A Brain Injury Support Group Tale
Reprinted by permission from David Grant
It started in October of last year, this miracle I am about to share with you.
My dad had just turned 80. He lives in a small northern New Hampshire town of about 600 souls – Freedom, New Hampshire. Such an appropriate name as freedom from isolation for many local brain injury survivors started there. He picked up a small-town newspaper and his eyes scanned a classified ad that hit home. Having a son with a brain injury has changed his life perspectives as well. Brain injury is a family affair. But you already know that.
It was a simple ad. “Highly functioning traumatic brain injury survivor looking to form a support group with other TBI survivors.” With the ad was an email address. And so, like falling dominos, events started to click into place. Dad emailed me a copy of this lone survivors cry for help. I answered his email.
Though over 100 miles from here, when survivors connect, magic happens. And I waited, hopeful that I would here (sic) from him. He replied in short notice. We exchanged several emails, became Facebook friends, and the beginning to the end of isolation came to pass. The HI-FI Brain Injury Support Group was born.
There are 8-10 members who meet face to face every month in what we fondly call “the North Country.” Today, Sarah and I are taking a 200+ mile round trip to attend one of their meetings at the Conway Public Library I woke up today feeling a bit like it was Christmas. I have come to really LOVE time spent with other survivors. I co-facilitate a local TBI support group here in Salem, New Hampshire.
Our monthly get-togethers are just a blast. And today? Today it feels like I am going to a family reunion to meet a bunch our cousins I’ve never met. There is a grand and miraculous take-away here. Steve, the groups founder, took action in the form of a small ad – an ad that eventually lead to the creation of a group where so many others have found the end to isolation.
Not everyone lives near a support group. There is quite a lesson here. “If you create it, they will come.” I am grateful beyond words that my local group is only a short distance from our home. If you find yourself without a local group, there is quite a lesson to be learned by my new friend Steve’s actions. We never need be alone again. Ever. Peace to all who have found comfort in the presence of other survivors.
Author of “Metamorphosis, Surviving Brain Injury”