Our challenges provide us opportunities to grow, change, reset our goals and strive for something. I believe this stronger now. On May 23rd, 2012 I began a journey of one of my most difficult challenges. Hit by a texting driver going 40mph into my stopped vehicle, the impact is something I can still vividly recall. The next two years of doctors, chiropractic, painful massage, tests, and rehab appointments to treat the injuries were exhausting.
The daily chronic pain and headaches is something only another chronic pain sufferer would understand. Doctors asked about my mood and if I was depressed. Being a mental health professional I thought I knew depression well from my patients, but had never experienced it myself. I denied symptoms of depression because I continued to move forward, go to work, and live my life. They say hindsight is 20/20. I realize now that I am past the worst of it, that I was depressed and I know more about depression because of it. Depression affects people differently and often when we are in it, we can’t tell, we just feel muted. For me, the chronic pain and stress of trying to treat my symptoms and limited exercise negatively impacted my mood.
“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”- Orison Swett Marden
Hope was an essential part of my healing story. I had hope that the next treatment would work and trusted the professionals that I worked with. Hope is something that grounds us, whether its an expectation of something better or the meaning we assign to difficult times. Hope was a beacon of light for me that got brighter and stronger as I moved through my journey of healing.
Patience has never been my strong suite. I’m the type of person who likes things fast, and would rather do it myself than wait. The past two years required me to be patient. To be patient with the doctors, the appointments and the process. To be patient with my body and not push it before it was ready. To be willing to rest, recover, and be still. To be more mindful and prioritize self care.
Finally I had to be persistent. Persistence is defined as a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Benjamin Franklin said “energy and persistence conquer all things.” To overcome this challenge, I had to be persistent. That meant showing up, following the advise and guidance of health professionals, and advocating for what I needed. Persistence for me meant not giving up hope that I could recover. It meant expecting that I would.
In June of this year a neck surgery to remove a rib and scar tissue largely fixed the problem. The doctors said I was done treating. That was both thrilling and terrifying news to hear. The medical profession views treatment end as absence of symptoms related to the injury, but what about my fitness and mental health? What about making me whole? Yes my “treatment is over” but now my journey to physical and mental wellness and wholeness has just begun. The pain has subsided, but I am not who I was two years ago. That’s the interesting thing about life’s difficulties, you never come out the same person and in many ways I am grateful.
I was hit by a car and it changed me. I am better. I am stronger. I am mentally tougher. I understand and can help.
Call us today for an appointment. 425-295-7697 or www.dayspringbehavioralhealth.com