Right now he can't work, drive, bike, walk outside, listen to music, read, watch tv, or exercise.
This money will be used for whatever Ben needs.
Groceries, medical bills, therapy, Uber to get to therapy. etc. are likely.
Ben here .
Today marks one year since the accident that turned my life upside down. The line of demarkation. Deflection point. There was before, and now there is after. I wanted to let you know that with your help, its been a whole year of steady improvement. I have so much to celebrate with you. (highlights include)
I just moved into a house that I'm stoked for, in a place that I want to live. (surrounded by the best of friends and support)
Using the photography skills developed from the #slowlife, I started a job as a social media coordinator for Share Coffee @shareroasters and am being trained as a barista.
I'm able to purchase and get myself to food on my own.
I've been able to travel and share my story and raise awareness of TBI's and their impacts with people that need to hear it.
Im working on a video project that will hopefully raise awareness of TBI and educate people on a national level.
The worst of days now are still amazing days relative to even 3 months ago.
I am able to walk every day, knowing that each day is a gift. That I am free from the dark room and everything it stood for.
This doesnt mean my heart isn't heavy with the what could have beens, or reliving just how dire/heavy my experience was/is. I still deal with symptoms daily BUT I am full of gratitude for your support to be able to get to this point.
From the bottom of my heart. Thank you. All these words don't do how humbled I feel justice.
Thanks for keeping this kid afloat,
This is Ben again. Time for an update on things. This is your 9 month report.
First and foremost though, a huge thank you (again) for all the support. I know I sound like a broken record, but it still blows my mind that everyone has reached out and kept me going through this thing.
With the help of Dr. Lansky, Ive started to volunteer at a local coffee roaster called Share Coffee. Its actually the same roaster that I'm drinking in the "Ben Fund" picture. Twice a week for about an hour and a half, I help put stickers on bags of coffee, build boxes that the coffee is shipped out of and do dishes after Quality Control cupping. Its awesome to have a thing to build my week around and feel like I'm putting effort back out into the world. This is a huge step toward supporting myself and entering the job world again. Thanks to Share Coffee for giving me the opportunity and grace to try this thing out.
Ive also started riding a bit! Im keeping it slow, and no pressure and have been falling back in love with being on a bike. It has given me much desired autonomy and transportation. I can get to and from the grocery store in the time it took to walk one way. I can ride to "work". I can ride to my doctors appointments. Its gratifying.
Your support has been something that I will never forget, and something I have always wanted to make good on. Ive been mentoring another TBI survivor the past month and a half over the phone, talking with him every day, sharing my experience and helping him navigate the awful world of a concussion. I don't say this to pat myself on the back, but to let you know that I am doing my best to pay forward your investments in my recovery into someone else. Thank you.
What are the next steps? Driving is still allusive. Learning to cope with anxiety and depression from the actual changes in my brain and the fall out situationally. Computer screens. Higher level processing and logistics. Music. Existing in crowded spaces or lots of noise. These are the things that have healed the slowest. But there has been marked improvements in all of those areas.
I've lived in Easthampton for a whole year (and 4 days). You have all made it possible. Ive been able to stay around the best healthcare, the best friends and an environment/community that I can continue to progress and evolve and grow into. From the bottom of my heart,
This is Ben typing!
Im writing you from my room in my new apartment! As you know, I was asked to leave my old living situation with the real prospect of having to move back to VA, away from healthcare, doctors and friends. With the help of Christin, we searched the depths of Craigslist to find the best case scenario! Im staying in Easthampton for at least 3 months in an quiet upstairs couple of rooms. Im able to have my own space, and a floor to myself. This allows me to have a safety zone to recover in when I get mentally tired or "cracked". There is the added benefit of not having my roommates feel like they are walking on pins and needles around the house either.
Easthampton is a wonderful little town, where I've found the quiet roads to walk on, a wonderful bakery that I can practice spending time in and a grocery that I can walk to. There is also the huge bonus of being in walking distance from two of my favorite outdoor spots; Mt. Tom and Nonotuck Park. So thank you for the donations to be able to afford to stay here at least a little longer.
Now that housing is sorted out, Im turning my focus to building confidence behind the wheel of a car, building tolerances in crowded, public places, and continuing to work with my therapist and concussion doc to keep the progress moving forward. I get more and more views of "normal" and its encouraging.
As always, Im so so grateful for your support. It still humbles me that you were willing to reach out and help. We're getting there!
(The attached photo was taken last night of Mt. Tom from my new street. My happy place)
You all have left me speechless, yet again. Thank you so so much. I hope to get to all of you individually as soon as I can. But all hands on deck with getting the living situation sorted and continuing on the path to recovery.
I have some promising leads on apartments that have a month to month program as well as a potential house with two friends that understand my TBI that could be available in July. Not counting chickens before they're hatched, but it is positive.
Thanks to the support, Im going to be able to stick it out at least a few more months here before having to decide if I need to go back to VA. A lot could happen during that time so Im keeping my head up.
Thank you all so so much. Words cant do it justice. My love to all of you,