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How I Helped Myself

By Jessica Elizabeth Taylor

As a young businesswoman, Jessica Taylor migrated to Canada from Ireland. Her life was however abruptly halted by a near fatal fall at work, that cause brain injuries. Her story of recovery has been an inspiration to many...

To help my memory I kept reading short sentences in books until I was capable of memorizing and quoting them. This took a long time but it was well worth doing. I did likewise with favorite poetry. In turn, I was actually stimulating my dormant brain neurons (which we all have) through repetition.

I also made myself recall what I had for dinner the previous night, or some event that I had attended. I did so for further brain cell stimulation. I wrote down events and reminders every day in a notebook. I also kept a board on the kitchen wall with reminders about everyday things that needed to be done.

I wrote down important phone numbers as well as my address in my Journal and took it with me in case I got lost. I learnt to do this the hard way, having been lost many times. When too many thoughts frequented my mind, I silently chanted a short affirmation. I kept repeating the affirmation until the thoughts stopped. There are several affirmations to choose from on Spiritual websites.

The sayings, 'A quitter never wins; a winner never quits' and 'Accept the challenge; refuse to fail' became very important affirmations. Repeating these words truly helped me to keep on with my fight for survival! Reading spiritually enlightening books, helped me to develop spiritually and to understand who and what I was. Having been lost for many years, this was important information for my welbeing.

Even today, because of problems with regards to 'recent recall', in order to find my car when I am shopping at malls, I memorize the name of a shop where I entered and exited. It is also advisable to write the name of the shop or some other landmark that may be near one's car.

After the first few years of recovery, spanning 16 years in all, I borrowed hundreds of books from libraries and studied subjects that interested me. I studied and researched one particular subject matter for a period of 14 years. While I studied, I was unknowingly astimulating my brain's dormant neurons so that they took over for the cells that were injured. In fact, this intensive study led to my writing a dissertation on theology and it's connection with the paranormal. I hope to get a degree for this work in order to give hope to others. I firmly believe that such intensive study and subsequent research brought me to where I am today. See the following links with regards to the stimulation of reserve neurons: www.iahp.org, www.bibic.org.uk, and www.brainsolutions.org.

While cooking and having to leave the kitchen to either go out to the garden or to another room, I continue my former habits such as turning on the oven timer or setting the alarm clock. This I learnt 'the hard way' too, as many saucepans caught fire in the early days of my recovery! I also check every room in the house before leaving it.

It is also advisable for head injured people to not take on more than one project at a time. I had to learn this 'the hard way' as well! I pace myself at all times and get plenty of sleep. Meditation is a must for everyone, let alone the head and brain-injured. It is not easy to blank out all thoughts and it takes time to develop this. Through time however, it works wonders.

I continue to take protein powder, Ginkgo Biloba, Omega 3 6 9, and other vitamins. It is important to focus on having positive thoughts. I know that this is not the easiest thing to do when "the odds" seem against us; it is well worth the effort however. It is also important to avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and to get out into the fresh air and breathe it in deeply as much as possible. Don't forget that it the lack of oxygen that injures and destroys brain neurons.

Although suffering a severe brain injury on 1969 that took years to overcome, Jessica now presents seminars and is President of her 'New Beginnings Foundation' on Vancouver Island. She is affiliated with many head-injury support groups around the world and has received extensive radio, print and TV coverage. In addition, she has attracted the support of many high-profile notables like Vanessa Redgrave, The Duchess of York, and Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson. More recently, Jessica wrote about her story in From Tragedy To Triumph; Journey Back From The Edge.
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