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Q&A – “I would be the ...

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Q&A – “I would be the Happiness Fairy, I’ve sprinkled Happy Dust on you, now smile.”

Q&A: Debra Jones

“I would be the Happiness Fairy, I’ve sprinkled Happy Dust on you, now smile.”

TBI survivor Debra Jones on mindfulness meditation, her most treasured possession and what frustrates her the most about her brain injury.

Debra Jones sustained a traumatic brain injury following a fall. The injury has left her with a number of cognitive, sensory and emotional issues and she struggled to cope.

What actor would play you in a film about your life?

Dame Helen Mirren

What makes you happy?

I feel happier when I try and push myself to become more independent, praise myself on small achievements and surround myself with people that care. Having love behind you is a bigger push than anyone knows. Finally, smile it is good for your mentality.

Who in your life understands your brain injury the best?

My son and daughter are the two people who understand my brain injury the most.

What is the most frustrating thing about your brain injury?

Comparing the way things used to be. Aphasia is hard to deal with on a daily basis especially in social situations. People, however sometimes do not understand that our intelligence is not affected.

How has Headway helped you?

Headway has supported me with online support sites, helping to keep strategies in place to have a better quality of life and interaction with other TBI sufferers.

What would your superpower be?

I would be the Happiness Fairy. I've sprinkled Happy Dust on you, now smile! This stuff is expensive!

What is your most treasured possession?

My most treasured possession is my Mother's wedding ring that hold many memories of her.

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you about brain injury?

You're tired already?!I know, I've got a terrible memory too! You look the same as you used to, it doesn't look like there is anything wrong with you! Comments like this can feel patronizing, I find it easier sometimes to say nothing at all, I have to repeatedly explain the 'hidden disability'.

How do you relax?

When I was introduced to different forms of Mindfulness Meditation it was very relaxing, to focus on the present moment has proven to be effective to help with cognitive, emotional behaviours and try and make peace with the 'new you'.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

The most important lesson I have learned is, sometimes you need to be knocked down to nothing in order to gain a new life that is true to who you are now. I can say I try not to be a victim, some things in life cannot be changed back to the past so focus on my ability and choose to see the good things in every situation. These choices are mine and it is up to me continue with a journey of healing instead of giving up.

It is not easy to positive all the time, that is where hope and courage join in the ride. Take each day because you never know what is going to happen to you.

What has been the most positive aspect of your brain injury?

The most positive effect of TBI for me is Psychology. Social and emotional factors can be a burden but therapy can help building on what's strong rather than fixing what is wrong. Keeping a diary helps self esteem and self perceptions.


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