A letter from your brain...read and carefully follow instructions


I'm glad to see that you are awake! This is your brain talking. I had to find some way to communicate with you. I feel like I barely survived WWIII and am still not quite all in one piece. That's why I need you. I need you to take care of me.

As time passes and you and I feel better and better, people, even doctors, will tell you that we are fine, "it's time to get on with life." That sounds good to me and probably even better to you. But before you go rushing back out into that big wide world, I need you to listen to me, really listen. Don't shut me out. Don't tune me out. When I'm getting into trouble I'll need your help more than I ever have before.

I know that you want to believe that we are going to be the same. I'll do my best to make that happen. The problem is that too many people in our situation get impatient and try to rush the healing process; or when their brains can't fully recover they deny it and, instead of adapting, they force their brains to function in ways they are no longer able too. Some people even push their brains until they seize, and worse... I'm scared. I'm afraid that you will do that to me. If you don't accept me I am lost. We both will be lost.

How can I tell you how much I need you now? I need you to accept me as I am today... not for what I used to be, or what I might be in the future. So many people are so busy looking at what their brains used to do, as if past accomplishments were a magical yardstick to measure present success or failures, that they fail to see how far their brains have come. It's as if here is shame, or guilt, in being injured. Silly, huh?

Please don't be embarrassed or feel guilt, or shame, because of me. We are okay. We have made it this far. If you work with me we can make it even further. I can't say how far. I won't make any false promises. I can only promise you this, that I will do my best.

What I need you to do is this: because neither of us knows how badly I've been hurt (things are still a little foggy for me), or how much I will recover, or how quickly, please go s-l-o-w-l-y when you start back trying to resume your life. If I give you a headache, or make you sick to your stomach, or make you unusually irritable, or confused, or disoriented, or afraid, or make you feel that you are overdoing it, I'm trying to get your attention in the only way I can. Stop and listen to me.

I get exhausted easily since being hurt, and cannot succeed when overworked. I want to succeed as much as you do. I want to be as well as I can be, but I need to do it at a different pace than I could before I got hurt. Help me to help us by paying attention and heeding the messages I send to you.

I will do my part to do my very best to get us back on our feet. I am a little worried though that if I am not exactly the same... you will reject me and may even want to kill us. Other people have wanted to kill their brains, and some people have succeeded. I don't want to die, and I don't want you to die.

I want us to live, and breath and be, even if being is not the same as it was. Different may be better. It may be harder too, but I don't want you to give up. Don't give up on me. Don't give up on yourself. Our time here isn't through yet. There are things that I want to do and I want to try, even if trying has to be done in a different way. It isn't easy. I have to work very hard, much harder, and I know that you do too. I see people scoff, and misunderstand. I don't care. What I do care about is that you understand how hard I am working and how much I want to be as good as I can be, but I need you to take good care of us, as well as you can do that.

Don't be ashamed of me. We are alive. We are still here. I want the chance to try to show you what we are made of. I want to show you the things that are really important in life. We have been given another chance to be better, to learn what is really important. When it is finally time for our final exit I would like to look back and feel good about what we made of us and out of everything that made up our life, including this injury. I cannot do it without you. I cannot do it if you hate me for the way being injured has affected me and our life together. Please try not to be bitter in grief. That would crush me.

Please don't reject me. There is little I can do without you, without your determination to not give up. Take good care of us and of yourself. I need you very much, especially now.

Love, your wounded brain amen

To All the newbies,

print and read, post by your desk. This letter helps keep me grounded and reminds me slooow down. A very hard thing for me to do. It also helps others to understand what you are going through.



Did you write this letter? It is amazing and really hits home...


Hi Michelle...This one gets passed around often...and still brings tears to my eyes...

Thanks for sharing...Happy Sunday...Colleen

You've said it all.....

Thanks so much....


Hi Michelle

Thank you! I only wish I had read this 5 months ago. My aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage was February 4, 2011. I was in the NSICU for 4 weeks - working my way through all the post SAH complications. I did go home for a week, only to find myself back in the hospital for another week to have a VP shunt placed. But with God’s help, incredible doctors, an amazing NSICU staff, and the love and support of my family and friends I am alive. The following months were filled with Doctor visits and rehab. Then the day that I waited for finally came and I returned to work as an NICU nurse on my usual shift, which is 7pm to 7am. I only wish I had read this and talked to other survivors first. I felt pretty good considering all that had happened and I wanted my life back the way it was. I am still doing amazingly well but have finally realized with the help of some wonderful friends and this “letter from your brain” that I need to make some adjustments to my life. I never anticipated such fatigue coupled with a certain amount of insomnia. By returning to the night shift I have totaly upset my circadian rhythm. Starting in December I will be working days and maybe then I will feel as good as I did 5 months ago. I would love to see this letter as an introductory letter to all of us “newbies”, maybe they won’t make the same mistakes that I did. Fortunately for me, it’s not too late to learn. Thank you so much.

the end makes me cry all the time, but happy tears.

Newbies, this is a great description of what you are going through and can be shared with others.

makes me think of the serenity prayer.

Michele...thank you for displaying this again...I think thereare a lot of new members; and, it is good for many of us long-term to have "another" memory jogger...


hi shirley,

im sorry for not replying earlier..but for some reason im not getting the notices i used to when someone replied to a post...in response to ur ?? no maam..this was posted back when i was early on in my recovery and saved it to my computer...im sure other members have did the same...i post it when it seems like we can all use a little help in comprehending all that is going on with our brain,emotions n basically all of the above..lol..it always helps me to continue pushing to stay well n that i have to take special care of my noodle upstairs..;)