Why the Pain From My Car Accident Was Both Physical and Emotional During the Holidays

I find myself staring at the cursor on my computer screen in the middle of the night. I hear the silence and think of everyone that is lucky enough to be getting a restful sleep and I wish it was me. Chronic pain and anxiety have taken that away. The blogs that I have been writing in this series always take a toll on me after I have written them. Sometimes, it takes days before I can even finish one, as I have to constantly take breaks.  I find this particular one extremely hard to write, as I think back to the first Christmas after my crash. You see, my car crash happened about seven weeks before the holidays.

Everyone gets busy before and during the holidays. You can feel the hustle and bustle as people anxiously start to organize. It’s understandable that people only have a certain amount of time to prepare for the holidays, except if you are a survivor of a collision. Unfortunately, we cannot just get dressed, jump into a car and start to make holiday visits to see friends. We have to wait for them to visit and sometimes they don’t come. I spent a great deal of time with one group of close friends that I had at the time of my crash. We had girl weekends, celebrated birthdays and even traveled together on vacations.

I was the “planner” which meant I would try to plan as many outings as I could and I absolutely loved it! After all, who doesn’t enjoy some girl time? Although two of my friends contacted me, and we spoke on the phone while I was in the hospital. I lost track of them once I was home recovering, and I didn’t even hear from some others. They were all aware that I was in a horrific crash but yet none of them stayed in touch with me. No calls, no visits, no texts, no emails, not even a card.

I remember reaching out to one of them via text to wish them a Merry Christmas, and she wished me the same. She continued to tell me how much fun she was having at the moment with friends and hoped I was feeling better. I felt more heartbreak and more loss. I was confused as to why on earth they would be acting in such a way. I was anxiously waiting for them to visit or call while I was trying to push through another terrible day of recovery. I needed my friends. Did I mention that they were also nurses? Was I now seeing our friendships for what they really were?

The more people I speak to have all told me the same thing. “When something tragic happens like an accident, death or sickness you truly find out who your real friends are.” No kidding!  To this day I have moved on in my life without them, but its something that I will never truly forget. It has made me stronger as a person, and I have earned my new nickname “Little Tuffy.”

My employer had now received my doctor’s note and was informed that I would be off for three months. Three months seemed like an eternity! Just before Christmas I was going through my mail and noticed an envelope from my employer and since it was the holidays, I just assumed it might have been Christmas greetings. After opening it, I realized that it was an official letter requesting my electronic equipment be returned to the company.

Reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I was officially being asked to return company items that were in my possession and with a deadline. I felt like I was once again losing control of my life, and I wondered if they even considered for a moment to wait until after Christmas to send that letter. I had already felt such a loss and didn’t even know how I was going to get through the holidays.

The holidays always bring shopping, and I was definitely not up to the task. There was no way I would be able to get into a vehicle, fight crowds at a mall or even shop for groceries. Wrapping gifts, baking and decorating were also not on my “to do” list. I was lucky enough to just make it through the day to see the nurse and physiotherapist. Dinner preparations continue to be a “blur” that first Christmas when I think back but what I do remember is being able to take advantage of some online shopping.

Everyone certainly didn’t expect anything from me that first Christmas, but I thought I would make the effort and try my best to come up with something. Since I found myself suddenly financially and physically unstable, I was very limited on what I could do so I decided to make calendars for everyone. I remember feeling so sad and lost that Christmas Day, and I will never forget the joy on their faces when they started to go through the pictures in their calendars. For those few minutes it took them to scan through the calendars with excitement, I felt like my pain had been taken away even it was just for that moment. I am happy to share with you that those calendars have now become a Christmas tradition.

There is never a good time to be involved in a collision, but if you are at home recovering this holiday season, please be easy on yourself. Family and friends will understand that your recovery needs to come first.  You need to heal and your first priority should be you!

Getty Image by Monoliza12

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