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The magic of assisted tbi self-assessment

Posted Dec 15 2011 12:00am

Okay, this is a very strange thing I know that self-assessment is generally really difficult for TBI folks, and that we have a hell of a time figuring out what is really going on with us. I’m no exception. I tend to see things as problems AFTER they have become so glaringly problematic that all is (nearly) lost.

The thing is, I seem to have (re)discovered a way to help me around that it’s my daily issues tracker. Sitting down to take a look at what is going on with me, and then doing an objective assessment of where I’m at, is an extremely good exercise for me. I have sort of adapted the approach of Give Back , who have an active self-assessment focus, and who have good results to show for their approach.

It might sound like this is counter-productive focusing on my limitations and all. But it’s actually a very good exercise for me. I lose track of what’s going on with me very easily, and I can quickly slip into a state of not paying attention to the important things in my experience, and then I get turned around and confused and quite upset in the process. If I don’t actively track what’s going on with me, the anger and rage and distraction get to be pretty disruptive.

And that’s no good.

So, I’ve been tracking my issues, and it’s actually been helping me a great deal.

For example, from the other day:

I have been very impulsive and distractable. I can’t seem to keep my mind on what I’m doing for more than a few minutes at a time. I’m nervous about work, excited about some of my projects I’ve got going on, I have a lot going on, a lot of balls in the air, and I’m tired, too.

The only thing I can do about this is notice when it happens and manage it. I’m getting better at stopping myself from going all over the place. But I’m still having trouble keeping centered and focused.

Now, just after a few days of being aware of this, I find I am less impulsive and distractable than I was before. I am doing better at keeping my mind on what I’m doing for more than a few minutes at a time. Because I am aware of what is going on with me, I can mange it better, by relaxing to take the pressure off and focus on what is most important to me.

Overall, I’m doing better at stopping myself from going all over the place. But I’m still having a little bit of trouble keeping centered and focused.

So, there it is. I’m aware of my distractability, and I’m taking steps to correct it. I’m not perfect, by any means, but I am aware of the issue(s), so I can actively manage them.

And that makes all the difference. Seriously. When I am not actively self-assessing, things turn into a godawful mess. I let things slide. I let things just slip. And I don’t do right by myself, my relationships, or my work.

When I DO self-assess, using my spreadsheet and list of issues to show me the issues that I’ve been having, to jog my memory and keep me honest –  I can get a clearer view of how I’m really doing, and get on with my life, without trying to remember/figure out what “might” be going on with me.

And it’s good. I’ve seen some pretty impressive improvements just in the past few days. It doesn’t take much for me to get myself honest I just have to sit down for a few minutes and really pay attention to what’s going on with me. If I don’t do that, and my issues run away with me, then I end up overwhelmed by things I cannot see or detect, without a clue why I’m so overwhelmed.

And that’s not good.

But I have tools to deal with this situation. I just need to use them. When I do, things have a way of coming together.

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