For Better or Worse.

Most people don’t go into a marriage expecting the worse part to show its ugly head early on. I think most of us really feel that the worse will show up after ten years or so. I mean, you’re getting married for Pete’s sake. You are completely in love, it’s all exciting, it’s all coming together. You are beginning a journey based off of hopes and dreams.  First things first, Nick and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary this past April.  Three years. Only three. And yet our second year of marriage we were met with a hump on the road to marital bliss.

Nick isn’t one to share things. Like very little to none at all with the general public. Our family and marital issues are ours and ours alone. And rightfully so. But I’m writing this post because this isn’t so much about our marriage but because of the TBI (traumatic brain injury) that decided to put its bitch ass into the smack dab center of our family and marriage. And I’m sharing our experience because after joining a Facebook support group and talking with others affected by numerous concussions, it’s obvious that society still doesn’t understand and that the family members and friends of the TBI loved one still feel anger and emotions towards the problem and sometimes the victim. This is his 5th TBI.

Life has changed as we once knew it. The person I married has changed.  I have changed. Our family has changed.  I wanted to share the REALITY of our life and the REALITY OF TBI.

People don’t get it. When you break something or have scars, something that’s VISIBLY wrong with you, it’s easier for other human beings to understand. It’s easier for them to be sympathetic. When it’s your brain however, the damage is hidden. You look the same on the outside so you MUST BE BETTER!! wrong. So very wrong. People continue to put unneeded stress & continue to demand the same things if not more than they use too and the person who has suffered the TBI is just not capable of always resuming their regular responsibilities. It’s overwhelming, emotional, and does more harm than folks realize.

Depression Risk is Higher.  Repeated concussions raise the risks of a person becoming clinically depressed. So much so that they also have an increased rate of suicide. They will need your love and support. They will need the assistance of a professional and some meds to help them get through life. 

YOUR LOVED ONE IS STILL IN THERE.  They still love you. And they desperately want to be able to do the same things they were use too. But they can’t. Speech may be affected. Other motor skills can be affected.  Be patient. Be kind. I can get frustrated. And angry. And it’s sometimes hard for me to not want to lash out at my husband.  Maverick was just 2 months when it happened. Nick couldn’t get out of bed for WEEKS. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, working, and what felt like taking care of 3 kids and 3 dogs all by myself. I was so angry and sad. I ended up having to be put on Zoloft to help me cope.  My advise, join a support group. Talk to someone. But try not to lash out at your family member, loved one, spouse. It does absolutely no good.

NEW NORMAL.  Say goodbye to doing things together that might cause over stimulation.  Concerts, places with too many people or noises. Night clubs. Anything with strobe lights. If the person has been exposed to several TBIs, say goodbye to doing any activities that has an increased risk of getting another. 

Ongoing MEDICAL NEEDS. He/she might need ongoing counseling to battle depression or help with managing stress, temper, memory improvement and problem solving.  Treatment for migraines and vertigo.

•They are Brain Damaged not Brain Dead.  Okay, sometimes you’re going to want to just do all the shit yourself because it’s easier than watching your significant other struggle or get it done painstakingly slow. But don’t. DO NOT start taking over everything as if they are some helpless child.  They need to relearn. It’s hard to watch them struggle but it’s part of the process. It’s also damaging their pride and self worth. Help if it gets to be too much or if asked. Don’t treat them like incapable children.

I could go on but it would take up entirely way to much time.  I hope that this has opened your eyes a little bit to the struggles people have when it comes to TBI. Or at the very least let you know that if you’re going through this, you are not alone. 

Have an amazing and blessed day! Love, The Brett Family

Happy One Year Wedding Anniversary To Us..

