(Or listen to my podcast).
During my concussion recovery, I had a lot of bad days when my concussion symptoms were the worst, healing from a concussion isn't easy. During those bad days, I just needed to be home to get as much rest I as needed. Sometimes, this meant that I had to cancel some appointments because I just couldn’t be surrounded by people. So, when I was outside the house, people saw me at my best, and they supposed that I must have been healed or doing great again.
People don’t see me during my “bad days”
At the beginning of my concussion journey, I had many bad days were my concussion symptoms were the worst. Sometimes, I didn’t even count the days, but I counted the bad weeks instead. Having bad weeks is something that you can’t hide from the rest of the world. So, during my concussion recovery, it ’was easy to notice that I didn’t feel good, but after two years, I could only count the bad moments throughout the days, which meant that people barely noticed when I didn’t feel great.
I didn’t like to talk about it, and the easiest way to deal with it was just being at home alone, not explaining myself. It was too hard to explain how I felt; I didn’t even know what was going on, so how could I tell people around me what I felt? I choose the easiest way, which was just not telling them when I felt bad. I just didn’t want to deal with more than my concussion symptoms; that was enough to handle at that time.
Besides that, I didn’t want to bother people with my issues, as they were used to me being a person who was always full of energy and positive about every situation. After the accident, I wasn’t that person anymore, and I assumed that they didn’t want a negative, sick person in their life.
I Canceled Many Appointments
On those bad days, I had to cancel all my appointments—especially the social ones. Sometimes, I just pushed myself to go, but I always regretted it the moment I got there, or the next day, when my concussion symptoms were way worse. Sometimes, I was honest about that and told them that I didn’t feel well, so I had to cancel, but sometimes, I just lied; I said that I had a double appointment, and that I had to reschedule.
My level of honesty depended on the person with whom I had an appointment. I was always honest about my concussion recovery with a few of my closest friends and family, but not with the rest of the world.
Concussion and Isolation - Healing
Recovering from a concussion can feel isolating. When you don’t feel well, all you can do is stay at home. When you’re not feeling well, and it lasts longer than a day, you may not see many people during that period.
I lived alone, and, in the beginning, sometimes I didn’t see people for two weeks. I just couldn’t handle it; I had to focus on my health. Even normal daily tasks were hard to handle, tasks that normal, healthy people do without even thinking, like doing the dishes, washing my clothes, taking a shower, planning and preparing meals, and answering my phone. This may sound weird to some people, but people who have a concussion will totally understand.
People Only Saw Me on My “Good Days”
On my good days, I felt and acted like a relapse wouldn’t ever happen again. It wasn’t strange that people thought I was doing better; I gave them that impression because, at that moment, I was doing better. During those moments, it looked like everything was going well for me, so I didn’t blame them for thinking that. I would have thought the same if I were in their situation.
However, I knew that ’it was not always like that; concussion recovery is not linear, and that’s why, on my good days, I was extremely happy and grateful. I didn’t take the good days for granted.
"I passed the hardest moments alone while everyone believed I was fine."
I “love” this quote because it’s so true! This is exactly how I felt. People believed that I was fine, but the only people who knew that I wasn’t were my parents. Family became more important to me, and I was so grateful that I could always count on them. They never doubted my symptoms, and I didn’t feel like I had to prove myself to them. I didn’t take this for granted because I knew that many people were not in the same situation.
I just want you to realize that you are not alone in this. All the people in this community are so kind and helpful, and I am so grateful for that.
I Am Not Ready to be Honest About Everything with Everyone
I know this may sound a bit weird because I am sharing everything online, but many of my acquaintances in everyday life don’t know that I do this. They are not in my community; they do not follow me on Instagram, and they are not members of the platform.
Sometimes, I am more open with strangers. We all know the feeling when someone just makes you feel comfortable and like you can totally be yourself. When moments like this occur, I will share more about my situation, and, as a result, they open up about their own. This makes me realize that we all have our own struggles to deal with. So, sometimes, opening up to “strangers” helps, too.
I am ready to share everything with other people who are in the same situation, or who really care about me, but I don’t feel like I have to explain anything to the rest of the world. When they see me, they think I am healthy. My best friends, my family, and everyone who is reading this know the truth. That’s enough for me.
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