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Letter to My TBI Self

By: Guest Author - Aimee Mortensen Last Updated: January 2, 2019

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Alina Fong

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Letter to My TBI Self

Mental Health Support After a Brain Injury

A Tool to Support You in Healing 

After you have received treatment, or are feeling better, and are no longer feeling like your concussed/traumatic brain injury (TBI) self, you may find yourself still holding back or saying the words “I can’t.”

It was a traumatic injury, sometimes the recovery can feel traumatic as well. You may have had many months while healing from your TBI where you struggled with various aspects of your life, including but not limited to, calling in sick to work because of headaches, forgetting important events, not remembering a word during an important presentation, inability to run on your treadmill due to dizziness, and feeling too tired to take care of your kids. Subsequently, you learned to set limitations for yourself. For this reason, once you’re feeling like yourself again, it can be a difficult transition to the new you.

An amazing therapeutic tool to assist in this transition is to write a letter to your TBI self. It will be filled with many emotions, possibly even some swear words. The more emotionally charged this letter is, the more beneficial it will be. The more emotion included in the letter, the more free you will feel.

Writing Your Letter

Hand write this letter. Typing it does not have the same power to the brain. Address the letter to your TBI or concussed self. Face the anger, jealousy, embarrassment, fear, confusion, hurt, and any other negative feelings you may have experienced since your injury. There can be blame, hatred, hopelessness. You want to include any feeling you feel you shouldn’t have or want to get rid of. Get it ALL out on paper.

Recognize the things you have learned, the person you have become, and the people you have met along the way. You have grown and developed new skills you did not dream of before. You would not choose to do it all again—but you probably wouldn’t trade those lessons for anything either. Say goodbye to the TBI and the person you associate with it. You are not that person anymore.

What to do next?

When you are finished with the letter, burn it.

Yes, burn it.  Watch it all go up in flames—all the weight you’ve been carrying around, all the “I can’t”s and the “I’ll never”s. Watch all the limits you’ve been setting on yourself disappear. Don’t let those old limits hold you back any longer. Be the powerful you that’s been waiting to be released!

This will open up a new space for you to become who you want to be now. This can help you have a new perspective on your future. Don’t be afraid to let go, and recognize that you are an amazing, capable, and powerful person.

When you burn your letter, feel free to comment and share your experience below.


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