Remember when you were a kid and you would play around on the swing set or climb a tree or jump on a trampoline with no safety net? How about lace up some rollerblades with no helmet or play tackle football at the bus stop? Maybe yes and maybe no. Either way, at one time or another, you must have heard the phrase: “Don’t do that, you’re going to give yourself a concussion!!” I know I did.
Growing up, I would hear the term “concussion,” but I really had no idea what that meant. A loud drum beat? (No, Amanda, that’s percussion.) I always thought it was some sort of punishment. During my healing, at times I may have believed that to be true.
Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, we still know relatively little about a concussion, and even less about how to help the 5% who extend their stay on the concussion train and suffer from Post-Concussion Syndrome.
What causes a concussion? Well, we do have a general idea that when the body or the head suffers a major impact, the brain—which is swimming around in synovial fluid—hits the side of the skull, causing an injury to the brain. When it comes to a “mild” traumatic brain injury or a concussion, the damage does not show up on a diagnostic test. The only way to know if you have a concussion is based on how you feel, a number of typical symptoms, and a cognitive/physical test. Basically, it is mostly subjective. In Post-Concussion Syndrome cases, symptoms seem to last for longer than the majority of concussions.
Over the past year or so, athletes of all types have approached me to ask me about my story and how I healed myself. Yes, I am healed, and I am so happy. But these young people come to me with the same hesitation and sadness in their eyes as I remember feeling, and their parents voice the same misunderstanding and bewilderment. “What to do?” they say. “Do you have any answers?”
Every time I get a phone call or an email, my heart breaks a little bit more.
With all this in mind, I have done some research, and I am finding that everything surrounding concussion seems pretty damn depressing. Even the success stories don’t sound that great.
Never play your sport again…
We don’t know when you will get better…
Go sit in a dark room and just…sit…
When I look back on that time of my life, yes it was traumatic. And yes, I was depressed and angry and lost.
But I can tell you with absolute certainty:
I would not trade it.
I can also tell you:
There is another side.
I am living a life more incredible than I could have ever dreamed before.
I am so blessed to have had this experience.
It is very easy to get stuck in a sad story. Me and my story, as the man who changed my life Eckhart Tolle would say. But the greatest thing I did to help myself recover was to decide that the story of pain was no longer fulfilling, and I wanted a new one. I wanted a story worthy of inspiration.
You get to decide.
Decide to be well. Decide to feel good. Decide to do everything to manifest your dreams.
Be the hero in your own inspirational story.