Social Isolation

Loneliness is a common problem after a stroke.  Pre-stroke, I was working everyday and had a group of girl work friends. We would go out to eat, get our nails done, or play Bunco. Maybe we would get into a little trouble as well…

Now, that work camaraderie is gone and will no longer exist. My life has changed and I’ve been through too much.  People don’t understand how tragedy or disability affects everyday life. From a survivor’s standpoint: camarades will make assumptions about our intellect; camarades will never understand the financial instability; camarades will never know what it’s like to sit at home and feel the emptiness come crawling in. It’s that damn loneliness that makes it so hard. In fact, it’s not worth it to make them understand. It’s about finding new people that do understand. Finding these people is hard; maybe you find these people at a church, support group, or clubhouse.

I’ve been attending a clubhouse for the past few months that has reduced my social isolation. It’s been the best thing to happen to me since my accident.

I have given a few speeches to future therapists and brain injury survivors. My biggest crowd and first speech was in front of 600 future respiratory therapists. I was so scared but I practiced, practiced, and practiced and I did great.

Here is T-Rex Relay Race I ran in for the clubhouse:

I finally found a place where I feel like I belong…