By Angela

Hobbies & Healings

** Scroll down to the end of this section for a detailed listing of choices under Hobbies and Healings

Some people with TBI recover and are able to return to work. Others who are known as “the miserable minority,” roughly 15% of people diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury who are permanently disabled. Unfortunately, I belong to “the miserable minority.”

People who have not experienced brain injury wrongly assume that being permanently disabled is a comfortable way of life. They imagine a person living the easy life doing whatever they want while collecting a cushy “paycheck” provided to them by hard-working, tax paying citizens. If there are people with TBI out there living the easy life and able to survive on disability, I have yet to meet them. But that is a discussion for another page.

I loved the profession I was in and the work I did. One of the hardest things to come to terms with after the accident, was how to replace the horrible empty feeling inside of me. I realized that my work defined me and gave my life structure and meaning. Without it, I didn’t feel like my life was meaningful or that I contributed to some part of the world in an important way.

By looking at and exploring some of my hobbies, things I enjoy and tasks I can still do, I am finally beginning to find a different kind of meaning and pleasure in my life. Engaging in these activities has been healing. Writing this website has given my life meaning.

What kinds of activities and hobbies are healing or therapeutic for you? How have these things made your life more enjoyable and meaningful in your journey to re-define yourself?


A. Pets

1. My Cats

a. Cute Cat Videos

2. My Dogs

3. My Birds

a. How Vodka Got His Name

b. McGyver and the Insurance Man

4. Service and Therapy Animal Resources

B. Backyard Nature

1. Attracting Birds & Other Creatures

a. The Building of a Nest

b. Mystery Visitors – BIG birds

c. The Hummingbird Moth

2. Container Gardening

a. Container Garden 2007

b. Container Garden 2008

3. Animal Symbolism & Messengers

a. Sacred Woman Quilt

b. Sluggish Trials and Trails

c. Flying on the Wings of Spirit

d. Nine Swans A-Feeding

C. Writing

1. The Feather

2. Changed Brains and Labels

3. Goose Necks and Short Cuts

4. Changes & Recovery

5. The Sage Within

D. Crafts

1. Mosaics

2. Clay Creations

E. Inspirations and Recreation

1. Movies

a. 50 First Dates

b. August Rush

c. Crazy People

d. Martian Child

e. My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown

f. Peaceful Warrior

g. Regarding Henry

h. The 10th Kingdom

i. The Tudors

2. Books

a. Audio Books I’ve Enjoyed

b. Children’s Stories with Important Messages

3. Songs

a. Mountains, by Lonestar

b. Every Day, by Rascal Flatts

c. How Could Anyone, by Libby Roderick

d. See the Sun, by Dido

e. The Rose, by Bette Midler

4. Stories

a. A Carrot, An Egg & A Cup of Coffee

b. A Dog Named Faith

c. Clay Balls

d. Cracked Pot

e. Fern & Bamboo

f. Information Please

g. Life’s Bank Account

h. Meet Molly

i. Two Wolves

j. Who You Are Makes A Difference

5. Other Inspirations

a. Enjoy the Ride

F. Hobbies for Healing the Brain Project

1. TBI and Selecting a Hobby

2. Ideas for Hobbies & Therapeutic Benefits

a. Bird Feeding and Watching

© Angela Cramer, 2008

Clipart is the property of Jupiterimages made available through subscription:
© Jupiterimages Corporation, 2008

Tags: TBI, traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injury, post concussion syndrome, therapeutic activities, therapeutic hobbies, hobbies for the handicapped, arts & crafts, handicapped artist, pets, backyard nature, bird watching, bird feeding, writing, inspirational, recreational activities, pets, therapy animals, service animals


2 Responses to “Hobbies & Healings”

  1. October 10, 2008 at 5:19 am

    Dear Angela,
    I hope you are not bitter about someone living a cushy life riding it on a paycheck. This would be bitterness not usual for you to display.Out of character for you.

    I look at my brain injury as a bitter sweet experiance. It has allowed me, not really by choice, to slow down and stop to smell the roses. It has also allowed be to be able to connect with other brain injury survivors and for be to be able to persue refocusing my life in order to make support available to brain injury survivors. Having a TBI and one as catastrophic an injury that i survived i have yet to meet others who have survived one as bad as mine thabk goodness only once was. I honestly couldnt nor would i ever wish this on my worst enemy.

    also i really hope i never meet anyone that has gotten in such a predicimant as i once was in.

