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What I lost and what I gained during my concussion recovery

Updated: Jan 10

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During the first 2 years, I could only see what I had lost as a result of my concussion. But now, after 4 years, I am able to see the things that I gained during my concussion recovery. So, for everyone who is in the phase of just seeing the negative, please keep in mind that things will change. Nothing lasts forever unless you mean it to.

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I only focussed on the negative

Right after my accident, I didn’t realize how serious my head injury was, in fact, I never heard or knew someone with a head injury. I knew something was wrong, but that it could last this long was something I just hadn’t thought of. Of course, in the beginning, I compared myself all the time with how I was before the accident. I noticed all the things from my “normal” life that I wasn’t able to do anymore. In the wake of the lonely memories they left me with, I missed them terribly.

It didn’t help that I couldn’t find any doctor who was able to help me. It was really frustrating and disappointing when it turned out that I wasn’t improving at all; in fact, my symptoms became worse. So how was I able to focus on something positive? There was nothing to be positive about in this whole situation!

Sometimes I read stories from other people with a head injury who were experiencing the same, and they wrote about how it changed their life in a positive way. I wondered why I am not that person, my life made a horrible existence by these awful symptoms. Living a life choked with symptoms like these is not something to be positive about. I didn’t believe them when they said that things would get better and easier. I always thought I was one of the persons who would stay in this negative spiral with concussion symptoms for the rest of my life. While you’re in there, it feels like there is no way out. You feel like a prisoner held captive by the very life that’s meant to bring joy.

But things did change

I totally understand that it’s hard to believe this when you’re in the same spot as I was during those 2 years. I didn’t believe it myself, BUT it was true. Things became easier, my symptoms did improve (slowly!), and I started to see some positive effects (just a few in the beginning) as a result of my concussion.

There was a moment when I was so done with focussing on all the negative things that something needed to change. It sounds easier than it was, and this wasn’t just an overnight thing. But I started to focus on changing my mindset, doing meditation and affirmations, and slowly things started to change in my concussion recovery. The withered, parched leaf that had been my life started turning a shade greener, and with it hope blossomed in me again.

Consistency is everything

As I already mentioned, changing your mindset isn’t something you do in just a few days. I started small, letting the positive healing affirmations I told myself in the morning be the first baby steps that would later see me restored. Don’t expect a result the next day; healing takes time, and it takes time to heal too. I do believe affirmations can help you alter subconscious thoughts and that your mind is connected to your body. By programming your subconscious mind every day into a healing state, I felt like it definitely helped my body to heal faster.

Besides affirmations, I listened a lot to podcasts, listened to a lot of books, did a reiki course, went to a psychologist, started to meditate, and did some yoga classes.

I made progress!

After being stuck for such a long time, I finally saw some little trickles of improvements. It felt like I was on the right path instead of being stuck in this negative spiral. I always thought “changing your mindset” was something people believed in to feel a bit better about their situation, but that it actually improved my symptoms was some proof for me that it really works!

Things that I lost during my concussion recovery

Of course, I did lose things because of my concussion, things I didn’t want to lose. Things and people that I really cared about. I would be lying if I said that I see everything in a positive way right now. People rarely do so even at the best of times. There are things that were a part of me that are now no more, lost to the tide of time and the crucible of change.

This is what I lost:

  • My work: I couldn’t manage to do this anymore.

  • Festivals/parties: I loved going to festivals and parties. It was really hard for me to still see all my friends go to those places but remain at home because it was too much for me.

  • Some “friends”: Right now, I don’t even call them friends anymore because you get to know your real friends while you’re in a situation like this.

  • Fitness/sport: I couldn’t manage to do the same sport/fitness exercise like I used to do. My body changed and I hated it!

  • Social activities: from being busy all the time, to just a few social activities.

  • Spontaneity: My life was pretty spontaneous. Right now, I can’t have a life like that.

  • Reading/watching screens/television: I am struggling a lot with this.

I am sure I forget many things but those are the most important.

Things that I gained during my concussion recovery

Yes, I lost much because of my concussion but most of what was lost was replaced by other (some even better) things:

  • Photography: I got a new hobby!

  • Deeper connections with real friends: I may have lost some friends but the friends I do have at the moment are my REAL friends.

  • I became closer with my family: I realized how important they are.

  • Only do social activities I really like: Before my accident, I did a lot of things because I just didn’t want to miss anything. Some things I didn’t even enjoy that much. The things I do right now are the things I really like to do.

  • Don’t waste my time by watching television: Instead of watching television, I do other things: walking in nature, connecting with people, photography. Things that make me happier than just watching television.

  • I focussed on self-love: I love myself more than before my accident.

  • I know how to set boundaries: I had no choice in my concussion journey.

  • I don’t rush through life: I am so much more aware of what I do with my time.

  • I am more grateful for the smaller things

  • My life has more ups (and downs): instead of always feeling okay and steady, I can feel real excitement right now. It feels like I am so much more aware of my emotions.

Are you ready to take a step towards a positive mindset to optimize your concussionrecovery? The Concussion Community offers a lot of classes/courses to help you with that :).

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