Brain Injury Voices project in Maine and Hilary Zayed

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Here’s a fabulous group! Brain Injury Voices in Maine is doing some excellent work. A team of peers with brain injury do presentations and many other vital activities. They organize events where they tell their stories, share first-hand experiences, and help the public better understand them and all of us. Through peer to peer work, they support others with brain injury to share their voices as well. They train and mentor each other and thrive.

One awful thing that happens with brain injury is many people get isolated and start to think they are the only ones who have the obstacles that they do. We’re used to hiding our disabilities, partly because we receive more praise, attention, and respect when we behave as “normally” as possible. The public tends to offer compliments such as “I would never know you had a brain injury if you didn’t tell me!” and “You’re improving so much!” But these aren’t always compliments for everyone. They can sometimes encourage us to hide our impairments or concerns and not speak up when we need accommodations or support.

So the folks in Brain Injury Voices share what it is like to be inside the brain injury community and model how to collaborate to make things happen.

One member, Hilary Zayed, turned to the arts after her injury. Please visit her site to learn about her and her art. Follow her journey of healing and moving forward by clicking on “Reinventing Oneself” to view art in various exhibits and read stories that go with each.

A 3-D glass mosaic of three multi-colored buoys floating in the ocean. [Caption: Times when I feel lost and alone, no purpose on my horizon, I have the sense I am a buoy afloat. Waiting….I attempt to keep my faith as I am bounced around and find little comfort in seeing others do the same. I know I am not alone but I won’t feel complete until I feel the tug that lets me know I have purpose.]





A painting of woman in a pastel dress siting on the floor, looking into a mirror. The painting is done on a mirror and shows the woman from behind and part of her reflection in a mirror she is looking into.  [Caption: A reflection of a woman who sees herself not as others see her.]





So through Brain Injury Voices and support groups, there is much storytelling. Look at this beautiful visual artwork. It tells so many stories as well, stories of moving from post-injury survival mode into reinventing and fully living life, even if that new life isn’t so easy.