It is easy to fall into the trap of "crisis mode.". I am feeling that right now as I try to find a new house, pack up this one, finish up final projects, and finish out the school year for the kids. It feels like a crisis when so many things are not falling into place, feel unfinished, aren't getting done timely, and just aren't going the way that I want them to go.
In reality, none of this is a crisis - we currently have a nice home, the kids will finish school whether nor not I am ready for them to be done, and the house projects will get done when they get done. Our world, although difficult, confusing and stressful sometimes, is not a crisis.
The crises that I see are the individuals struggling to make ends meet - knowing that there is a real chance that due to their lives being impacted by a brain injury, they may not be able to put food on the table this week.
A crisis is when you realize that your loved one is no longer able to control their anger and aggression, and you have to be the one to make the call to get them removed from your home, if only to get the medical help being denied because of lack of insurance.
Crisis is when you realize that the catch 22 of being unable to work due to needing to be a caregiver, and being unable to be a caregiver because you can't afford not to work, is a real truth.
Being in a crisis is when you realize that life as you knew it will never return, and the real truth is that you have no idea how you will make it one more day living the way you are living right now.
Brain injury brings crisis with it - many individuals and families living within the world of brain injury find lots of different ways to cope. However, the long term focus of recovery can take its toll, but eventually, life settles into a routine.
It is when people realize that the routine, whatever that may look like, is now normal daily life, that crisis mode may hit. Realizing that forgetting medication, not understanding new information, inability to help with children, with laundry, or help themselves may be the way life looks now.
And although not in the immediate crisis of the event, it is a new crisis.
How do we live like this? Is this forever?
Those are the questions asked. And often there is no one to answer.
Families living with brain injury need long term support and resources to deal with the ever-evolving crisis that can appear as the healing process continues. Finding ways to be available to offer help, a listening ear, and resources can make the difference between a hard day, and a crisis.