Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

September 22, 2013

Don’t Let Anyone Else Write Your Ending

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 11:24 pm

I had anticipated the series ending of Dexter all summer, knowing that, after eight years of Sundays, one of my favorite shows of all time was coming to an end.

All day long, it was in the back of my mind.  I felt a mixture of sadness and dread and disbelief, feeling like a dear and trusted friend was leaving me before I was ready to say goodbye.

I sat down to watch it, ticking off the minutes, hoping to love the ending and feel satisfied with how the writers wrapped up my beloved characters’ storylines.

I hated it.

I’m disappointed.  I don’t feel satisfied.  I would have done it differently.

And that’s what sometimes happens when we let others write our stories and choose our endings.

We end up thinking, “Geez, that’s not how I wanted it to turn out.”

From the time we are brain injured, there are seemingly a lot of people wanting to write our endings.  They sum us up, our damage and our losses and our futures.   They speak of windows of recovery that close and things we can no longer do. 

To hell with that.

Don’t let anyone else write your ending.

People are quick to sum you up, to label you, to darken your skies, to determine your fate and your end and your demise.

Don’t let ’em.

We hear all the time when people say of a relationship, “It’ll never last.”   Troubled kids hear echoes of, “He’ll never amount to anything.”   People are quick to doom business ideas and dreams and any type of thinking or choice which is different from their own.

Prove them all wrong.

We get one story to write and it’s ours alone.   We have the choice to waste time trying to write other people’s stories but, in the end, we are given just one to influence, to change and to determine.

It’s our ending to write.

People, I guarantee you, have written you off after your brain injury.  You are no longer like them, no longer who you were, no longer the same.

Make that difference better.   Brighter.  Higher.  

Write an ending they didn’t see coming.    Fill chapter after chapter, page after page, with WHATEVER MAKES YOU FEEL HAPPY AND LOVED AND SATISFIED AND VALUABLE.

Find your version of success.

Nobody has to love the ending you write except for you.   It’s your life.  Your story.   And you can bend it and transcend it however you choose.  

Brain injury lowers the bar and, for some, maybe that’s a relief. 

I call it a challenge.

A challenge to every one of us. 

Are you in?


  1. I am “ALL IN”, thank you for the post,

    Comment by Bob E Ruddy — September 23, 2013 @ 3:35 am | Reply

    • Well, alright, Bob!!! Love it! 🙂

      Comment by karaswanson — September 23, 2013 @ 6:33 am | Reply

  2. Bring it on 🙂 . It’s 4 years today since my injury and I’m just so happy to be alive. Found your blog only a couple of months ago and although I’ve always been very determined and positive about “my new life” your words are of great encouragement.

    Comment by Kym Taylor — September 23, 2013 @ 5:04 am | Reply

    • Congratulations, Kym, on your four years! Way to go. 🙂

      Comment by karaswanson — September 23, 2013 @ 6:32 am | Reply

  3. Kara, thanks for this post. There’s a quote from Dorothy Allison that I always share with my journaling groups for people with brain injury: “I am the only one who can tell the story of my life and say what it means.” And that includes the ending!

    Comment by Barbara Stahura — September 23, 2013 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

    • Love this!!

      Comment by karaswanson — September 25, 2013 @ 8:10 am | Reply

  4. “Find your version of success” LOVE THIS!!! As always dear Kara, you hit it!

    Comment by Barb — September 23, 2013 @ 8:36 pm | Reply

    • 🙂

      Comment by karaswanson — September 25, 2013 @ 8:10 am | Reply

  5. Kara, I didn’t like it much either. Not the best ending. http://www.tbilawyers.com/

    Comment by drbobbryan — October 1, 2013 @ 10:41 am | Reply

    • I’m a romantic. I wanted him to go secretly be with Hannah at the end. Sigh.

      Comment by karaswanson — October 2, 2013 @ 6:31 am | Reply

  6. thank you so much for that my head injury happened some years back and finally I am getting angry at how my injury and myself are perceived.

    Comment by Rose-Marie — October 6, 2013 @ 8:08 am | Reply

    • I hope you are doing well. All we can be is the kindest, most determined, most thoughtful, best friend-type, hardest working brain injury person they’ve ever met. 🙂

      Comment by karaswanson — December 15, 2013 @ 10:43 am | Reply

  7. I’m in, Kara. You’re words are always so meaningful, and your posts always feel like you’re speaking directly to ME! Your messages ring home, and I know I can always come here for a pick me up with a real inspiring message. Keep this post going – we all need it!
    PS- glad you didn’t get into the Dexter details. I’m 1/2 way through season 7 🙂

    Comment by June — October 22, 2013 @ 10:37 pm | Reply

  8. Dear Kara Swanson,
    A very inspiring piece of written work there. Well Done You. 😉
    I started my Blob which is a Blog on the 4th of July 2012, paulinesblob2.blogspot.co.uk
    We should all write our story and not allow others to write it for us.
    I had a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage 20/7/11 and was trapped in my body for 9 months.
    I couldn’t walk or talk.
    You are so right about others wanting to write our endings, I have been labelled and they spread this as far as they could.
    I speak my own mind and I write about it too. At the beginning of my blog I held too many things back as; to be quite honest. I was ashamed.
    Ashamed of what my own family was doing towards me.
    I was the hurt one who needed help and they just wrote their own endings to my story.
    Kara, I shall talk about you on my blog too.
    Pauline Quinn 😉

    Comment by Pauline Quinn — October 28, 2013 @ 7:09 am | Reply

    • Pauline: It sounds like, indeed, you are writing your own story! You sound strong and determined. Good for you. :)) I’m cheering for you. Thanks for the upbeat note. Best, Kara

      Comment by karaswanson — October 28, 2013 @ 10:32 pm | Reply

      • Dear Kara, It was good to read your up-beat story there. These interfering authors of our lives are actually “Bullies” I honestly think that they love the attention that they got when I was disabled.. I shall be talking about Bullies, Stigma and Discrimanation. I feel it needs to be said. I shall follow your blog Kara; it’s Inspirational. ThanX Pauline

        Comment by paulinequeenie — October 29, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

      • Feels good to release the people who cannot or will not support you in a healthy, positive way. Don’t let them bring you down. Release them like an anchor so you can sail easy. After TBI is a great time to rid our lives of all the toxic, negative people and just move forward in a lighter coat. 🙂

        Comment by karaswanson — October 29, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: