5 Ways My Brain Injury Helped Me Love My Life (From Rock Bottom to Breakthrough!)

5 Ways My Brain Injury Helped Me Love My Life (From Rock Bottom to Breakthrough!)

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Aloha and welcome to my channel guys my
name is Ella and I am here to help you retrain your brain! Yes, you read today’s
title correctly. Today I’m going to be talking to you about the five different ways my rock bottom helped me love my life. So if you want to learn the five lessons that
I learned and apply it to your life as well make sure you keep on watching
until the end. And if you want more videos like this where you can learn to
turn your rock bottom into your breakthrough moment make sure you
subscribe and hit the notification bell. And so before we get into it, let me tell
you exactly what my rock bottom was. When I was 14 years old – just starting out
grade nine – I had a severe brain injury and that was called an arteriovenous
malformation rupture. And that rupture happened in my cerebellum which is right
here at the base of your brain. And as a result I also experienced two
hemorrhagic strokes. Now an AVM is essentially when arteries and veins come
together and do not form or attach correctly; they are supposed to form via
tiny little blood vessels called capillaries and what these capillaries
do is essentially modulate or regulate the flow of blood. Now in my head these
capillaries didn’t form properly and they kind of formed into this clump of
blood vessels called a nidus. Now since the blood was still pumping regularly
through my body and there was nothing slowing down the flow of the blood, the
nidus kept on getting bigger and bigger and bigger until one day it burst.
Now my damage occurred on the right side of my cortex and the left side of my
cerebellum which actually both control the left side of your body.
Now the cerebellum controls things like your motor movements, posture, balance,
coordination, and speech. And as a result of my injury, all of those controls of
the cerebellum stopped working properly. This led to things like the use of a
walker, a short period of short-term memory loss (and I’m talking legit Dory
from Finding Nemo), a diagnosis of dysarthria. So I was working a lot with a speech
pathologist as well as just regular physio and a few eye exams to follow up
on my peripheral vision. Now at the time I was 14 years old I just made the
varsity soccer team at my high school I was athletic I wanted to be a lawyer and
I really had my life planned out. So when I had my brain injury it really put my
life on hold. I felt like my identity was taken away from me. I
couldn’t play soccer anymore I just felt like my brain didn’t process information
as quickly and I really felt like I lost my purpose for living. So long story
short it was after about nine and a half years that I finally started to realize
the benefits of my rock bottom and I flipped my perspective so that I could
see what hurt me was my ultimate breakthrough moment.
Alright so reason number one my rock bottom helped me love my life is that
I realized human beings are honest-to-goodness the most astounding
creatures ever. Think about all the times in history people have said things like
“oh I really wish I could write this news article faster.” Printing press – invented!
Or, “I wish I could get my friend’s opinion on this issue right now.”
Telephone – invented! Or even something like “I wish I could get my friend’s
opinion on this right now as I’m walking through the park.” Cell phone – invented! You get the idea. So next time you’re faced with an incredibly difficult situation
whether at school, at home, just figuring out your career, or your friends, or any
problem just think about all those other thousands of people that also said “oh sh*t, I don’t know how I’m gonna do this.” And then they researched, and they strategized,
and they worked hard and smart, and figured out how to do it. Humans are
completely capable of working not only harder but also smarter to get
themselves out of difficult situations. And I think that’s just honestly the
most amazing thing and I am so incredibly grateful to be alive.
Think about it in terms of this: humans are both able to do things as well as
capable of doing things. Now what is the difference? Well when you’re able to do
something it means you’re essentially physically able like I am able to make a
YouTube video because I can speak, right? And I can press the play button on my
camera so it can actually film me. Now, how can I use my capabilities to make a YouTube video? Well I invested in a decent camera so I
can have better quality of video, I write all my
notes down on a script so I actually know what I’m telling you and it makes
sense. So I can use my mind to actually strategize and figure out how to enhance
what I’m already able to do. So the second way my rock bottom helped me love my life is that I realized life is precious. Actually though! I feel like a
lot of people think they know this because the phrase is talked about so
often but I don’t feel like comprehend it. And I know I certainly
didn’t fully comprehend it until I actually almost lost my chance at living.
So as you live your one and only life make sure your doing it in a way that
makes you happy and provides you with meaning. I read the most amazing book
probably about a couple of months ago and it’s called Man’s Search for Meaning
by Viktor E. Frankl (I highly highly recommend it). Anyways in this book
Frankel discusses that meaning is essentially the gap between who you are
in this moment and who you can become and all the things that you can do. So
when you live for meaning and live to find meaning you’re essentially living
for all those potentialities that you could create as a reality in the future.
Think about it, you could literally die before this video ends (and I really
