Life After a Serious Injury: You Can Recover

March 23, 2018
Image Credit: Negative Space

After a serious injury, you will need time to recover and return to your life. During this time, it is normal to feel anxious, stressed and depressed as you come to terms with what has happened. However, this doesn’t have to be a permanent frame of mind. You can learn to live with the results of your injury, you just need to learn how to look after yourself.

Many people go through the 5 stages of grief after an injury: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. All of these stages are perfectly normal, though it is important to remember that your own experience of them is unique and you may not go through them in this particular order.


During this time, your emotions will fluctuate and may become overwhelming. Again, this is normal and you can talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing. They will be able to help you work through your emotions and recommend further treatment if necessary.

But you can also help yourself. With a bit of help from friends and family, you can get through this challenging time and regain your love for life. As hard as it is to imagine now, life will return to the extraordinary ordinary you enjoyed before, albeit with a few small changes. For now, here is a bit of advice to get you there.

Accept You Need Some Help

When you are used to doing everything for yourself, asking for help can be more difficult than it might sound. People are proud and if you are independent by nature, you might assume that you will be just fine, thank you very much.

Well, you might be fine, but your friends and family are there for you. Asking for help doesn’t have to be a challenge, in times of trouble, we look to our friends and family and they will be expecting you to turn to them. Put your pride to one side for a moment and accept the help you are offered, however much you wish you didn’t need it.

During your recovery, you will have to learn how to be independent again, and for some people, full independence may not be an option. Learning to ask for help sooner rather than later will help normalise your situation sooner, giving you a better chance of recovery.

There are also professionals who will be able to help you. Other than your doctor, who is obviously invested in your recovery, you should also get help from a lawyer. A law firm like Finkelstein, Meirowitz & Eidlisz, LLP, which specializes in disability insurance law, will be able to sort out all the legal matter including compensation for you. This will take a huge weight off your mind and allow you to focus on your recovery.

Doing the Things You Love

One of the first signs of depression is neglecting to do the things you love. When you are recovering from a serious injury, it can be easy to forget about everything else. Being preoccupied with your condition is normal, but as soon as you can, you must start doing the things you love again. You might have to fake it til you make it, but when you realise that you are smiling again, the feeling will be amazing.

Even doing simple things like watching movies, reading books or listening to podcasts can help to take your mind off your situation and help you adjust. Going back to things that you did before your injury will help you to adjust to your new life. We all respond much better to challenges in a positive mood.  It might feel a bit odd to begin with, especially if your ability to do the activity has been somewhat impaired, but the sooner you get back to normal life, the better.

Your friends and family will be able to help with this as well. Play games together, eat together, go out together. They can be there to support you as you get your mojo back and they will encourage you to do more and more. Before you know it, you will be having plenty of good days and putting the trauma of your injury behind you.

You Can Still Lead a Fulfilling Life

Many serious injuries have a big impact on every part of life and seeing how you can continue to live might be difficult to begin with. Please, don’t despair. You can still lead a fulfilling and amazing life, it just won’t quite be what you had planned.

As you will see from doing the things that make you happy, there is still plenty of joy to be had in the world. But the key to fulfilment is setting yourself a goal and going for it. For some people, that might be success in a chosen career, for others it might be extensive travel or raising a family.

Give yourself time to think about what you want most. Since sustaining your injury, it might be that you have been forced to change your goals, but this is okay. Think about what you still have to offer the world and what the world still has to offer you. You can still do and experience so many things, with determination and help from your friends and family, you can do them all.

Starting small, you will gradually regain more of your independence and work towards rebuilding your life. You won’t be able to do everything immediately. In fact, the next few months or even years could be some of the most frustrating of your life. But - and this is the main thing to remember - there is always progress to be made.

Asking for help will bring you peace of mind that you aren’t alone; doing the things that make you happy will remind you of all the things you still have to life for; a fulfilling life is still possible. You can’t control the circumstances of your injury, but you can take control of your life afterwards. Think of this as a new beginning, a new opportunity.
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