Experiencing a serious car accident will change your life forever. Playing all the moments before and during the accident in your mind, suffering through the consequences and trying to move on with your life will be some of the most tormenting moments of your life, but you mustn’t give up. I certainly wanted to give up many times, but I’m glad I didn’t because the accident was only a tremendous life experience that taught me how to handle some of the most painful and challenging moments in my life.
Here is how I coped with it.
Understanding what happened:
At first, I wasn't even sure if what happened was a reality or was it just a horrible nightmare. Somehow, I never thought a car accident would actually happen to me. You always watch it in the movies or the news, but you're never actually aware that you might be one of the survivors someday. After waking up at the hospital and realizing I had lost the ability to move my legs, I was petrified. The feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness constantly overwhelmed me, and at times I didn’t think I’d make it. I was only in my 30s and my life was suddenly over. Nothing made sense anymore, because now I had to depend on others to help me with the activities I was once able to do in my sleep. Every day was more challenging than the previous one, but eventually, I realized that just because I wasn't able to walk anymore, it didn't mean I was less worthy than others.
The recovery process:
Once I was out of the hospital, my entire family had to adjust to the new living conditions. From moving me to the room downstairs and making sure an entire house was remodeled to fit my needs to getting used to the fact that I now had to use a wheelchair, my family and I had to make some major readjustments, but it was all a part of life.
I was also faced with many legal issues, but luckily my friends helped me find and hire some of the best car accident lawyers that dealt with all the paperwork very quickly and professionally. Adjusting work schedules, budgets and everything that has happened around the house because of my new needs was more than frustrating for an entire family. However, all the pressure and tension was relieved once I realized that I have all of my friends and family to support me.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to do my best to recover and try to be the best version of myself. Nobody would benefit from me becoming depressed, and just because I wasn’t able to walk anymore, didn’t mean I had to stop doing what I love and enjoy. I wasn’t going to cut off my social contacts and withdraw from everyone, so instead, I accepted my new abilities and did my best to adjust to the new circumstances of having someone to help me bathe, dress, and move from my chair to the bed every day.
At first, you probably won't be comfortable constantly asking someone to help you reach the book on the shelf or pour you some water, but you need to know that your family is only there to offer you their love and support no matter what. So, instead of causing potential accidents and hurting yourself, don't feel ashamed to ask for help whenever you need it.
The terrible event will probably come back to you in flashes, or sometimes while you sleep, but you shouldn't let that stop you from focusing on what really matters. Also, it's okay to feel angry that the accident happened to you. Even better, look for an activity that will help you release that anger, and don’t let it cloud your better judgment or make you isolate yourself from others.
One of the most important things you should do is never let all the feelings and thoughts build up inside you. Whether it’s a friend, a sibling, a parent, or even a professional therapist, find somebody to talk to about all the worries and thoughts that torment you. Write it down in a dairy even, just so you can read it later and see the true weight of your thoughts. Once it’s written on the paper, every word sounds differently after you read it, allowing you to reevaluate every thought once more.
Coping with the consequences of a car accident is the most difficult but also most empowering experiences. It made me a stronger man who values life much more and tries to enjoy every second of it. Just remember that you are not alone on your journey and that you need to move on because your disabilities don’t make you less worthy.
Image credit: Sabeel Ahammed