Lift Yourself Higher

IMG_3074 copy“Surround yourself only with people who will lift you higher” ~ Oprah Winfrey.

This quote really spoke to me this morning as I think about my journey over these past 20 months. There were people who knocked me down and tore a whole in my heart. During my darkest days I was quite simply…… alone.

This is an all too familiar situation for those dealing with TBI recovery. I can’t quite figure out where it stems from. If it’s a complete lack of understanding of what a TBI is, if it’s the fact that concussions have been so incredibly down-played in our society, or if people are just truly ugly beings who only offer compassion when it’s something visible…. like a broken bone…. or an awful disease ….. like cancer (I like to hope that the latter is not true). This invisible disability is very real, and very scary.

Regardless of the why, it happens. Every single day. I hear over and over again in my Tribe how family and friends turn their backs. I believe that some of those who turn away simply don’t know how to help and are too afraid to admit it.

Something magical happened a few months ago. I wrote my story and published it very publicly. All of a sudden I was surrounded by other TBIers who understood. We’ve all been through the same depths of hell with this awful injury. They get me. They accept me. They encourage and support me. They quite simply: lift me higher.

I continue to write in an effort to give back. I truly believe my healing process would not have begun if I had not met these amazing people. I felt so alone in a world that was filled others going thru the exact same struggle. And here we are now, connected across vast oceans and thousands of miles.

We are a family. We lift each other up when they are down. We are strong. We are a Tribe. We will get thru this together.