BY: MARK KONING
I am a writer who happens to have a brain injury.
I am an ABI Survivor who is also a writer.
I am both.
Overall, I am a creative person, but my niche is writing. I love playing the role of storyteller and unravelling a tale of the imagination. I have written two fictional books and there are many short stories to my credit. I love the idea of creating different worlds or putting a spin on this one, coming up with characters and developing their depths.
A few years ago I decided to build my skills by taking a creative writing program, and while learning about building themes and expanding upon plots, my natural flair for scripting inventive narrative lead me to obtaining a diploma with honors.
My writing, so it seems, has also become somewhat inspirational to others, specifically my offerings toward brain injury advocacy. I was once convinced to start my own blog and in doing so it has guided me toward contributing to others (such as this one right here for BIST). The written word has also helped me in areas of my employment, both past and present, and it’s assisted in building a network of colleagues. But even more so, writing makes a significant impact on my life.
Through writing I not only get to share my experiences with brain injury, I get to learn, understand and become more aware. It teaches me as much as it might teach others. Writing about my viral brain infection when I was younger, scripting the story of the day my mom had her accident and suffered a head trauma, helped me get through the initial surrounding drama, and continues to allow me to see things a little more clearly. Writing also allows me to do something I find very difficul: communicate. I wouldn’t say that if it weren’t for writing I’d never talk, that wouldn’t be true, but I would be somewhat lost in life.
Writing helps me deal with any depression I must face, as well as anxiety, frustration and even fear. It educates and motivates me on how stand up. I keep some of my writing to myself, some I share, some I write in story format (as I remember it) other stuff I scribble out in point form – in email, opinions, advice, in my journal, in a blog, in an article or a book.
Whether it is a pen in my hand, or more often a keyboard for my fingers, I have gained confidence and also found an outlet for my sanity. The mighty pen, for me, is a saving grace. It is my substitute for any needed medication or rehabilitation.