Becki’s poetry after brain injury

Becki was hit by a car at the age of 14 in 2006 – her new poetry book looks back at life since and she explains how writing has helped her.

Becki in the garden

My new brain and I, Becki’s poetry book (authored as Rebecca York), shares her recovery from her brain injury and life with her new brain. 

Becki says: “It has not been easy and some of these poems you might see the pain and the hurt, but I want to give something for the next teenager who has had their world turn upside down due to a brain injury – some kind of comfort knowing they aren’t alone.

“My aim is to help, inspire, support, or do anything I can for the next teenager, child or family who have to go through the unexpected change in having a head injury.”

The book is available on Amazon as an e-version (£1) and in print (£6).

We caught up with Becki and asked her a few questions:

Q: What made you think about writing this book?

When I was going through my rehabilitation, I would get frustrated how everything seemed to be based on ‘case studies’ and what others had done following a brain injury. From the very start, due to the injuries, in the medical world, the odds were strongly not in my favour.

I have always wanted to write a book myself, a book by a brain injury survivor to a brain injury survivor. 

I wanted therapists not to look at the studies and what should and shouldn’t happen, I wanted them to look outside the box. I wanted the friends and family or the young person going through the trauma of a brain injury to think out the box.  

Most of all I want the young person whose life has been turned upside down, inside out and side-to-side, to see hope.

Q: What triggered you to put pen to paper and decide to publish a book?

For years I have been trying to write a book, however with my English skills not being great, my attention being even worse, not feeling good enough to write anything and emotionally struggling with what has happened, I never got very far.

I do make poems up in my head, little meaningful quotes, or I do think of good points to put in my book – but it very rarely leaves my head.

When I wrote down my first poem, I felt confident enough to show others. That was it, they kept flowing out. I then thought whilst I am at this point, take the jump, go on Becki publish a book with them!!!

Q How does poetry help you?

I think because I find it difficult to say what I mean, and sometimes what I say makes sense in my head but when it leaves my mouth it’s all jumbled up, poetry enables me to get me emotions and feelings out without having to be careful what I say.

I think the poetic licence works well for me.

Q How does writing things down help you?

  1. So I don’t forget.
  2. So the thoughts aren’t just in my head.
  3. A lot of the time I feel very lonely and can’t talk to anyone about how I’m feeling and the thoughts in my head. Not because there is no one to talk to – but I don’t want to bore people or make people feel uncomfortable because I am still struggling a huge amount.
  4. This will sound silly but it’s kind of like an Anne Frank feeling. She didn’t know her diary would be found and read and help people truly understand what it was actually like for a young girl in the war. So part of me feels, it’s all true, no one else knows how I feel better than me. So if I write and another young person or their family pick it up and read it, they may realise they aren’t the only one who feels that way.

Becki’s book is available on Amazon. You can also read our next blog by Becki, where she shared her poem 'My parents' and talks about their role during such a challenging time.

Becki is currently writing her next book and is on Instagram posting about her brain injury.