    My brain injury is primarily on my right side so i have hemiperisis of my left side. being your right side is responsible for your creativity i try to use photography to exercise my creativity. I believe though my pictures look professional and i am often told of how great they look, i can only imagine they are a result of my analytical left brain. The composure of each almost has a mathematical composure to them. most of my graphic web design apears creative but i still think they are more or less composed analytically with my left brain.

    I do miss my previous profession because it was in y chosen field of study. I miss it and i am glad i was fortunate enough to have earned that place in my life. Now I have to turn the page in my life story and can only hope to earn a new life. I do think that the saying “reflect on your past, no not dwell on it” is paramount in this feeling because if i were to feel sorry about not being able to continue doing what i was doing i probably would be in some sorry shape.
    Have a great day,

  2. October 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Michael,

    I’m not sure I understand completely what you are saying. What I think I’m hearing is that you are receiving disability income due to the result of a horrific, life-changing event. That this income is enough to allow you to still live a life-style that takes care of your needs and wants. That your life has changed and you have experienced many catastrophic losses that you would not have chosen for yourself, but you have found a way to be happy with it and have been able to find the positives in this experience.

    So, therefore, I do know someone who is able to survive on disability. I also have a friend who was smart enough to purchase disability insurance while she was working. Her life was changed drastically after being rear-ended twice within three months causing her to suffer brain injury. Her brain damage is more typical of the invisible nature of brain injury. People whose disabilities are not as visible, suffer the wrath of people who believe that they, therefore, must be faking to receive an easy paycheck at the expense of taxpayers.

    I have other single friends who receive disability checks in the range of about $700/month. This is a great deal less than what they were making. Although they qualify for some other kinds of assistance, they do not have the security of knowing that their needs and wants are taken care of. They are sometimes preyed upon by others who exploit them because of their difficulty making good decisions, they are harassed by others who have control over providing some of the services or benefits they receive and they are shunned by society and sometimes even their own family members who don’t believe they have a disability because they can’t see it.

    I know there are people out there who take advantage of the system. I also know that there are many people who have been responsible, contributing, tax-paying citizens who have had the misfortune of suffering an invisible disability. It is very unfair to assume that they don’t have a serious disability or that they are living well on money provided by other hard-working tax-payers.

    The other problem I have is with our legal system. Many times head injuries occur because of the wrong-doing or negligence of another individual, as was the case in my situation. Any disability pay or benefits I am receiving for problems I now have which resulted from another person’s actions, should have been paid by the other person’s insurance company. This would put the responsibility where it rightly belongs instead of expecting social security or another retirement system to pick up the tab.

    There are some very serious problems with our legal system. It is not fair how these insurance companies have huge sums of money to hire large law firms and unethical doctors as expert witnesses. It is not fair to have your destiny decided by a jury of people who are from a society that is so ignorant about brain injury and invisible disabilities that they can be easily misled by slimy defense attorneys. It is not fair that some of their egregious behavior is not allowed to be known to the jury members. It is not fair that the injured individual must go years without any assistance, without the money to seek medical testing and treatment from knowledgeable ethical brain injury experts.

    It is not fair that juries do not understand the high cost of good quality legal representation for the injured party. I wonder if the insurance companies had to pay as much to the plaintiff attorney and medical experts (in addition to the individual’s living and medical expenses, if necessary) that they pay to their defense attorney and the defense medical experts, if there might be more incentive to settle cases more appropriately. As it currently stands, these big insurance companies have the ability to drag things out over years and years, and cause incredible distress to the injured party.

    As I write more about my experiences with the legal system, I hope you will have better insight about what actually happens behind the scenes, so to speak. For now, let me say to those who are out there and are tired of having tax-payers’ money go to paying disability for so many people, then educate yourself about issues like brain injuries so you don’t allow big businesses to mislead you so they can get out of taking responsibility for paying. And realize that many of these disabled people were tax-paying citizens who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.

    I know I have probably digressed, but I hope that my response sheds some light on my frustration with people who think that people with brain injury or other invisible injuries are unfairly living off money paid by hard-working, tax-paying citizens.


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