Thursday, February 06, 2014


with much thanks to Nathaniel Branden. His website is located at: 

     When I got my traumatic brain injury, I was fortunate that my self-esteem was already in fairly decent shape. Some years prior to my accident, I had happened upon Nathaniel Branden's writing and read his books avidly. I used the complete the sentences program that I found in the back of most of his books, I did the work, I took action and -- tada !-- my self-esteem improved.

     Two acquaintances of mine are now facing health crises that may potentially leave them with some degree of disability. That sucks. [N.B. Being able to get competent medical care does not suck.] Not everything can realistically be greeted with cries of "Happy Happy Joy Joy" nor should it be. Knowing is preferable to not knowing. At the very least, one can make certain decisions about the future that way. 

     It is my sincerely held belief that those of us who have faced any sort of disability or change in our health status with adequate self-esteem are better equipped to deal with the unexpected than those of us who suffer from lack of good-enough self-esteem. Having a sense of efficacy that I will be able to face any situation that I have to helped me to quell the panic with a search for everything that I could find out about traumatic brain injury. Living consciously enabled me to recognize my need for assistance and to ask for it as needed. Self-acceptance supported me in coming to grips with my disabilities as well as with my abilities. 

     Because my self-esteem is based on the stuff inside me that enabled me to get the stuff I got [which includes relationships with others as well as other stuff] rather than the stuff itself, I was far better off than someone who bases their self-feeling on what they do or what they have. Because my self-esteem is not based on the esteem of others, when a few of my long-cherished friendships came to an end due to my brain damage I survived anyway. I was able to come to terms with what parts was mine [my responsibility] and what parts were not mine.

     If you are facing challenges due to a brain injury or other neurological condition or any other health crisis, I encourage you to read some Nathaniel Branden. Then, do the work that is necessary to raise your self-esteem. It helps. 

sapphoq healing t.b.i. notes that: There are some things that some folks disagree with Nathaniel Branden about. This is natural and not a good reason to avoid his writing. Nathaniel Branden is an objectivist who had an affair with his mentor Ayn Rand. He is also an atheist and a libertarian. None of those things are a problem for me but they may be for you, I do not know. The two things that I do not agree with him on are his idea that hetero-love is superior to nonhetero-love; and his ideas on recovery and on surviving childhood abuse. There are many other things that I do agree with Nathaniel Branden on and those things far outweigh our differences. I say, give yourself a break and investigate what he has to say before deciding that it is not useful to you.