On Mental Health Awareness // Levi
When I was 18 I was walking home from a party one night and I was hit by a truck. I received several serious injuries, one of which was a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Immediately afterwards the effects of the TBI were fairly unnoticeable to me as there was a lot of other things going on, and as months and years of recovery went by these effects became very prominent in my life. I suffered from memory problems, lack of impulse control, noise sensitivity, and aggression, among other things. This led to daily outbursts of screaming, throwing, and hitting things; to pushing away anyone who was close to me and isolating myself; to thinking I was the only one who knew what it was like and believing it was always going to be this way.
I lived many years in this vicious cycle that eventually led me down the path of addiction, where I used drugs and alcohol in an attempt to numb away all my perceived pain. After spending spending a few years digging myself deeper and deeper into this dark hole I finally realized this wasn’t the answer (Duh!). I then sought out a way to heal myself and was led towards the path of Yoga. I began practicing Baptiste yoga which consists of Asana (Physical practice), Inquiry and Meditation. I started to practice Asana everyday and immediately began to notice the differences in my mood. I was inspired by the changes I was able to create for myself and decided to sign up for teacher training.
There I found a whole lifetime of Inquiry. I began to question my part in everything that happened in my life, instead of blaming others; to take responsibility for my actions and how they affect those around me; and to take action to create what I want in my life instead of complaining about the way things are. This completely changed my way of thinking and then changed my whole life. I became free of the anger and resentment that I let control me, and let go of the excuses I used to justify my behaviour. Through the process of Asana, Inquiry, and Meditation. I've significantly reduced and almost eliminated all of the side effects from my TBI. I now understand I have the power to change everything in my life, including my mental health, and it is my responsibility to do the work to create what I want.