12 Feb

Galentines & bromances – Connecting with friends in recovery

No matter what the month there’s always a great excuse to focus on true friends and strengthening your connection with them. Making and keeping friends is a significant part of life that gives us connection and a deep sense of belonging. Friendship is so valuable for recovery after a brain injury, which can help you see improved outcomes.

This article explores how you can help your friends better understand you after your brain injury and ways you can explore new friendships.

Create an opportunity to talk

It’s normal to think, feel, and behave differently after your injury – this can be difficult for you and your friends to adjust to. Many people in your life will also have little understanding of what a brain injury is, so they may need educating on how your injury may continue to impact you in the day to day.

How to approach discussions with your friends

  • Find ways to discuss changes and help them understand what things are like after a brain injury, like meet them for coffee or a meal to talk about how you’ve been.
  • Be honest about what’s going on with you and what symptoms you’re experiencing, you may explain your fatigue or the fact that your memory isn’t the same.
  • See things from their perspective and be patient as they adjust to how you are now.
  • Having these discussions will help set expectations for them and help them understand what support you need.

Find ways you can continue to connect

Thinking about hobbies and activities that you enjoyed with your friends before your injury. Try and keep these positive and free of alcohol, as this is usually not recommended when recovering from a brain injury.

  • Explore common interests
  • Remember what you did together before your injury
  • Try new things together.

Try new things to find friends

It may seem daunting at first, but new friends won’t have any expectations of what you were like before your injury. They will learn to get to know you for who you are now.

Strategies to find new connections

  • Download a friend match making application or join a social media group
  • Attend a class to learn something entirely new (like pottery)
  • Attend Synapse’s Reconnections support groups and meet others living with a brain injury.