With the Winter issue comes a little bit of anxiety for me.
My injury happened in February of 2014 when I slipped on a patch of black ice. Because I was carrying my five-pound Yorkie at the time, and was on a steep incline, I landed full-force on the back of my head. Nine years later, I still get anxious when there is snow and ice in the forecast (and can we all just agree that this winter in particular has been full of icy conditions).
My PTS (post traumatic stress) has gotten better over the years, but I still have a hard time dealing with ice. It triggers something inside me and I do my very best to avoid going outside, but alas, I have to get to work or Tuesdays at the Capitol, so I have no choice.
Fortunately there is this neat invention called Yak Trax (they also go by various other names). These slip over the bottoms of your boots and have little cleats to prevent you from falling on ice. They work great and every single Minnesotan should have a pair (or two). While they give me a lot of peace of mind, I still feel that anxious feeling creep in when it’s time to go outside.
I want to take a moment to assure you that it’s completely OK to have big feelings around the season of your injury. Your injury was incredibly traumatic, both physically and mentally. It’s important to take the time to allow yourself to feel these feelings, but it is also equally important to seek help if these feelings start to get in the way of your everyday life.
This issue is all about resilience. How does that differ from recovery?? Recovery has an expectation that you will get back to 100% the way you were before your injury. Brain injury is a lot different from a physical injury, such as a broken leg. The path to recovery isn’t linear, and can take years.
Resilience, on the other hand, is our ability to react to stress and difficulties. We can 100% completely control our resiliency, in fact, it’s up to US. Nobody else can do it for us. Sure, they can help us along the way, give us tips and tricks, and be our cheerleader. But WE have to be willing to put in the work and make it happen. There’s a lot to be said for a positive mindset and resiliency.
I hope that the stories you read in this issue will help give you inspiration and guidance on your journey.