As part of Headway's See the Hidden Me campaign, John shares his experience of living with the hidden effects of brain injury.
“I struggled to talk and struggled to walk for a few years. Then all of a sudden, I asked my son for a cup of coffee, and I thought someone must be in the room with me due to the shock. Since then, no-one’s been able to shut me up!
“It’s like things flash into your brain and get pulled from triggers and it starts a conversation that ends up on ten or twenty roads to get to the point. So, for me, it’s a nice feeling that I can speak now, but for the person listening, by the time I get back to the point, the point’s gone. And I’m aware of that. And I’m trying my best to stop it.
“But also, sometimes when I’m talking to people, you see their eyes rolling when I talk, and it’s offputting. You can see them thinking ‘what am I going to say’ or ‘how long’s this going to take’ and it’s like they’re assuming in that split second, you’re ‘ok’.
“You can’t win. If you say what they want you to say, there’s nothing wrong with you. But if you say something unexpected, they think, ‘oh it’s because of the brain injury’. It really is an invisible disability and total rollercoaster of emotions.
It’s just harder because when you feel that dip or that judgement from people, it’s more difficult with a brain injury to get back up.
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