really hope nobody does) but do you really want to be on your deathbed
saying things “like man I really wish I did that” or “man I really wish I just
tried that out.” Just do things that give you meaning in your life because your
life should be important to you. Now reason number three my rock bottom
helped me love my life is that I realized existence is the most wonderful miracle.
And the simple fact that things exist and humans exist to create new things is
just honestly amazing and here is why… Think about a banana (this is not a joke).
Think about where a banana comes from. It comes from the ground, right? And what the heck is the ground? It’s literally brown decay and then over how many years all
of a sudden this stick thing started growing up from the ground. And the stick
thing grew bigger and bigger and it became a banana tree and it
started sprouting these tiny little crescent moon type things called bananas
and once the banana becomes yellow enough you can literally take the banana
off of the stick thing that is called a tree that comes from the brown decay
that is called the ground and you can literally peel the layers off of this
yellow thing. And inside it is soft and sweet and it has potassium and minerals
and we can literally eat this thing and it tastes good and it actually keeps us
alive. Think about how freaking cool that is, not
to mention like humans literally genetically modified this banana so that
it actually tasted better and I didn’t even have seeds in it. How cool is that?!
And now you may be thinking “Ella why are you telling me about a banana.” I’m
telling you this because sometimes it’s the seemingly insignificant things in
our lives – the things that seem normal or just not out of the ordinary that
are really truly miraculous. I’m telling you guys existence is a miracle. Which
leads me to my fourth point which is be grateful for what you have and don’t do
stupid sh*t because you could lose what you have and regret it forever. So I
mentioned before the one of the things that pushed me into my rock bottom was
that I felt like I lost my identity. Right? I was supposed to be a big shot
soccer player and a lawyer and those things just couldn’t happen for me after.
I just couldn’t process as quickly and on the soccer field I just couldn’t make
decisions as quickly as I wanted to and sometimes passes with my left foot just
turned into a really embarrassing fail. But, the fact that I can still actually
play soccer even at a slightly competitive level and the fact that I
have my left foot at all is freaking awesome and I’m so incredibly grateful
for that because I could have had it so much worse and I didn’t. So I highly
recommend you focus on the things that you have and the things that you can do
so you can actually boost your self-confidence and your sense of
self-worth. Do not focus on the things that you can’t do or the things that you
used to do better because negative and retrospective comparisons are not going
to give you strength. Now at the same time, don’t do stupid sh*t
that could cause you to lose all the things that you’re grateful for. So
really simple things like wear your seat belt, don’t text and drive,
don’t drink and drive, eat healthy foods, you get the idea.
Because one day if you do something that puts yourself in harm’s way and causes
damage and causes you to lose what you have, that could potentially change your
life or even end your life. A really good picture I want to paint for you is think
of a time when you’re with your buddies or you hear somebody with their buddies
and they’re talking about “Oh bro do you remember that time when we like got
super hammered and we jumped off that bridge? Oh my god we could’ve died! Ha
ha…” No one thinks that’s cool. In fact that’s stupid. Don’t do stupid sh*t.
Don’t put yourself in a harm’s way because you might actually regret
something for the rest of your life. Now the fifth and most important thing I
learned from my rock bottom is and I quote “don’t be afraid of death. Be afraid
of the unlived life.” That is a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies
called Tuck Everlasting and after I hit my rock bottom I really came to
understand and fully comprehend the meaning of that quote. Now this is an
interesting one because I know it’s a really difficult balance between my last
point which was don’t do stupid sh*t to put yourself in harm’s way and actually
living your life to the fullest but if you just make responsible decisions and
responsible decisions that make you happy, then that’s the balance that you
should be looking for. And that is the ultimate life that I think you should be
living. So do what you want and don’t worry about what other people say or do.
I know that’s difficult but when we concern ourselves with these opinions of
other people it’s only going to hinder our personal development. So you wanted
to make that YouTube video? Post it! You want to go traveling for a year? Book
your ticket! You have literally one shot at life so as long as you’re doing
things that make you happy and you’re living and you’re learning do whatever
the hell you want and don’t worry about other people’s
opinions. And if you want to know more about why you are really the only person
that can understand whether or not you are quote unquote,
fine, then make sure you tune in for next week’s video where that’s exactly what
we’re going to be talking about. So I really hope that you enjoyed the video I
really hope that you start to apply these life lessons to your life. Don’t
wait until you hit your rock bottom; learn from other people. And again if you
want more videos like this every week, make sure you hit the subscribe button
and a notification bell. As always I hope you have a great day and don’t forget to
make those the year of you! Bye!

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