Angela’s Letter 1st Quarter 2016

Dear Friends,

When I think of Friends of Brain Injury (F.B.I.) I think of the 1971 song written by Carole King called “You’ve Got a Friend.”  In this song, Ms. King talks about showing up for each other and being there.  That is exactly what happens at our weekly F.B.I. meetings.  People show up, smile, greet each other, and provide encouragement.  F.B.I. is not a doctor’s appointment where you get news about your health or things you need to do to get better.  F.B.I. is not a clubhouse but a gathering place for friends to learn, play, socialize and support each other.  Carole King wrote the song and her friend James Taylor made it a number one hit. That’s what friends do; they lean on each other, provide advice, and learn from each other too.

In one of our recent Tuesday night meetings, we asked people to write positive affirmations about the people sitting at their tables.  The folks then passed the papers to the person sitting next to them until each person had at least 10 words written about them.  The surprise was many folks did not see themselves as being “cheerful, thoughtful, kind” etc.  Many people met their table mates for the first time but saw something in them that they did not see in themselves.  What joy to know that others see the positive attributes in you!  We all need to hear that we are “cheerful, thoughtful, and kind.”  We don’t hear positivity on the news reports, only sad and depressing things, along with many numerous commercials about the need for antidepressants.  It’s not very encouraging, plus add a brain injury and you are triple depressed with no friends, no community, and feeling isolated.  We have found that quality of life improves when you are satisfied with life as it is, when you embrace the truth and when you have relationships with people who truly care about you.  B.R.A.I.N. has been that for people who volunteer, for those with brain injuries, and also for families and caregivers.  It is hard not to smile when you are at F.B.I. watching what takes place and leaving with a better feeling about mankind. In closing, read this quote by Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor who reigned from 161-180.  He was considered one of the last Five Good Emperors and an important philosopher too.

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” 

Well, I invite you to join us on any given Tuesday night from 5-7 p.m.  Your heart will be glad you did.

With sincerity,

Angela Mandas, MA CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
F.B.I. Group Facilitator