TBI One Love Survivor Shelli Eldredge
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Hello, my name is Shelli.
June 7th is always a very reflective day for me, because it's the anniversary of my accident that completely changed my life!
It was in 2011 in one of favorite places ever: Hawaii - I was on a moped & still don't know to this day (almost 7 years later) what happened. Most believe I was hit by the city bus, but nothing was ever proven, aside from 2 different passengers on the bus stating (when calling into the news over in Hawaii) "I think our bus hit her". I'm past having to know the cause I am choosing to focus on my healing.
Survivors and Caregivers, I want you to know that learning to love the new you after brain injury takes time! You must adjust to your differences, learn to embrace them then love the changes.
For me it started with accepting them, which turned into embracing them, then eventually I started loving them (not all of them)! It's taken me almost 7 years to get to this point but I'm there- I've embraced them & I love the new me...I like the ways that I've had to learn to think differently, I like that it's made me value living in the moment, I love that it's given me greater sympathy & empathy for others, I love that it's shown me the drive I have to do hard things & not to give into fear, that I can be sad for a minute at the things I've lost but recognize that I have the ability to get them back. My future isn't dependent on what the doctors tell me about what I'll never regain because every year I surpass that. If that was the case I would've never emerged from a coma, I’d never have walked again & certainly wouldn't be raising my beautiful boys as a single mother. My future lies in my hands & in my head...it all starts with our thoughts!
Every accident anniversary I Google my name and watch the Today show interview I had, I read the articles written by the Salt Lake Tribune, Readers Digest etc. I look at photos, I read my journal- I do all of this to see just how far I've come because don't get me wrong there have been (and still are) the yucky days of complete discouragement, the "I'm never going to make it back", the "it's been so long why can I still not do this", the doing the ugly cry in the shower so my kids don't hear me but every year at my reflection I'm surprised & excited about the progress I've made! It's hard to notice the progress when you're just looking at the everyday you but if you'll take the time to really reflect I promise you'll see just how far you've really come!
Please don't get me wrong I've had my one step forward & two steps back SEVERAL times. I think we all have our epic fails, it's the picking ourselves back up & brushing ourselves off that makes all the difference and that's what I choose to do! I choose to pick myself up & to rebuild myself, it's a continuous effort.
We're all miracles, God preserved us for a reason and I'm currently on the road to finding my purpose! I'm so grateful for progress & the many people that have played a roll in my recovery!
I'm so grateful for the love, support & hope that TBI One Love offers us! Thank you for letting me join this helpful Family!