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Celebrating Six Years of Healing on My 'Crashiversary'

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Today is my Crashiversary.

Six years ago my life changed. Six years ago I was in a horrific car crash. Today six is my number.

  • Six is the number of years I have fought fatigue. Some days minor but others so bad I have to stay in bed.
  • Six is the number of years I have heard, “yes I have pain too.”
  • Six is the number of years I have attended medical appointments.
  • Six is the number of lanes on a highway that I can no longer drive.
  • Six is the number of years I have woken up in pain and battled with not sleeping even though I have never been so tired in my life.
  • Six is the number of close friends that disappeared.
  • Six is the number of years I have been a survivor.
  • Six is the number of people I least expected to pick me up when I needed it the most.
  • Six is the number of years I have lived with an invisible disability.
  • Six is the number of years I have felt overwhelmed.
  • Six minutes is the maximum time I can sit in one position without my muscles cramping up.
  • Six is the number of years I have seen the look on people’s faces when they notice me stumble or watch me take extra-long to retrieve a word.
  • Six is the amount of outdoor activities I can no longer do.
  • Six dollars is the approximate amount I spend a day on medication.
  • Six is the number of years I have had anxiety especially when getting into a car.
  • Six is the number of years I have had chronic pain.
  • Six is the number of years I have dealt with legal issues.
  • Six is the amount of household chores I can no longer do.
  • Six is the number of years I have cried or fought back the tears because this is my new normal.

Today I won’t be celebrating with a cake or balloons. Today I will celebrate by taking a “moment” to reflect on how far I have come. Today I have another day of healing. Today I am grateful I was alone in my car. Today I am thankful no one was killed. Today I thank the off-duty firefighter who held my hand waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Today I thank the EMS that transported me to the local hospital. Today I thank the nurse who sat beside me as I was transported to a trauma hospital. Today I thank all of the staff at the trauma hospital. Today I am thankful to be alive and to be able to walk. Today I thank the numerous medical professionals who continue to help me with my recovery. Today I thank my lawyer as I was fortunate enough to find a highly experienced and empathetic one.  Today I also thank his law clerk who continues to be a compassionate and exceptional human being. Today I thank the members of our online support group for sharing their journeys with me and allowing me to share mine.

Today I will not dwell on what I have lost but rather focus on what I have gained. Today I feel less alone as I have another chance to support collision survivors during their recovery that are struggling who also feel alone. Today I am a survivor’s advocate and that has given my pain purpose. Today I realize who is important in my life and am grateful for those who didn’t disappear. Today I celebrate new friendships. Today I smile at a man who has continued to be supportive, understanding, patient and never left my side. Today I feel optimistic as I am faced with a new day with a renewed sense of self… just the way I am.

Follow this journey on Picking Up Pieces.

Image via contributor

Originally published: November 19, 2018
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