Today we’d like to introduce you to BabbleOnBrooke.
BabbleOnBrooke, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I call my journey From Hollywood To Housebound to Healing, and it goes like this.
My career was spent mostly in entertainment and events as an International Actor, Host, and Fortune 500 Spokesperson. I was in commercials, toured with musicals/sketch comedy/improv, conducted interviews on red carpets, and represented elite brands at events, trainings and conferences. Being around, and getting to know, people was always my favorite thing to do.
Over 7 years ago, I endured a spinal injury that was thought to be like most others – it caused tremendous pain in my neck, back and arms. For the first year, I did everything I was instructed to – various doctors, physical therapy 6 days a week, etc.
Then in addition to the pain, I began having trouble speaking. And breathing. I couldn’t understand what was going on, and neither could my doctors. I later found that this was considered an “invisible disability”. You couldn’t see it but it restricted my way of living. Big time.
The next couple years wound up being quite the medical experiment. Hospitalizations, 6 neck procedures, countless specialists and tons of tests. It was finally discovered that my injury had severely impacted a main nerve in the body and therefore my body was going haywire as a result. My condition was worsening, and quickly.
At this point, the simplest activity like standing up could set off a breathing episode, have me falling to the ground, and being rushed off by paramedics. Riding in a car was my nemesis – with all the bumps and turns, by the time I would arrive at a doctor’s visit, it was already an emergency situation. Even being pushed in a wheelchair would have this same affect. I was running out of options.
Out of necessity, I became housebound and adopted a home-based protocol. A doctor came to treat me for several hours a day, 6 days a week.
My partner became my 24/7 caretaker. He helped me sit up, he spoonfed me, you name it. I felt like a vegetable who could think. My body was in the shop for repairs and not coming out for a very long time.
I laid on a massage table all day, every day, staring at the ceiling. My partner would read to me. A device was finally rigged so I could watch Hulu but there’s only so much of that one can do.
I fell into an extremely deep and dark depression. I was completely isolated, including becoming estranged from my family who didn’t understand the situation. I know this was what put me over the edge in depressionland. I wound up spending a long time not wanting to go on – all the while fighting for myself with the wacky physical condition. Quite the conundrum, I know.
Several years of my life went by. I felt like I was simply an observer, that I almost didn’t exist. Friends faded away. Days, weeks, months and holidays passed still staring at the ceiling. Everyday was a cryfest. I wondered what kind of person I was to have deserved this life. The depth of the pain and hurt I experienced on an emotional level was something I hope no one ever has to. It’s soul-crushing, and that’s putting it lightly.
I lost all hope and the only thing keeping me going was that I have strong faith. Each time I would be close to giving up, I’d have a feeling that there must be a reason for what I was experiencing.
The light at the end of the tunnel appeared when I stumbled across the new (at the time) technology of live-streaming video. Here were thousands of people around the world who I could communicate with, who were interested in what I was going through, and who wanted to become my support system. They were incredible, and still are the most loyal, loving and kind souls I’ve ever come across. There were times when I couldn’t speak much and I would still live-stream by blinking (as someone who LOVED talking and did it for a living, you can probably imagine how hard this was) because I felt it was important to continue connecting with them as much as possible. These wonderful people gave me the hope I was looking for, and I am forever thankful for them.
Sharing my life and realized gratitude for simply being alive with my newfound community had a domino effect. I began getting messages from people who were going through struggles of their own, but no longer felt alone now. Many reached out saying that learning of my journey gave them strength to go on. It became clear then. They were my reason.
These “Babblers”, as I call them, have continued to follow me on this incredible healing journey and have been greatly inspired as a result. That alone makes me grateful for this experience.
Eventually I made more progress, then more and more. It was always 2 steps forward, 1 back, then 1 forward, 3 back – a constant dance of recovery. Quite often, simply showering or rallying for a short livestream could have me completely laid out for days or weeks at a time. But I continued to challenge myself. I knew I had to if it meant I was ever going to have a life outside of 4 walls again.
Just recently I’ve been able to get out more. Each time I’m outside is precious and so incredibly appreciated. Nothing is taken for granted. Not a single bird chirp, warm breeze or leaf on a tree.
I now see doctors outside of the home again too. And in the last six months I’ve started undergoing certain treatments that have changed my life. I’ll be sharing more about these on my social media soon so stay tuned. And if you’d like further information for yourself or a loved one, feel free to contact me.
I’m still on the path of healing. But I choose to focus on the progress and not get caught up on how much is left to do. I celebrate each milestone and just as I tell my online community, “When you wake up breathing, it’s a good day!”, I live by it as well.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
You would think after what I just shared with you that that was it, right?
While building the live-streaming community years ago, there were a couple people who went out of their way to make my situation even more difficult, doing their best to dismantle a medical fundraiser others had started for me. Turns out this was a pattern for them. I’ll spare you the details but let’s just say their actions weren’t appreciated.
The other huge hurdle was, as I mentioned before, not having my family in the picture. Most of us think that if the you-know-what ever hits the fan in our lives, they’re the ones who will be there. That wasn’t the case for me and it really was the hardest part of all.
I share this so that if there is anyone out there reading who is experiencing estrangement from family, internet trolls, or adversity of any kind, they can know they’re not alone.
If this is you, you CAN get through whatever obstacle(s) you’re being faced with right now. And you WILL.
I recommend a mantra. For me, it was and still is, “babble on”. The words came to me one day and just felt right. Although they reference speaking, to me they also mean continuing and being strong. So I would repeat this as a way of encouraging myself to keep going.
Now I say to you – believe you will keep going and babble on, my friend. Babble On.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about BabbleOnBrooke – what should we know?
By now, you’ve already read so much. Let’s spice it up a bit, shall we?
To the tune of “Baby Got Back”, by the legendary Sir Mix-A-Lot:
I like to speak and I cannot lie
I’m a lot of things but I’m not shy
When there’s life events
Doesn’t it make sense
To share if it can help a girl or guy?
Thanks for indulging my silly side. 🙂
During this healing time, I’ve become a motivational speaker who shares my story to help others. I combine inspiration with entertainment to educate about several topics including personal development, physical and mental wellness, and the enormous, game-changing importance of mindset. I enjoy engaging the audience, and sometimes there may even be an interactive song or two! If you’d like to see what I mean by that, take a look at any past episodes of “A Capella Babble”, a unique live-streamed show I had on multiple platforms, where I sing the audience’s comments and make them fit popular songs. It’s fun, uplifting and creates a positive experience for everyone. When speaking about such serious topics, it’s nice to lighten the mood!
I’m also considered an influencer. On that side of things, I simply share my life with my incredible online community. The way I see it – if there is something that helps me heal, smile or just feel good, then I’m happy to let others know about it!
What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
Many people would probably look at my situation and experiences, and be quick to label them. Some might focus on the years of pain, depression and heartache and call that “unlucky”. Other may see the glass as half full and say I’m “lucky” to have gotten through and have the opportunity to continue healing.
I wouldn’t call it luck, though. I think I’m extremely blessed. It’s taken me a long time to even start seeing what the reason(s) for all of this are, but I knew deep down – even in the darkest times – that there was at least one. So I clung to that. To me that’s what having faith looks like. Thank God for it – literally!
- Website: www.BabbleOnBrooke.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/babbleonbrooke
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/babbleonbrooke
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/babbleonbrooke
- Other: www.periscope.tv/babbleonbrooke