Whoop whoop!!!! We passed a milestone! Nick and I have successfully accomplished 365 days without either one of us killing off the other!!! That ladies and gentleman was a bet I believe for some folks made that know us. This marriage began with the following words of wisdom:
“There are no returns, exchanges, or refunds.”(His & my parents)
“If you mess this up, we’ll kill you (my parents to me)
” Just remember if he screws up, it’s genetic.” (His Uncle Jim)

I think we all laughed and knew that these comments were really made in good fun. Kind of. But truthfully, there really is something a little scary and unsettling those first moments of “Forever”! Despite those first feelings of scariness, I honestly looked at this man so many times during our first year and thought to myself “How’d I get so lucky?” Because realistically I can be a difficult person to live with. I use to think that I wasn’t. That it didn’t take much to make me happy. But who am I kidding? I’m a royal pain in the ass some days. Okay, most days. I have a short fuse and though I try very hard not to freak out, I do. And he’s at the end of the bomb when the fuse burns all the way out.
We haven’t had a HUGE fight. We have had minor speed bumps. That maybe last minutes more so than hours.
We’ve done a couple home improvement projects (still doing stuff to the house) saying goes if you can get through home renovations, you can make it through anything.
My hubby is the calm to my crazy. I went from being completely comfortable being alone in my house to feeling unsettled if he’s not home. I love coming home and he already be there. I like waking up on our weekends, sitting in our chairs on the front porch and deck drinking coffee while he smokes a cigar.
I have grown to love sleeping next to him every night.
Of course not everything is perfect.
Like listening to Mike n Mike at 5 am before I have to be up. Seriously. Wtf guys. Can’t you start broadcasting at 6?!
But it’s minor. We have this whole “you’re a grown ass man/ woman, you do what you want.” Mentality. It’s funny but it keeps things sane 😀!
I’m praying that every year is like our first year! So here’s to you hotness and all that you are to me! I love you and I can’t wait to see how our lives unfold!

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FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!!

So here we are football season in full swing! For the next 8 or 9 Fridays, this girl will be sitting in the bleachers cheering for the Biloxi Indians and for my husband. Our Coach Brett. It’s that time of year when our garage will host College football “tailgates. And Sundays will be our regrouping days.

This is my first official year as a coach’s wife, but I’ve been exposed to now fully for roughly 2 years prior. The biggest thing is, this is NOTHING like the show Friday Night Lights. Which I love. And watch to try and make me feel more excited about the up coming season. There’s no Friday night dinner at apple bees after a win. Why? Well because my hubby doesn’t get home until after midnight for starters. And I’m sure that football is like a religion in some places, but on the Coast, it’s not as big. Still important. Just the community doesn’t seem to rally around it like in the show either.

One thing that is the same though is TEAM SPIRIT! Especially for my Hails. She absolutely loves going to Nicks football games! Nothing like having little kids cheer you on and dance in the stands! We have so much team spirit we are going to make our own t-Shirts to wear to the games! Will probably start on those tomorrow! And obv will def post pictures!!!

So far our Biloxi Indians are 2-0! Hopefully we continue to win! Hope y’all’s Football season is in full swing and you’re loving it. Or if you’re like me, learning to love it and keep up appearances lol!

GO BIG RED

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Discover Mississippi

Sometimes you can be a tourist right in your own state. We spent our Sunday Funday driving the Coast looking for Blues and Jazz markers. We stopped in Pass Christian to have lunch at the Harbor at Shaggy’s. Afternoon sun, beach breeze, and some cold beverages (along with food), we were ready to go find some blues markers.
Our scenic route is Hwy 90. I love driving the beach. Granted our waters aren’t the emerald green people look for, but it’s still a pretty drive.
Our first stop was in Bay St. Louis.
We had such a great day.
Def can’t wait for our next trip to find some more markers!! As with all things, the fun doesn’t last forever and it’s back to work! Hope y’all have a great work week! Xoxoxo

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Our First Adventure as a Married Couple.

Nick has always had a wide selection in his taste for music. If you borrow his iPod, you’ll find anything from Frank Sinatra (love) to some straight twangy country, to Tool. I am not that crazy about the twangy stuff however, the sound of a banjo gives me goosebumps in a pleasant way. Unless we’re watching deliverance in which case not so much. Nick also loves the blues and has so many songs from so many different people. Sadly, I have not one single blues song on my iPod. Mine’s filled with pop, alternative, Disney channel icons ( I have an 8 year old daughter, those are for her. Okay?!) to straight techno and dub step. Yes, I raved on back in the day lol.
Any how, Mississippi is known as the birth place of the blues and Nick stumbled upon blues markers.
So we’ve decided that our first official adventure as a married couple would be to track down blues markers and take pictures of each. Nothing better than listening to tunes and making random side road trips on our way to places right?! Looking forward to this little history lesson! Here’s our first one:

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