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Dear TBI,

Hello. This writing piece reflects my own experiences living with a TBI. When I write I always keep the following quote in mind: “A brain injury is like a fingerprint, no two are alike.” ~ By: Kevin Pearce, (Former pro snowboarder).

Wishing you the best. 🙏

Dear TBI, 

The clouds are beginning to lift and there are some things that I need to share with you. 

You and I have been going strong since 1997 and during our years together I have grown immensely. 

It was a hugely significant time in my life when I first came face to face with you. 

I had heard about you from people I had known before, but I didn’t know that much about you. 

No one had mentioned anything positive about you so your relationship with these people also must not have been very good. 

It never crossed my mind that one day I might also be with you. 

When I first met you, I was in my 2nd year of a job that I loved – teaching children who had learning disabilities as well as behaviour challenges. I also had dreams and aspirations of one day representing Canada in the Olympics in the sport of Judo. 

Unfortunately, you clung so hard to me that I was forced to stop going after my dreams. 

Your relationship with me made me feel so much pain, confusion, fear, anxiety and uncertainty. 

My life with you changed so much and I lost everything that “USED” to be important to me. 

You must have had a similar effect on the other people you’ve had a relationship with. 

My honest truth is that I never told anyone else about you.  Why would I ? Being with you was so embarrassing.

Only the people who really knew me were aware of my relationship with you and how much I hated it. 

Everyone else had no clue about us since we both worked so hard at keeping you invisible. 

Fortunately for me though, as the months and years of our relationship went by, I began to change and I became a stronger person. 

I started to see, feel, and hear things that I had never experienced before and I knew that I was witnessing change in myself as it was happening. 

My time with you gave me the gift of X-Ray vision as I am now able to see things that many others can’t. 

I no longer hide from the truth.  My time with you forced me to look at the world through a different lens than what I used prior to meeting you. 

Being with you has taught me to listen closely to what my body is telling me.

When events happen, I have learned to remain calm and make healthy choices that emphasize responsible self-care. 

You always figured that you knew so much about me since you had captured my brain. 

Newsflash for you. . . I now understand that I am much more than my brain !

Before I met you I used to gloat about my “brain fullness.”

Now, I call it “mindfulness.”

My mind uses my brain as a tool to broadcast my signal out to the world. 

Just like an artist who creates a painting but does not appear in the painting, my mind creates pictures of the world but does not appear in the pictures it creates.  

If you think that my brain creates the real me, you must also think that paintings create their painters. 

I am the boss and I will direct my brain as I wish.

The choice is up to me . . . NOT YOU !

Just like in all my previous relationships, you might show up with no prior notice. 

I am aware of this possibility but I am learning new strategies and behaviours 

that will help keep me free from the problems I experienced in our dysfunctional relationship.

My time with you has helped me to see and appreciate the small, 

seemingly insignificant things in life that many people take for granted. 

I never knew how strong I was until you came into my life and tested my limits, forcing me to push beyond them.

In hindsight, I now realize that I had to experience all those years of hell with you in order for me to learn how to “Rethink, Redo, and Rewire” my brain. 

As a leader, I will continue to create new pathways and neural connections inside my brain that you tried to repress. 

As a teacher, I will continue to train my brain to learn new skills and do things that keep my brain healthy and in good working order. 

My world changed when I changed my perspective and I learned to appreciate my life, moment by moment. 

Thank you for helping me to see just how beautiful life really is. 

Anthony Aquan-Assee

Always a Survivor ! 


“Super Brain” By: Deepak Chopra & Rudolph E. Tanzi

“Quantum Healing” By: Deepak Chopra

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