After suffering a rare form of stroke in 2007, Elizabeth Wilkins slowly rebuilt her life but has described the lasting feeling of isolation her brain injury has brought.
“The recent Covid-19 pandemic has led to many more people experiencing periods of isolation. But I’m one of the people that seem to be so much more grateful for this peace and quiet!”
Elizabeth has a career in marketing and sales and, like many of us, has experienced her work move online following the pandemic.
“Although my work diary is as busy as ever with meetings, these are now done virtually and unlike traditional team or group meetings, I don’t have to concentrate extra hard when someone is presenting to try and drown out the noise of those talking in the background.
“I also don’t need to come up with excuses not to go to work team socials. My current work colleagues are lovely but I’m part of a much larger team now, they don’t understand why I rarely socialised with my colleagues.
The extra energy that it takes to go on a group outing like that leaves me feeling drained not just for the day after like ‘normal’ people might feel with a bad hangover, but sometimes for days afterwards.
The effects of isolation have been felt more keenly by everyone during the national lockdowns we have been through, but Elizabeth thinks this may help non-brain injured individuals understand what life is like for those with a brain injury most of the time.
“As lockdown measures begin to ease, I think everyone will struggle to return to the new ‘normal’.
“Even those without a pre-existing brain injury will struggle to get out of bed in the morning, pack up and commute to work, do a day’s work possibly in an open plan office with others and then commute home and think about what to get for dinner.
They may understand more of what those of us with a brain injury go through each and every day. My advice is to empathise with others and be grateful for the small things!
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