Where’s the social support? (Findings, part V – seriously?)

I swear, I swear I’m almost done with this topic, but there are so many people’s stories to share! Have you shared your story in the comments yet?

Of course you haven’t! Do it now. ; )

Similar to Rachel’s experience, Melanie expresses her hard time relating to SBIF.  Melanie explains feeling like she wants to talk about her brain injury, except that SBIF is not the place to do it.

Melanie shares:

“The support group really isn’t for me.  I think it’s great what the Foundation is doing, but I’m so different from everyone else there. They have strokes and ABI, and even the people who‟ve had a TBI like me – well I’m just better off than they are. I can’t relate.”

Side note: Isn’t it interesting that so many people I met feel “better off” than other brain injury survivors they’ve met, and yet they still seek help, support, and comfort? Kind of crazy, just sayin’. End side note.

Though Melanie wants a place to talk about her experiences, SBIF’s participants and topics don’t apply to her specific situation.

And Douglas agrees with her.  Douglas attended two meetings before he decided not to go anymore.  “I’m doin’ better than the folks are there,” he tells me.

Douglas shares his narrative:

“I wanted to go and show my support for the other survivors, but that doesn’t really help me with what I need… And they’ve [at the support groups] had strokes, just like me.  You’d think we could relate, but we can’t. The people there have these woe-is-me attitudes. Sure, I’ve had my share of dark times too, but I’m more focused on how to live my life now, brain injury and all.”

I nod along as Douglas speaks and eventually concede that the population of SBIF is a bit older than we are. Douglas tells me how he’d love to have more people in his life who understand his situation.

He feels a strong need to share his story and connect with others. All of his friends, he says, “don’t understand it [brain injury] like they should.”

He tells me that his friends and family “just tell [him] to stop talking about it already.”

Douglas smirks.

“Oh, I talk about my injury all the time.  People tell me I talk about it too much, and I say, ‘Why don’t you have a brain injury and live to talk about it?’ I‟m never going to shut up.”


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