Okay, injuries may not be as glamorous as Mariah Carey makes them out to be. In fact, injuries can be pretty traumatic, with many requiring lengthy periods of rehabilitation recovery and patience. Aside from the obvious physical burden that injuries place on the body, the stress that comes along with it can also take a huge toll on someone’s mental health.
That being said, it is important to remember that one is never alone in their struggles, and that many have experienced that same pain.
With this in mind, we spoke with 7 people who experienced post injury blues, and asked them how they overcame it.
MAKE SURE YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF
I found that, for me personally, this was probably one of the hardest times I’ve had, thus far. You always think you know how you’re going to react in the situation when it happens but, for me, my reaction was completely different.
I was in complete shock, because I’ve always been a really active person all my life. I was very into sport, so that had become a huge part of my identity.
It really hit me hard. I became really inward, in that I built up a lot of emotional pain but I didn’t actually express it.
My advice for people on how to deal with it at the time: The first thing would be to express how you really feel to both your family and friends. That’s one thing I definitely would have changed about my approach. Even the act of telling someone how you feel really helps a lot.
Especially in today’s society. I always had this idea of masculinity and not being perceived as weak. Therefore, I didn’t really tell anyone. I tried to keep a strong face, even though I wasn’t at the time.
Another thing I would definitely advise is to reach out to someone who’s been there before. Because they’ve been through the exact same process – they got through it.
– Alex, ACL tear.
TAKE A MOMENT TO SELF-REFLECT
When I dislocated my shoulder it was debilitating, but it gave me greater insight and perspective on how lucky I am, and how disabilities can impact someone.
RE: staying positive, it was fucking hard. From someone who is super work-proud and relies on being independent, I felt like a stranger in my own body, not being able to do anything for myself.
But self-reflection is super important to me, so I just took heaps of time to be grateful it was only temporary and feel lucky I had family to support me and people to lean on.
– Eliza, shoulder dislocation.
MAKE SOME ACHIEVABLE GOALS
Give yourself time to be sad about your injury, and taking time to accept that you are going to have to spend a lot of time in active recovery.
But putting in the hard yards pays off. Making small achievable but demanding goals helped me stay in check. [I’m] also quite a competitive person so trying to beat my own previous ‘last week’ self became a big part of it.
– Ashley, ACL tear.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY
I burnt my leg badly in a motorbike accident and then got super bad anxiety from missing so much time at school, events and gatherings that I eventually stopped attending because it was too hard.
Only solution for me was pushing through the anxiety and surrounding myself with positive people and friends that wanted to spend time with me regardless of how my injury was an inconvenience to them.
– Jessiie, motorbike accident.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
I dislocated my knee during full time musical theatre studies at PSA, and was made to sit and watch dance classes for months. Torture. I got really down.
I tried to stay focused on what I could work on, which was learning lines and acting on crutches and made sure whatever I could do, I fucking nailed.
– Izzy, knee dislocation.
- Do your FKN rehab!!!
- Have things to look forward to like catching up with friends or going out.
- Write a list of things to get done.
- Jump on a dating app! I was single at the time and it helped cure my boredom and get heaps of sympathy. It’s great!
– Nick, ACL tear.
TALK TO YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK
The part that was really hard to stay positive about was when my post operative condition after my second surgery didn’t improve for around 3/3.5 years. I felt like I was in a bit of limbo between being healthy and still needing to be in hospital. It can be a real perpetual pain loop that you’re stuck in. [But] I have really great support network around me, so rebuilding myself, I felt super supported.
– Anonymous, post-op.
If you’re looking for more advice to help with your post-injury blues, headspace may be able to help.Image: Instagram / @ryanphilippe