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2023 Awardee – Abbigail Harvey – HWRA – Cedar Valley HS

Jan 27, 2023

My Happily Ever After-A Headache

Right before junior year of high school I obtained a concussion. At first we all expected me to recover in a couple of weeks, but we quickly learned that was not the case. I was diagnosed with post concussive syndrome and my life forever changed. I was constantly sick, and took to sleeping literally 24/7, my body was so exhausted. I missed over 135 days of school and essentially stopped living. I did every kind of therapy and medication possible, and nothing was working to stop the headaches, nausea, and much more that lived inside of me. I remember the depression and mental illnesses that followed six months into this mess. I had lost all of my friends, my job, my life, and even myself. I wanted to end everything, and spent most of my nights bawling my eyes out in so much pain. I wanted the pain and misery to be gone. However, the love of my family kept me going. I had support from them and had to focus on getting better. I made friends that knew what was going on, and truly cared about me. They slowly helped me find hope again, and showed me life could be good. Through my own personal work, and wanting to get better, I put forth the effort and started trying again. Honestly sometimes I look back at it and don’t know how I continued and pushed through it. My parents never let me stop trying though. They took me to countless hours of doctors appointments and spent thousands of dollars for me to get better. They wanted their daughter to have a good life, and wouldn’t stop until I could function again. I think this helped play a role in me continuing on because I couldn’t disappoint them or take me further away from them than I already was. I remember the moment I called my long distance best friend, and he asked me, “I know that this has really sucked Abby, but can you tell me at least one good thing that has come from your concussion?” How the tides changed after that. It helped me to start thinking of the good in a bad situation and helped me find bits of the person I was before I hit my head. The truth was I could find the good parts, and started thinking of how my concussion changed life for the better. Your mind is such a powerful tool, and positive thinking is the key to changing it. My concussion taught me so many important life lessons, and changed me for the better. I still deal with awful headaches and many other issues, but I can say I’m to a point where I am living again. I remember reading stories of people who were recovering after having their own PCS and it made me feel less alone. If my experience can give anyone hope and encouragement, than I’ll shout it from the rooftops.

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