Question came in from a reader:
“I am hurting and need a permanent solution. Life is bruising and cutting me down
Life is giving me a tough time. School is a challenge.
I can’t seem to get over how difficult somethings are.
How can I better my life at school, get essays done? Get A’s and keep them?
I even wonder if I am on any path to success. besides constantly seeing my best efforts being cut down in the bud. I try my best, but to frankly I feel like crap, dumb, and stupid. Is there a ritual, spirit guide, or something that works to make something manifest, like guide you to victory in everything that you do?
Example: Something that would work by lets say, this Monday: completing an essay? Like a dream or vision. Or help you remember something out of the blue in simple instructions that one could understand?”
Here’s my response:
34 years ago I was struck by a car and received a traumatic brain injury that made basic tasks like concentrating and remembering things very hard for me. While I am by no means an expert in learning or brain health, I do at least have some first hand experience with what you’re struggling with.
- The first thing I want you to understand is this is not your fault, nor is it a personal failure on your part. And it can get much better.
- Here are some recommendations: high quality fish oil and other brain nourishing foods… but your brain LOVES fish oil!
- Brains also like exercise (even walking), making music, and making art. Learning a language. You don’t have to any of this well to get benefits
- Keep working on learning new stuff. The good news is struggling to learn is really, really healthy for your brain. And get good sleep at night if you can
- Focus on BABY STEPS in the short term. Be really kind. Celebrate the smallest improvements
- And speak with your teachers and guidance counselors about your challenges. If you can, discuss this with a doctor. Your teachers should be modifying your lessons to help you where you are, as a unique human being.
I’ve been where you are. It was truly a dark and difficult time. It gets better.
By the way, while my brain wasn’t doing some things well (like school work), it got really good at other things, like intuition. It is my suspicion that while you may be struggling in one area of learning, you may be a genius at something else that you haven’t noticed or maybe haven’t considered important.
One last thing…
You may also find it helpful to take all your anger and shame and despair feelings and use them to create a “Life Monster” that is trying to keep you down. Make this monster feel very real and human, and then imagine destroying it until it doesn’t exist any more.
When it’s completely gone, imagine meeting a new Life “Honey” in its place, that loves you and sees a bright future for you. Sit down with her and talk about what she sees and wants for you, how much she believes in you, and discuss what next steps she wants you to take in school.
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