I’ve previously talked about the need for finding a good, local brain injury support group on this blog. At least I think I have. That’s one of the things with brain injury: your short term memory often sucks.
Anyway, today I wanted to discuss the many, many, many ways a support group can be beneficial to both the traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor and their caregiver(s).
One of the first ways, and perhaps the most important, is it gives you an entirely new set of resources. No more making things up/finding them out as you go along! I only wish that I had wanted to go to one sooner, but I think it probably took me longer than most to come to terms with the fact that I did indeed have a brain injury. And that I would be dealing with it for the rest of my life.
Until you are faced with such a dilemma, I don’t know if anybody knows for sure how they will react… and my first reaction was denial. But, I did eventually come to accept it, and found a very good brain injury support group. There they were able to give us actual names of professionals who understood brain injury. And other resources, like a fitness center that actually specializes in stroke/traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. They were also able to provide names of books in case we wanted to better educate ourselves.
Another way support groups are helpful is you get to meet new people! I made some great friends in that group, many of whom I miss dearly. You see, we moved to another county in July of 2016. And it just isn’t feasible for us to drive the nearly two hours to attend the meetings every two weeks. But we have yet to find a nearby brain injury support group that isn’t more than an hour away, so we’re starting our own! More on that will come later.
Also by being in a non-judgmental “safe place,” you are more likely to open up about the issues you’re currently dealing with.
The group also invited outside speakers, who often gave us new ideas that we hadn’t tried before. These included the fitness center, disability lawyers, and representatives from the Brain Injury Association of Florida.
So in conclusion, if you or a love one has sustained a brain injury, please consider finding a support group to attend. You definitely will not regret it.