A friend emailed me today and asked if my blog was interactive. I replied immediately and said “yes.” Several weeks ago my husband suggested I start a blog where survivors may share our experiences. I knew nothing about creating one and doubted I could do it but as I thought more about it, I thought “Why not? If it’s too difficult for me, I’ll stop and try something else.”
One thing I have learned about being a brain injury survivor is I have to try different things and if they don’t work, try something else. In the late nineties, I tried volunteering at a Christian community in Atlanta that served folks who are homeless and in prison. It was a chaotic place and although I very much affirmed their peace and justice activities, it was not a good environment for someone with a brain injury. So I then volunteered as a chaplain at a local hospice. That didn’t work since many of the patients were in the last stages of the dying process and were not too be present.
I was getting frustrated about finding a place where I could use my gifts and I thought perhaps I couldn’t do any type of ministry. Finally, I decided to visit the chaplain’s office at a local retirement community to see if I could volunteer there. God was guiding me at that time because the Director of Pastoral Care after having met me said, “Sure, we could use some help.” He even had time to give me a tour of the site which contained several different levels of nursing care as well as assisted living. This amazes me now because the office was extremely busy and it was rare for him to have that much time to give me.
It was the perfect place for me at that time. There was a chaplaincy intern program there and I became their first volunteer intern. I learned much about providing ministry to older people. I also learned some about how to manage my own disability which has served me well. My husband then took a job in the Asheville, NC area and we relocated.
Moving is difficult for anyone but a change in environment is very difficult for brain injury survivors. We need consistency and repetition in order to function. I had to change churches, neighborhoods and all that entails. At least Asheville is a small city and I’m able to drive on the highway here, something I could never do in Atlanta.
I write all this with the hope that you will comment about any of your struggles. Feel free to write about things for which you are thankful or any other ideas that come from my post. If you’ve never commented on a blog before, it’s easy. (I only learned how a few months ago!) At the bottom of this note is the word “comments.” Click on that button and a place to comment will appear. Type anything you want to say and then click on “post a comment.” Your post will appear in the comments section after my own comments. If you’d prefer to comment without having it appear, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I’d love to hear from you either way.