Speaker on Pride and Falling

Positive Growth

Choose Words Carefully

Have you ever struggled with so basic a skill as trying to control what comes out of your mouth? In terms of creating or killing all kinds of chances and possibilities, our tongues are the most powerful muscles we have.

Meeting and becoming friends with Dr. Jeananne Craig a decade or more ago was the beginning of my release from the bondage of being out of control. The medical explanation of my out of control emotions following my head injury and ruptured hypothalamus gland is beyond the scope of this post. The focus of this post is how retired school psychologist Dr. Jeananne Craig was able to use her experience doing neuro feedback on students who needed behavior modification to show me a new life.

Neuro feedback

Neuro feedback did such a good job of quieting the erratic mood swings following my head injury that I often wonder why the medical community concerned with head injuries didn’t save me two decades of roller coaster emotions by suggesting Neuro feedback instead of counseling, which had only a nominal impact. Actual physical damage accounted for my mood swings, so counseling wouldn’t help that anymore than it would help a person with a broken leg walk without a limp.

Neuro feedback landed me in a mental and emotional place where I can handle emotionally stressful situations as well as most people, but it wasn’t a quick transition. Today I communicate so comfortably with people in a wide range of settings that new and old friends invite me to their parties, long term care patients smile when I repeatedly visit their rooms and professional organizations pay me to share my experiences and my humor with their people. (Brain damage is very marketable.) But, even after receiving the treatments, it took a while for my new behavior patterns to become habitual.

Pre-Growth Era

Dr. Jeananne Craig parked her car in the small lot behind the radio studio, and we started toward the door. I gripped my cane and hobbled confidently beside her. My response to being brain damaged has gotten me into both negative and positive situations. Most of the negative situations came before I received Neuro-feedback treatments. Maybe because everybody has had some type of motorcycle crash, they come in all shapes, many people have shown interest in how I’m dealing with mine.

I hadn’t had to do anything to prepare for this interview, It was more about the doctor and her experience with neuro feedback than about me. However, a recent radio interview that had been about me had gone so well, I couldn’t help feeling rather like a veteran of sorts. Ichabod conducted my last radio interview, and he is such an experienced professional that everything went smooth as silk.

Listen for yourself to why Ichabod’s interview skill made me feel like a pro:

Ichabod interviewing Al Foxx on KMPS part-1

Ichabod interviewing Al Foxx on KMPS part-2

Ichabod interviewing Al Foxx on KMPS part-3

Ichabod interviewing Al Foxx on KMPS part-4

Back On Track

To get this article back on track, concerning nuero feedback, I let the positive feedback from this interview swell my head, so instead of being able to control my impulses, I returned, during Dr. Craig’s and my time in the current radio interview, to my old, negative behavior patterns. By this time, close to the conclusion of my treatments, my behavior had seen notable improvement, and my relapse into old behavior patterns was embarrassing not just to me but to the generous doctor.

For me, the take away from this experience is the absolute value of humility and the poisonous effect pride can have on a situation.

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2 Responses to Speaker on Pride and Falling

  1. Valerie Robins October 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    I think all of us, even those without a brain injury, struggle with controlling what comes out of our mouths, not to mention controlling the pride that can lead to a disastrous fall.  What is more important than the fall is getting back up, dusting ourselves off and moving forward after a fall.  Well written, Al.

  2. Anonymous October 24, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    Thank you Valerie. While I totally agree that getting back up after we fall is the most important part of the process, I strive to one day remember and implement more of the lessons I learn by falling.

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