Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

May 14, 2017

When Is Your Spring?

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 8:31 am

Here in Michigan, Spring is an oft-elusive flirtatious gal.  Stunning in her beauty but arriving in fits and starts.  We will see temps in the seventies, like we did in February, followed by snowstorms in April for Opening Day of baseball.  Spring will taunt us with her jaw-dropping pinks and purples and yellows and then clobber us with her frozen white.

I like to think of brain injury recovery as our Spring.  Our life’s Spring.  It is a warming…a recovering….a return.

No doubt our brain injuries are the cold, dark winters of our lives.  For so many of us, our brain injuries are like those sleeting, sideways blizzards of cold.  In the darkness of those painful nights, these lovely Spring days are hard to hang onto.  Hard to even recall or to dare hope for.

Just as Spring comes in fits and starts, from seventies back to snow, so do our recoveries fly and fall.  We hope, we are encouraged…We falter, we are discouraged.

If we can take any hope out of our reliable weather patterns, we know that spring DOES come.  We can’t always tell when and we won’t always know how she will look and for how long she’ll stay.  But she comes.

In the darkest of winter in places like Michigan where winter might last until nearly June, we remind ourselves she comes.

I have, admittedly, a tough time in February.  It’s getting to the end of winter then.  The magic of Christmas is gone and so is my January birthday.  The snow hangs on, brown and frozen in the corners of parking lots.  By February I am desperate for Spring.

But, as it is with our injuries, we must invite Spring.  Bring her to us.  Entice her.

By March I have my patio chairs ready and my windows open.  I’m doing what I can to hurry the end of winter then.

When is your Spring?

How do you and how can you invite Spring into your own TBI recovery?  How can you hurry the end of the darkest and coldest of wintry nights in order to enjoy your own warming, recovering and returning?

When we successfully recover from brain injury, it is not, in most instances, because we all healed up and returned all the pieces back to their previous places.

It’s because we put the patio chairs out.

It’s because we opened up those windows even when it was only fifty degrees outside.

Bring Spring.

Successful TBI recovery is waiting on you.  It’s not just something that comes along all by itself.  It’s not something that just happens all alone.  It needs your help.

Just like Spring announces her arrival with the tiny buds and sprouting Crocus, so, too, do our TBI recoveries.  We see them emerge from the frozen ground when we begin to realize that the tools we need to use are ones we have always utilized.

When we decide to go on vacation, we look at how much money we have and that determines how far we can go.  When we want to buy new golf clubs or go to the grocery store, we check how much money we have and that determines how fancy the clubs and whether or not we can buy steak or ground beef.

Successful TBI recovery begins when we look at how much we have now, at this point.  How far do we get to go?   It is a “now” moment.  We might only have enough money to go on vacation for a single day, three hours away.  But that sure doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to go to Aruba and lay on sandy beaches for two weeks this time next year.  And it doesn’t mean that that day trip three hours away won’t end up being one of the best days of our lives.

Bring Spring.  Start.  Start somewhere.  Hurry the end of your winter.  Open up those windows and put out the patio chairs.  When we start, we start moving and when we start moving, we start moving away from the winter of our injuries.

She is a beautiful, flirtatious gal.  Worth every sweet morning of warm sunshine on the windows and the smell of freshly-cut lawns.  Each gorgeous new flower and glorious color.  She is worth every chilly moment when you have the windows open and it’s only fifty degrees.  She is worth every push, every transitional stop and start.

She is worth it.  And so are you.




  1. You are spring, Kara. Thanks for the push and resulting uplift.

    Comment by Nicole — May 17, 2017 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  2. Your words leap in my heart, Nicole. Thank you so much )))))) Kara

    Comment by karaswanson — May 20, 2017 @ 8:12 am | Reply

  3. Hi there Kara. Taken me a little time to read your latest blog – such is brain injury – you have your good days and your not so good days – just like Spring and Winter aye.

    As always, what a great talent you have for words and meanings. Very uplifting. I especially like the reference to the patio chairs – the invitation to recovery. Nice.

    It’s coming up 8 years since my “brain injury day” and yeah, those first years are tough, really tough. It took me 4 years to accept what had happened but once I did, then I could (and have) moved on to Adapt and Appreciate. Hey, I still get Winter days in the middle of Summer (just like nature herself) and they are not very nice at all. But that’s just what it is. On those Winter days I just smile to myself and say “Summer is coming”. This is a journey, I appreciate that I am alive and what my brain injury did not take away from me. I’m determined to make the best of of every breath I have.

    Can I share with you and your followers one of the most useful tools I have found and use in my recovery. Noise Cancelling EarPods. These little devices have enabled me to do so much more. Things like walking down the street, going to the store, going to the cafe and restaurants, travel, family gatherings and most importantly attend and give a speech at my son’s wedding. They block out so much background noise it’s just like say you and me talking in a quiet room. Brilliant.

    Here in New Zealand we are just entering Winter, but today is a warmish sunny day and I’ve just had lunch in the sun at the patio table. Life is great.

    Comment by Kym Taylor — June 6, 2017 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  4. Well, hello Kym in New Zealand!!! Thanks so much for writing! You make my heart smile. Sounds like you are doing great and both your testimony and your tip on the ear buds will circle the globe in our community here and really help people. Thanks for that. You are awesome!!! Kara

    Comment by karaswanson — June 7, 2017 @ 7:48 am | Reply

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