ED STRUGGLED following his wedding. He attended 12-Step support groups, fought his addictions, but still something was missing.
“I wasn’t sure why I’d had my experiences, the accident, for what reason?”
IN 2013, Ed and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the world. Their lives were filled with love and joy but also more responsibility.
“My family was the most beautiful thing. I was so blessed to have them.”
Ed reached his life’s defining moment. It was now or never. If he faltered again he risked losing it all.
“At times, I laid awake at night, fearing what my life would be like without my family.”
An acquaintance invited Ed to a support group for those with Traumatic Brain Injury. Ed had never been to such a meeting, but it was a breakthrough. Looking around the meeting at the others in attendance, he suddenly gained new perspective.
“I sat down at this table with others who had varying degrees of brain injury, and I was completely humbled.”
EACH PERSON IN THE ROOM with Ed at that support meeting had suffered in a unique way, leaving them all to grapple with the new lives that were forced on them. Some were stroke victims, unable to fully function. Some had to be driven to the meeting. Ed suddenly saw how blessed he was.
“Everything I hadn’t been grateful for until then was suddenly put under the microscope in that moment.”
ED’S FIRST TBI SUPPORT GROUP MEETING had been so cathartic, had moved him so deeply, that he continued to attend, quickly becoming a regular. His injury, which had remained rooted in his subconscious for years, was finally brought to the forefront.
“The process began to heal me, allowed me to drop my shame, not be alone.”
RECOGNIZING ED’S PROGRESS, the regulars at the TBI support group asked if he had an interest in becoming more involved with advocacy. Suddenly Ed knew his purpose. He had been blessed with better health than others with TBI, which would enable him to speak – to share his story – and hopefully inspire others.
“To use my experiences to help others–this is what I was meant to do.”