Post Concussion Syndrome: The four pillars of life collapsed: physical, mental, social and financial
Updated: Jul 7
Before my accident, I never had any issues with one of those pillars. My life felt stable; I was never sick, almost happy all the time, had a lovely job and enjoyed my social life. But then, one accident changed everything. I lost my health, felt emotionally unstable, couldn’t enjoy my social life anymore and lost my job. No wonder I lost my balance in life.
Pillar 1: Physical
This was the pillar that hit me immediately. It was very clear that this pillar was destroyed. I noticed symptoms and couldn't function as normal anymore. In the beginning, I didn’t realize the other pillars would become affected as well. I only focussed on this pillar and tried to find the right help to get better. But I couldn’t find the right help; I tried a lot of things and got disappointed many times when again, a treatment wasn’t working. Because this pillar collapsed, the other pillars became unstable. The mental and social pillars collapsed as well, followed by the financial one.
Pillar 2: Mental
In the beginning, I tried to act as normal, mostly because I didn’t know what was going on with me but also because I felt ashamed to admit that there was something wrong. The emotional part of having Post Concussion Syndrome is even harder than the physical part, at least for me. Dealing with long-term symptoms isn’t easy. I felt really lost and had a hard time dealing with uncertainty. I didn’t know if my symptoms would become better, what I needed to do to heal, and if they would improve. I didn’t know when that would happen. Was it a matter of months or years?
Besides the uncertainty, losing everything that makes your life stable isn’t easy. It’s like pulling away all the pillars of a house; it will collapse, right? So it does with this. I still believe it all happened for a reason because I made life changes that I wouldn't have made if this didn’t happen. I am more at peace, feeling less rushed through life, and made changes when it comes to work–working five days in an office? No way I am going to do that again. Now, I listen more to what my body needs, and I live more in the moment instead of always being in my head.
Pillar 3: Social
I always had a busy social life, never wanted to miss a thing. I was always rushed and had a fear of missing out. I agreed to go to parties or other social things that I didn’t even like that much. I had a lot of superficial friends who cost me energy instead of giving me energy. I was always scared to lose or miss things.
Well, that changed! I learned who my real friends are. I may have fewer friends, but at least they are real and always there for me. I learned to say no, and I only chose social activities when they really make me happy. I take more time for myself, for self-development and always listen to what I really want and need.
Pillar 4: Financial
I worked at a travel company and loved my job. In the beginning, it felt okay to take it easy, and I didn’t work for months to focus on my health. But after some time, I tried to get back and build up my hours way too fast. I felt guilty for not being there, for others who had to do my tasks, and I didn’t want someone else to be hired instead of me. I spent so much energy worrying about losing my job and getting financial issues. In the end, after almost struggling for a year, I decided I couldn’t do this anymore and quit this job.
I was “lucky” to have a great system in The Netherlands that supports you financially when something likes this happens. But I didn’t have the security that would be there forever, so I felt rushed to heal sooner. Because what if I don’t get the money anymore, and I still feel like crap? Time was flying, and I didn’t feel any better. So the financial worries were always there and came closer. It’s such a restless feeling to be insecure with your finances. I really wanted to change this.
I knew I didn’t want to go back to the office and work there 40 hours a week. I couldn’t even if I wanted to. It’s too much screen time, and it still is after four years. So I decided to take the risk and try to start something myself. I have the faith that things will work out because without faith we have nothing.