standing up for something that bothers me makes me feel as if I am wrong. I had decided due to the decibel level of Packers games that the one the following day I was leaving home to attempt to find sanity by listening to my favorite band on the beach. Every fiber of my being did not want me to leave the house, as I have never done this previously for my own sanity. As I was working through this, the only way I was focused is realizing I was executing what I would advise someone else to do. Nothing in me enjoys “me time”… at least not that I know yet. So leaving my children and husband was extremely painful; however, by leaving, I knew everyone would be happier than I became stressful and maybe even requesting the guys tone down. I am not a believer in the phrase, “If Mommy isn’t happy, no one is.” Furthermore, I will do everything I can within reason to keep that from occurring. Thus, I left even though it broke my heart. After all, the sound of angry screaming would not cause me to remember the life I once lived, as that is often standard for me to experience more than ever.

Even though this procedure was arduous, I feel that I have begun growing muscles in my back to create a backbone that allows me to either say how I feel or act out on how I feel in regards to keeping my sanity versus losing my cool.

Identity Crisis Begins

Note: I’ve added to this post thus changed the date of publication.

t seems that my identity with myself began when I was transferred to West Florida Rehabilitation Center. Upon arrival, being that I was coherent, one of the first things I asked from my husband is to bring my laptop. I went through the habit of checkeing on all the utility bills, etc. Afterwards, I played music. Most of it is not pop music but either Latin music, music my parents had on 8-tracks, and all the music to which I love to dance. Not only did I regularly play this, but I’d sing it and bring it to all four therapy sessions per day hoping I could brighten the dull process of jumping through all the hoops that were prescribed. It thrilled me to see the medical staff beaming or maybe even humming to what they heard. Doing this kept me from feeling like just another number or name with more than one medical diagnosis.

While I was transferred to West Florida Rehabilitation Center from USA Hospital in Mobile, I conjured a response to all the medical staff when asked, “How are you?” My response was “feisty, mischievous and…” hummed introductions to the word followed by the main song words, “…Bad to the Bone.” My inclination was to deter all sympathy and ultra-soft intonations in the staff’s voices. Since my hospital release and further awareness of what a brain injury can cause, I have embedded a new label: “quick-witted.”

Upon my arrival home, I felt lost. My self-identity was in shambles, as how I defined myself was based upon what I did: wife, mother, massage therapist, dancer, dance instructor, construction worker, maid, etc. Here I was with a list of restrictions for my spine and ribs to heal. During this lapse of time, I was emotionally and mentally injured due to all that I was not supposed to do. My husband helped define me verbally and how restrictions does not have to change my being. That insight slowly saturated inside me to the point of liking myself for what I could do. Furthermore, returning to running my own massage business was therapeutic to my core being. I finally was… and am a bread winner again.When I started driving again it was further confirmation that others were not worried about me being nut case but rather an average citizen.

What you focus on, you create.” Well,being that was my seeming focus, I wound up cutting up a lot, singing a great deal, and even being feisty when I have my stubborn side screaming,  thus bearing truth to  “What you focus on, you create.” Since then, my response has now increased to holding one more label, “quick-witted.” After all, I’m a brain injury patient/survivor. This is a hateful twist of the knife on the idea that I am “brain damaged”and gives me a gloating smile instead.
Since my return home, I have learned that postmenopausal women CAN BE euphoric! Even though, I am not postmenopausal, I have now decided when I am asked how I am doing, that is an answer I will utilize. There is one more detail. I LOVE MUSIC! Many times I have a song along with a dance stuck in my head. When one has a song stuck in his head, it is defined as either a brainworm or an earworm. Furthermore, since when is peppy music with positive lyrics a bad thing to have stuck in one’s head? THEREFORE, I will also say I have many brainworms or earworms, whichever holds a bigger pun at the time it’s replied to inquiries about my well-being.
Overall, I have seen this be an improvement to my personal outlook of myself. I have never thought much of myself, but having these labels are better than me trying to figure out something worthwhile that is plausible who I was or who I am. I am feisty with all the restrictions placed on my life due to others wanting me to recover. My little 7-year-old girl within my being has been reawakened and offers laughs and making mischief when possible, annhilating desparate moments.

Forgiving Myself for Being Human

My  sister, Becky,lived with my parents and me until I was nine. Then after much struggle with learning about retardation, my parents admired her into a center for the mentally challenged/retarded individuals.

