BRAINWRECK Blog: Introduction

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BRAINWRECK Blog: Introduction

January 23, 2018 Brainwreck Blog 0

Brainwreck:  Taking the Trauma Code to Another Level

If something has happened or is happening with your brain, your mind, or you have experienced trauma of any kind, you have landed in good company.  More and more people are becoming aware of issues with their brains. Books have hit the market like “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” “Brain Fog,” “Grain Brain.”  Increasingly we hear of people being debilitated with concussions, aneurysms, stroke, and even mental and cognitive disabilities.  

…  This book won’t go far into the whys, and the hows of the inner workings of your brain as I am not a mental health practitioner, I am not a doctor, nor am I a professional working in this space.  But I am a survivor of trauma, namely traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Rewiring my brain has been a major rehabilitative process. In the beginning I was on my own to figure this out as I waited years in line for help.  I made a vow that if I could find the light on the other side, I would work to ensure that I would help people find and grasp a rope to cling to up that dark mountain of rehabilitation.  

In my journey, the first flicker of light came in understanding that the brain doesn’t know the difference between rewiring or performance; it’s the same word to the brain.  So the same mechanisms that allowed you to achieve great things in your life prior to this moment are going to be the same mechanisms that allow you to start rehabilitating and repairing your brain if you start taking conscious steps in that direction.  The key distinction is that we will need to adjust the targets to where we are right now, and the steps need to be realistically taken in this moment, at this place.  

The solution we will be working with is using a system to help the brain heal itself and best tune into its own capacities to unwind the trauma that has it stuck.  

If you have made it this far, I have good news.  It might not strike as good news when you first read this words.  Take a deep breathe.  Close your eyes, take another. Make an intention to be what Doug Smith calls: “open, random, and supportive” with the next two sentences.  Made your intention?  Breathe again.  Yawn for good measure (we’ll explain more later).  One more deep mindful breathe.  Smile.  Honestly.  Smile.  Now read slowly, breathing.  Open. Random. Supportive.

It probably doesn’t mean you get back your old life.  It does mean that you move forward organically in a new life but one that can be equally or even more fulfilling.  

Yes, you read what I said.  Breathe again.  You can do this.  It may seem counter intuitive.  But you’ve got this.  You are taking the first step to getting better.  Better than yesterday.  That’s better!

The Trauma Code outlines a system that former NHL, author and TedX alumnus Doug Smith calls System 438 which speaks to the 4 areas of trauma, 3 priorities of the subconscious brain, and the 8 behaviours we can adopt to start to unlock subconscious rewiring and boost our recovery and performance.  The behaviours we will practice and learn to adopt using the Brainwreck model include:

  1. Awareness (you just practiced that one a bit, congratulate yourself.)
  2. Purpose
  3. Motivation
  4. Focus
  5. Belief
  6. Trust
  7. Asking for Help
  8. Emotional Control


BRAINWRECK has been designed as an interactive multi-disciplinary workbook for improving your (or your loved one or client’s) chances of rewiring by grasping the proverbial rope that will support our steps as we make the ascent towards healing.  It is a long winding path, but if we can learn to gaze softly, to be ever thankful for the support that rope provides despite all the other elements and factors around us, we can rewire, we can heal, and eventually we can tell our story and bring hope to others.

In my family, each day, our faith helps us find a way to dig ourselves out of the ditch we had crashed hard into. I have also had the pleasure of working with excellent practitioners, many of who are contributing authors in this project; and I am very blessed to have a platform where we can share their important knowledge on this journey of hope.

On the journey, I’ve also met other survivors like Doug.  Strikingly I have found that those making the climb out of the mire of trauma have a few things in common: namely a commitment to understand the purpose in having suffered the traumatic events you did.  The rewriting began for many of us with a refusal to get on the destructive negative thought train (at least not for any overnight trips); and instead to find a way to rehabilitate by accepting and adapting as the hospital prescribed; and perhaps most importantly to find a way to help others.  It doesn’t mean all is repaired and good as new, but it does mean that each day a little better is possible… like this moment, like today.

Now about that Brainwreck of mine, … check out the Bionic Brain post if you haven’t already and a new chapter will be up shortly.

Looking forward to your thoughts in the meantime!


“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou