A Different Frame of Mind by Lois Jean Thomas

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A Different Frame of Mind: Living a Full Life with Traumatic Brain Injury by Lois Jean Thomas

A Different Frame of Mind by Lois Jean ThomasStars: ****

Seventh Child Publishing (2018)
Autobiography/Brain Injury
229 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: In 2014, the author published her memoir, DAYS OF DAZE: MY JOURNEY THROUGH THE WORLD OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.  In this follow-up book, she describes her efforts to cope with her lingering brain injury challenges, exploring the long-term physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual impact on her life.


A Different Frame of Mind

I have not read Lois’s original memoir but I found this follow-up book to be a full book by itself. You do not need to read one to read the other.  Lois shares how her daily life is different now from her old life but also how she has learned to cope with the problems left over by her brain injury.

I really was no prepared for how much her brain injyry affected her life. I know of one person who has a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) but her life isn’t affected as much and I didn’t realize it affected everyone differently.

“This book is not meant to be an authoritative resource on the topic of traumatic brain injury.  It is only my story.  While people who sustain brain injuries may share similar symptoms, no two injuries are exactly alike.  Each TBI impacts a distinctive personality and disrupts a particular lifestyle.  And each TBI survivor develops his or her unique ways of coping with impairment.” – Lois Jean Thomas

The book would be helpful to both those who have no experience with TBIs (for awareness) and also for those who have a TBI (for coping ideas.)

Correlations to My Life

She said something powerful that made me think of my own life. Let me share her words first:

“After my brain injury, I stubbornly clung to the image of myself as a person who could venture outside her comfort zone. If you try hard enough, I’d tell myself, if you push hard enough, you can make this happen. But time after time, I was hit with a harsh new reality. Stretching my boundaries and testing my limits of capabilities no longer worked for me. Pushing myself too hard invariably resulted in sensory overload, cognitive failure, emotional meltdowns, and extreme fatigue. I finally realized I needed to start thinking outside the box, to consider what activities were safe and reasonable for me.” – pg 144

Now I don’t have a TBI but I do suffer from invisible illnesses (Bipolar, Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Recurrent Pericarditis) and pushing myself when I shouldn’t always results in bad outcomes.

But it can be hard, especially with regards to the mental illness because those who don’t get it think we just need to try harder to be happy or productive. So we tell ourselves the same things and then feel bad when we still have an illness. We have to realize our limits and work with them, not against them.

Once you read the book and see her daily struggles you will find it amazing that she has produced not only this book but other books as well.  She that thought it may be hard it is possible to live a full life with a TBI, just like her tagline says.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.