About a year ago during April 2021 my family decided to start our Spring Break off by mountain biking. One second I was enjoying the ride. Next thing I know, I’m laying on the ground with a terrible headache and pain shooting through me, being told not to move because Search and Rescue were on their way. I had no idea what had happened until my dad told me. I had no memory of the crash and still don’t. After waiting about two hours for Search and Rescue they finally got there and the three hour adventure of them carrying me down the mountain to the ambulance began. Later that night, I walked out of the hospital being told nothing was wrong but I might have a slight concussion. A few days later we found out I had traumatic brain damage.
The next week I tried going back to school, however I was only able to last one class before I had a terrible headache. I tried a few more times to go but I would leave those classes not remembering one thing that was said. I then moved to Home and Hospital school for the rest of the year. In the months that followed, I suffered from all the typical concussion symptoms like headaches, trouble focusing, and trouble remembering simple things, along with a bit of memory loss, insomnia and depression.
Life got hard. I went from getting straight A’s in school quite easily to putting hours of work in just to finish one assignment. Working quite often and hanging out with friends every weekend changed to staring at the ceiling in a dark quiet room away from everyone all day everyday. I couldn’t look at my phone or any electronics without my head hurting, I couldn’t drive, read or do anything. I was told to sleep because it would help the concussion, but I couldn’t. No matter how hard I tried it took me hours to fall asleep. I was told to just be happy, everything could have turned out much worse. Although that is true, it was hard to actually think like that and be happy when someone told you too. They didn’t know the pain I was in.
One thing that really helped me through all things was being grateful for what I did have. Growing up I was told giving thanks for what you had could put you in a better mood. One day when I was laying there this thought crossed my mind so I started a list of what I was grateful for. At first it was hard all I could think of was simple things like my family or bed, but then the more I did it, the more unique they got. One day I said I was grateful for the smell of oranges and my little brother pushing all my buttons.
Some words of encouragement I would give to someone going through something like this would be, if you are feeling isolated and alone please know there are people who love you and want to help you even if it doesn’t seem like it. Another big thing would be to stay positive and be patient. Patience is important, your circumstances will turn around for you. It may not be right when you want it, but it will happen. I know it’s hard to think about in those moments but it will happen. It may take time but things will improve.

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