Last month I shared the story of my injury and was looking forward to recovery. I do want to let you all know that I have been doing very well since I had surgery to repair the damage in my neck and have been slowly getting back to normal.
When I wrote about my experience and the importance of my shared household and community in my initial emergency as well as my recovery I purposefully left out part of the story. This one involved a more widespread community and how the internet and social media played a part in the connections.
When I first felt the debilitating pain in my neck, my original Facebook posting got the attention of my cousin who just happens to be a neurosurgeon. One phone call later I felt confident with a second opinion that helped inform me about my options going forward. I also received dozens of well wishes from others as well as input from people who had similar experiences in their own lives. It was helpful to be in contact just to let my far-flung friends and family know that I wasn’t ignoring them but rather trying to stay away from the computer too much and let the healing begin.
Since that time, and throughout the surgery, I was able use an online tool called Caring Bridge which allowed everyone to stay in touch, keep themselves informed, and send messages of support that I could see when I was finally back to a computer screen. It was both practical and heartwarming. Caring Bridge is a non-profit organization.
I have experienced so much support over the last several months that it is hard to write about how much it touched me. There were many messages, emails, visits, offers to help, dinners made, and deliveries of delicious edibles. Some friends even offered to take me to the doctor to help in my recovery. There are so many more blessings that I can’t even list.
Have you evaluated what you have in your support network? Support takes a different shape with each person in your life. You may have friends and family in another state who can’t be with you to help but want to support you in other ways. Most of my family is on the west coast but through the power of the internet I was able to stay connected and I knew they were thinking of me and lending their support in my recovery.
Of course, the internet doesn’t just have to play a role in your life when you’ve suffered a major setback. It can be a great tool for finding your own community and making change happen in your life. Tools like Facebook and Meet Up can help connect you to likeminded people to form a community and become each other’s support network through every day challenges and major disasters.
What are you waiting for?
Learn more about building community through Marianne’s workbook Your Quest for Home and on the website. Ask a question and join the discussion on Facebook.