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More Is Not Better

by Linda W. Arms, dated Sept. 15, 2013

After a brain injury, more of many things, is not better.   It is not better to see more things around you;   it is not better to be given more choices; it is not better to have more things to do; and it is not better if someone tries to explain something to you in multiple ways so you can get what it is they are trying to tell you.    After my brain injury I definitely want less of most things.   I can do so much these days but I have definitely lost my edge.    Some of you have lost even more, so I expect you don’t enjoy more of everything either.

For most aspects of our lives, it is better to simplify and remove the multiples of things we don’t need.   This could mean simplifying things around the house by removing the clutter.   Remove things that you rarely use from your closets, cabinets, shelves and drawers.   Having to look at so many things requires your brain to work harder.     Make it easier on yourself by relocating things you rarely use.

Having too many choices is overwhelming.   If somebody told me you can do A, or B, or C, or maybe D; it just made my head spin.    I couldn’t and didn’t want to think about each possibility and make a decision as to which option I preferred.     It felt like torture.

Having many commitments of your time and energy is also too much for many of us with a brain injury.    Just knowing that I have many things on my “to-do” list is often overwhelming for me and causes the brain fog to set in.   I can only focus on a few things at a time.   I have a big to-do list but I pick just a few items to put on a daily/weekly list.     I don’t look at the big list on a daily basis.   It’s more like once every week or two.

Words – too many words – can be so fatiguing.    Sometimes people feel they need to keep talking to us to explain things over and over and in different ways so we understand.    For me, I just want simplicity and a slower speed when people speak to me.     I sometimes feel I’m drowning in the words that are coming at me, causing fatigue and frustration.   I have had various people speaking to me who were much too talkative and they are close to me so they know my problem.    They speak way too fast, using too many words making it so uncomfortable for me that I now refer to it as “brain rape”.

Of course, there are things I want more of, like chocolate, but overall I want to enjoy life at a slower pace, with less noise; less clutter;  less electrically produced light;  less fast, complex talking; less crowds; less movement around me; less choices and so on.    I expect that as time goes on, I’ll be able to handle more of things.    During the last 7 ½ years, I’ve slowly increased my abilities to handle more.   It just keeps getting better.





11 Responses to “More Is Not Better

  1. Melanie bottorff

    Also…. Very well said. I tell people that I live in a very small world now. And I like it.

    • I agree with you Melanie, this was very well stated. I like my “small world” too. I find it more peaceful than a lot of the people I see who are trying to keep up with technology etc… after 11 years, I am still getting to know the new me… I like her though and accept her. It’s wonderful to read things like this, it gives me comfort 🙂 thank you.

      • Hi Donna,

        Thank you for visiting my site and for your very nice message. I’m liking the new me and try to keep some of the “old me” from coming back. In a way, I see the brain injury as a way to recreate yourself. Take care – Linda W. Arms (a.k.a. Mina Kitty)

  2. Kate J

    Thank you, Mina, it means so much to have someone give exact name and shape to precisely what I have experienced in the past eleven years. And continue to experience. The limited amount of memory ‘hard drive’ – and the methods employed to cope with shortcomings. And the absolute reliance on surrounding oneself with people who are understanding (and accommodating), of these shortcomings.

    Again, many thanks ☺️

  3. Jeanie

    What an outstanding article. You just described me perfectly. Sometimes people just don’t understand because I “look normal”. I’m not who I was before and I’m learning who I am now. Thank you for putting it into words. 🙂

  4. kelly

    Very well said. Over stimulation wears me out and sends me into brain fatigue. A year after my TBI I had an urge to declutter my life. I cleaned out every closet, nook and cranny!

  5. This is important. As a full time caregiver with a failing memory, both my husband and I will read this once a week. Maybe it will help with our chaos to lighten the load, so to speak.

  6. Lila

    I could have written this = wow! It’s been 10 years since my car accident and subsequent stroke and it’s true – it gets better every year!

  7. deAnna Lea

    You said it. I’m so tired of brain fatigue, too much stimulus, and my bf is highly social. He understands my disabilities, yet, for him, it is difficult to not talk or vie for my attention. I also have post-TBI seizures, so, when he goes to far, it causes me to have seizures. I often feel like I’m neglecting him. Not much has improved since my mva in 1985.

  8. Trina Chambers-Bradlee

    Thank you Mina! I agree…thank you for your insightful words. Trina C. Bradlee

  9. yes! I get it and agree..

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