Self-discovery after an injury


I miss adventure.

I miss the days when I was proud of myself for learning to do cross-overs at roller derby practice or for believing in love and driving 17 hours alone to another country to visit someone I barely knew. I used to write articles that were on the front page of the local newspaper and even broke a few stories that went national. I miss the rush of adrenaline, the exhilaration, the energy that comes with being successful in the ways I want to be and in feeling powerful and in control.

That’s not to say I always felt powerful and in control before the car accident, but certainly more so than now. Yesterday, I cried during an hour long yoga class where we only did three poses (one being savasana) because I was so proud of myself for being able to go to a yoga class. Once home, I started planning a little celebrations for when I finish the 207 page book I’ve been reading for a year because it’ll be the first book I’ve read cover-to-cover since the initial brain injury in 2017.

My heart physically hurt the day I realized I probably should never try roller derby again. My body wanted to collapse in sadness when I was rejected for life on because of my recent medical history. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to go on another roller coaster? At the very least, when will I be able to hike with my dogs for longer than it takes me to drive us to the trail and then back home?

I’m letting myself feel this pain. Sometimes I sit in quiet contemplation, sipping coffee and mourning what I lost. But I’m also taking the less painful moments to look inward and find new sources of joy.

There’s something to be said for this gentle life I now have to live. I’ve never spent so much time being still. Before the accident, I’d only had three naps in my adult life and now sometimes I have three in a day. I’ve learned to listen to my body and the subtle ways in which it feels my emotions. I’ve felt my way through past trauma and more recent upsets.

Exploring and deepening my creativity has perhaps been the most rewarding outcome of the quiet isolation. I’ve discovered I love to paint with watercolours (a medium I used to absolutely hate), am a rather skilled embroiderer and even still have some of the drawing skills I thought had slipped away.

I miss adventure, but I’m also learning to love this new life and the space it allows me to explore myself.

Of course, if I could go back in time and not crash my car, I most certainly would.


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