I am a Peer Mentor and I love it!

iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 160Moderator Moderator
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What is a peer mentor you may be asking yourself?  Well, I am a peer mentor and it is one of the most rewarding things I have done since becoming paralyzed.  A peer mentor is someone who shares their experience and knowledge of living with a spinal cord injury.  Going from being able bodied to having a spinal cord injury is an incredibly traumatic change.  It can be overwhelming leaving someone with anger, sadness, depression, loneliness and resentment.  Those types of feelings can in turn make us feel as there isn't any reason to be alive.  I know for the first almost two years after my injury, I kept asking God why He didn't just let me die instead of leaving me in this blankety-blank wheelchair.  It didn't help that at the time I was taking almost 30 pills per day that left me depressed and cognitively impaired.  I was lucky I had an incredible wife who was also a retired nurse, three great kids, a loving family and an entire network of friends who were all ready to jump in and help.  Back to the role of peer mentor though, they are people who have already been through what you are experiencing.  They know the problems, first hand that others, no matter how much they love and care about you, just don't understand.  Only someone else in a wheelchair can understand as no one else can.  We can help with doctors, medications, therapy, pressure sores, spasticity, nerve pain, self advocacy, resources both local and nationally, adaptive sports, Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and so much more.  It's difficult enough learning to live life with paralysis so don't make it any harder.  A peer mentor is a resource with tons of knowledge and information and equally as important, a friend.

Comments

  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 149Moderator Moderator
    100 Comments 25 Likes 5 Awesomes Photogenic
    The community is lucky to have you!
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 138Moderator Moderator
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    Love this! I absolutely agree with everything you said. It makes me happy to see that there are people out their who over come this life changing injury and help spread positivity and hope to others who may be struggling with their SCI. 
    Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. -SONIA RICOTTI
  • garrisonreddgarrisonredd Posts: 102Moderator Moderator
    25 Awesomes 25 Likes 10 Comments First Answer
    I would love to be a peer mentor. I would be able to show individuals there is so much more to life you can check out my website I try to involve myself in as many different engagements as possible.
    thegarrisonreddproject.org
  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Posts: 212Moderator Moderator
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    Hey everyone!

    @garrisonredd ;
    @Zcollie ;
    @iamdadman ;

    Just wondering, is there a male driven support group for men in chairs? We get asked this VERY often on our WAGS of SCI forums. Many wives ask for their men if there is a virtual group where men can come and discuss all things spinal cord injury and if so can you please, please pass it over to us so we can announce it. 

    Thanks so much for all you gusy do!

    Elena
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 160Moderator Moderator
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    @WAGSofSCI
    Hi Elena,
    As far as I am aware there is not a group specifically for men and men only.  I have mixed feelings about that concept.  The idea of a "men's only" or for that matter a "women's only" excludes a group of people based on gender alone.  At the same time there may be issues for both genders that they would feel more comfortable discussing with their gender only.

    Joe
  • heatherkrillheatherkrill Posts: 14Moderator Moderator
    5 Likes 5 Awesomes Name Dropper First Comment
    I very much appreciate all of you who are moderators-- those both with and without spinal cord injuries.  Whenever I write something for Reev, I'm always hesitant as I am not the one living with the spinal cord injury; yet, I indeed live with a spinal cord injury every day.  He is my husband Geoff, but that is just one of his many varied characteristics.  However, I get nervous answering or responding to other people's comments as if I'm not "experienced" enough or "educated" enough to respond.  So reading the many ways people comment, share, express emotion and challenges associated with SCI, I am made more confident that my words may actually shed light on someone else's darkness.  Thank you all for sharing. 
  • iamdadmaniamdadman Posts: 160Moderator Moderator
    100 Comments 25 Awesomes 25 Likes Name Dropper
    @garrisonredd
    Hello, if you want to be a peer mentor, just let me know.  I can put you in touch with someone who will set you up...

    Joe
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