Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Disinhibited joy

Sometimes the advice we get from the professionals makes perfect sense and we dutifully take it on board and do our best to reflect it in our actions.  Sometimes however I stick my fingers in my ears and sing 'la, la, la, I can't hear you'!

Let me give you an example; in the main, the phases of recovery that Jake is experiencing are painful, heartbreaking and frightening.  There is a great deal of hope, but the process is bobbins.

This week, however, we have a phase that I personally think is brilliant.  Put your hands together folks and give a warm welcome to traumatic brain injury induced disinhibition!

I know it doesn't sound all that good and if it was more extreme or the episodes more prolonged it would become a problem.  I am assured though that at this point they believe Jake's is par for the course and 'normal' in the context of this stage of recovery.

Basically it's a bit like being stoned or a very happy drunk; everything is hilarious and he sees absurdity in the strangest things.  Yesterday we were lying on his bed crying with unrestrained and uncontrolled laughter over his inability to find the right word; not something that's been all that amusing up to this point.

It has been explained to me that this extreme behaviour and the flip side which often sees him getting stuck in negative thoughts, doesn't reflect his actual levels of emotion.  In other words if he is outwardly REALLY happy or sad, he's not actually feeling that good or bad, he just doesn't have the appropriate behavioural filters to manage it at the moment (let's be honest, we all know people like that!).

Yesterday his Speech and Language Therapist advised me not to engage or join in with this as my validating it will exacerbate this false behaviour.  Well, I am totally bought into this advice from the perspective of the negative thoughts.  But...but...really?  It's so fantastic to see him so completely and unreservedly joyful; it's like a happiness atom bomb has gone off inside him and all the bright, white glee is exploding outwards and bathing us both in some long overdue joy.

Surely this eruption of happiness is good for him?  It felt pretty good to me! 

I'm sure I will take this advice on board eventually, but maybe I'll pretend I haven't heard it just for this weekend.

I leave you with an Imp of Doom update: some lovely people from the Imp Club are coming to Korving Towers THIS weekend to get an idea of what's needed to help us achieve our anniversary meet goal.  One more reason to be happy!

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