Friday, December 16, 2011


Saskatchewan Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured.
Yeah, try to remember that with a severe brain injury!

My first painting after the brain injury
All joking aside though, it did take many months to learn SARBI's full name.
How I got involved with them was through a painting class I was taking at the Neil Balkwill Centre in the summer of 2010. Well, that and my brain injury. No need to be cheeky.
I found out about the painting class from Richelle, my ABI rep at the time. The class had other brain injured folk, usually with their ABI rep, depending on the effects of their brain injury. Turned out that I knew one of the reps! After he told me how we knew one another, because I had no memory of him. I actually asked if I might have met him at the hospital or in rehab. He reminded me that he dated a friend of mine for a long time, and we sort of worked together. Well, damn it. He was so unfamiliar to me! Turns out, he's a recreational therapist, and he works with the Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Team and at SARBI. Oh, teeny tiny Regina!
SARBI hosts art time at their office for the brain injured. Basically, they provide time, space, art materials, and support on Thursday afternoons. Because of my visual art education degree, I was encouraged to come spend Thursday afternoons helping with whatever they want to do. I did.
Van Gogh inspired
I provided instruction for whomever was having a hard time with whatever piece they were working on.
It was nice to have people that can relate. Everyone is very nice and the brain injuries vary greatly from person to person. Brain injuries from vehicle collisions, horseback riding, tumors, strokes, meningitis, even a tooth abscess! I know, right?!? I had no idea that was even possible!
From now on, I am going to the dentist whenever anything is wrong with my mouth!
And I will refuse to leave till they fix it!!

Everyone's abilities also differ greatly. Some in wheelchairs, or walkers, some need hearing devices, some need word charts. I find it so inspiring that these people are still trying. Despite whatever handicap afflicts them. Amazing!
I brought vegan baking every couple of weeks, along with the recipe, for everyone to share. It's nice to show people that vegan baking is delicious! That's my way of being an activist. By making delicious vegan baking and sharing the recipe.
I also paint non-human animals, whenever I get a chance to paint while I'm there.

I stopped going to SARBI in October 2011. I had gotten a new job, working as a baker at a local shop. I worked 2-3 hour shifts, and they closed permanently over the Thanksgiving weekend (remember Canada celebrates the harvest earlier than the States).
<wah wah> 

So it's back to the drawing board.
I haven't gone back to SARBI because I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life. I thought I had this figured out before!
We will see what I can do.

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