Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What is a support group?

I've been to many Brain Injury support groups in the past 3 years since my accident. A few are weak but they try to be a support group, bless their souls, but one or two are just awful. The horrendous experience I am enduring with one has my back up so far I'm thinking about calling an attorney. That being said by complete happenstance I found one support group that has been phenomenal. And their goal has nothing to do with Brain Injury exclusively.

Even during my accident, I kept trying to walk. Unconscious, broken, bleeding from compound fractures - I still marched on. So after I came home I started walking around my current home town. While walking I noticed this old church with the sign "Dumont Lessard VFW Post". Noticed that the grounds was not as beautiful as the building so I started doing regular police calls of the property. One of the members noticed me, walked up, asked my name and >boom< found out I could join.

Since that time the Post has gently learned and dealt with my condition. They've always helped me get involved with anything I seem interested in, and I've yet to discover anything I'm not, and they are always beside me with helpful hands regardless of the activity I've become involved with. In essence, they've become part of my family. Grumpy, lovable, annoying, interesting, crazy, calm, wise members of my family but family none the less.

That IS a support group!

Now, I've been allowed to shoulder some tremendous mental responsibilities as I grow up. And truth be told, I am still regrowing into an Adult, mentally. Not quite at my physical age mentally, yet, but my VFW allows/helps me to exercise my mental & physical abilities to strengthen those aspects of me that my accident greatly diminished in me.

A friend of mine is shocked at the difference that can be clearly seen if one takes the time to look. In person, my abilities with language are difficult and, at times, can be greatly diminished from a "normal" rational human being. The shocking difference, in their eyes, is the complete turn around when I type what I am thinking. In their words, "OMG I want a signed copy of each book you write!"

That IS a support group!

Even though lately I have to shamefully confess to having developed some social anxiety issues. In the development of that issue I have disconnected myself from a worthwhile group of Skype friends. When I was in a coma, they drove several hours down to Boston to support my wife during my operations and what not. When I was moved to rehab hospital, they swung by on occasion. When I was released, they were always there on Skype to help me relearn how to talk and socially interact. And let me tell you, like a toddler I was in the beginning, without their guidance I'd be as awkward as can be. So I proudly say:

That IS a support group!

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