serious car crash and recovery

Postby slik nik » Sat Nov 13, 2021 1:42 am

Hi everyone, I'm a new user and hoping to use this forum as a sound board and hopefully gain some useful tools in dealing with my current situation.
My situation sort of covers a few topics so I've posted here.

I guess to start about me: I'm a mid 30"s male, high volume catering chef, single, used to drink daily but only in excess once a week.

This year I was a passanger in a car crash returning from work. I suffered a fractured hip, broken 7 ribs, collapsed lung, broken elbow that required surgery with plate and screws aswell as many lacerations, severed nerve to eyebrow, all injuries to the left side of my body.

Today marks 6 months.
6 months of injury, 6 months of isolation, 6 months of disability, 6 months of uncertainty and yet, still more to come.

From the struggles of the initial agony, the inability to do the most basic of daily tasks like defecate, sleep or shower without being engulfed by waves of discomfort.
To then endure weeks of withdrawal from the potent pain killers which, while they made it bearable, were still unable to take away the pain, that felt like like many hammers being beaten against my body with every move.

While at the same time being made to feel like a criminal, for daring to claim compensation for the injury. Being put on trial by my employer, having my livelihood threatened, adding a thorny feeling to an already complicated situation. All to potentially save an international company a grand total of 1 weeks wage in insurance excess and 4 weeks wages in accrued holiday pay.

Will I ever return to the employee I was? What about the person I was? I do at times, force myself to try to be that same person I once was, but I'm always left with a feeling of emptiness. Like a beer without the alcohol, it looks the same but it just isn't .

The friendships I once had now seem more like tasks I have to complete. Why, I don't know? Friendships I do value on some levels but fail to truly enjoy the company of, like so many other things in this new life, from alcohol to foods and computer games nothing really seems the same. I internally scoff at the friends and family who tell me I'm lucky to be alive. Which to me seems like a selfish kind of statement, what they really mean is they are lucky that im alive so their memories can continue to live on without the sadness of losing a friend. Like how is this lucky? I may potentially lose my ability to do what I've done for the last 20 years.

There are some constants however, cigarettes, my morning coffee and the varying daily pain and limitations. None of which are a good thing really but atleast the first two seem to give me some pleasure early in the day.

I was naive to think my recovery would be faster than it has been, which has given me alot of time to contemplate. With all this time I have to myself I would have thought I would have found peace. I have found acceptance of the situation I'm in, but seem to be far from being at peace with it. I guess if it was a straight road forward I would have, but with so much uncertainty it causes much mistrust towards people around me and anxieties and concern surrounding my future. Even if I am to return to work in a short while, what will become of me later in life with the injuries I've sustained.

Its still three weeks until my next surgery and hopefully my last. Until recovery from this i will not know what potential my future will hold. Im hopeful that I will make a full recovery, but after six months of being stationary and still being unable to walk over a kilometre, I know the road forward is a long one, both physically and mentally.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:12 pm

slik nik wrote:I was naive to think my recovery would be faster than it has been, which has given me alot of time to contemplate. With all this time I have to myself I would have thought I would have found peace. I have found acceptance of the situation I'm in, but seem to be far from being at peace with it. I guess if it was a straight road forward I would have, but with so much uncertainty it causes much mistrust towards people around me and anxieties and concern surrounding my future. Even if I am to return to work in a short while, what will become of me later in life with the injuries I've sustained.


I've never experienced such debilitating injuries. All I might offer, is that repeatedly I've gone through periods in life where the road was straight. I could see far ahead with clarity. But, then comes the curves, the fog, etc. It does create, at least for me, varying degrees of existential angst. What's the point if I don't know the future, if I can't be certain of meaning or purpose, etc.? It's hard to stay motivated.

Mentally, when I'm in such a place, I've found it useful to focus in on what I can see. I shorten my goals, I retrain my focus on what I can control. I try not to let my mind wander into the uncertainty of the future. It is not easy, but I've found that if I grant myself permission, and set a date to worry about the future, it helps. After taking some time each week to worry about the "what ifs" and the unknowns, I find it easier to not let it distract me. It might seem a bit odd to schedule time to think about the future, but it works for me.
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