When Becky lived with us and throughout my childhood, I always wanted to sit in the front seat when traveling and commuting. My maniacal solution was to elbow and pinch her until she audibly displayed discomfort. My mother would then pull into the outside of the right lane so I could be separated from her by placing more in the front seat. I would gloat with satisfaction.

However, that ended when she was registered and placed in the rehabilitation center. Even the night she was given to the state department, I cried. My cunning act of getting my way plagued my life for over a decade. I would tell oder people how bad I was as a sister and what I did that had me haunted.

Finally, one man told me I was acting life a child while being one. This was very enlightening to hear. My response to this knowledge was forgiving myself. Afterwards, I no longer felt stifled by acting like a child at the young age range of four to nine. As my Love days, “Forgiveness is the willingness to experience something you are unwilling to experience so that you can let it go.”

Silver Linings of My Brain Injury

The beautiful aspect of l ife is that everything has a silver lining if you look closely enough. Furthermore, if you take the time and effort, you can actually experience the beauty and appreciation for those silver linings. For instance, my oldest daughter, who is just shy of 23, asked me if I knew that I have changed. I indicated that I did know and that I was more angry, more appreciative, more emotional, a whole lot more playful and silly when possible, and more affectionate. My view of life itself changed along with experiencing some of my memories I’d put to rest, such as being a playful 7-year-old girl. You see, since she has reawoken, I have not nor will I purposely dismiss her and stick that part of my being back in a file with a label. When I was seven years old, my family lost my autistic and retarded sister from time to time. She would throw a temper tantrum which caused self-inflicted bruises. As a consequence of outsiders knowing only part of the scenario, “concerned” people would inform the state department for children and families of a possible home of abuse. When she was taken from us, Mom would talk to me. I wound up feeling like I should be there for my mother emotionally in the form of her sister or mother. So the girl in me all but died. However, this brain injury has caused her to return, and I am exhilerated to have that part of me an active part of my life.

After my daughter asked me if I knew I had changed, I asked her what she saw that was different. For a moment, she was speechless. However, as soon as she was enlightened, she responded. She said to me, “If someone asked if you had changed and how, I would say, ‘Mommy is more… more angry, more loving, more appreciative, etc.'” What beauty. She talked about my ability to empathize, show affection, be light-hearted, and many more positive attributes than negative ones that have turned into me being “more.” You see, I have a new perspective on life and appreciate some of my old files surfacing as well as welcoming being more proactively alive than ever. The best part is seeing that others are not demeaning  your changes but clebrating life with you more than ever.

As aforementioned, brain injuries take all the files/memories, throw them in the air, and have them strewn on the ground beneath us. ThERE IS a beauty in that. “What is it?,” you may ask. It’s that we have a new chance at closure or relabeling our life’s baggage. I fully believe that everyone in life has this chance; however, we become accustomed to playing the victims that we never become introspective enough to know that the problem is mostly if not completely a personal issue for which we can take the blame AND THEN CHANGE!

There is more than just that. There is also the fact that I fell more in love with my husband, and he fell more in love with me. I have always loved him so much that he hung the sun, moon, and stars. However, my Love placing lip balm on my lips, helping aid me reclining or arising and a plethora of other things performed by him for me has stirred my heart beyond my imagination. My last two and a half weeks of hospitalization, the highlight of my day was his visits. I even mentally paced the floor until he arrived. I even would take two showers per day, one to start the day and be squeaky clean for the handful of rehabilitation (and because I don’t like feeling unclean) and another one taken in anticipation for the arrival of my husband, Dan. The other highlight was after he arrived. When he was present, I could have deep, intelligent conversations. They were so meaningful on a daily basis that it felt in a since that we were dating and learning things about each other that we never knew.

Another silver lining is a greater appreciation for life and loved ones. One month, and eight days after I was released from the hospital was my 44th birthday. A couple weeks prior to the actual date, it was as if the celebration of my life internally began. Here, I was visited when hospitalized by people whom I did not know cared for me. On top of that, I was prouder than ever to have the husband and family that I have. I did not want THINGS for my birthday. THINGS may be used as tools; however, they are not worth what loved ones give you by being themselves, not to mention them pouring themselves into you and helping your well-being. My only birthday wish was to see the ones I love. I received a good portion of that, being my Love and I have four children still living at home full-time. Even though upon my return home, it was stressful, I see a greater love flowing through Dan and our children. I am flattered and honored to have a greater gift in my life than I ever imagined.That’s PLENTY of birthday right there!