Posted in Concussion, Concussion Recovery, Injury, Life lessons, Mental Health

Denial – Why is it so hard to overcome?

From almost the moment I suffered my MTBI until to day, why have I had such a difficult time in admitting that my braining is not functioning properly? Although I am consistently getting better, why is it so hard for me to accept that I am still struggling in some areas and to come to grips with that reality? Denial doesn’t help me heal. All it does is hide my reality from those who are around me. And as one can imagine, that isn’t the best course of action.

At this point, my only goal for 2022, is to accept the fact that my recovery is taking longer than expected and go give myself the time and space to fully recover. No matter how long that takes.

Posted in Concussion, Concussion Recovery, Injury, Life lessons, Mental Health

Its “Only” a concussion

Looking back to the day of my injury, I can recall these words going through my my mind:

“Thank goodness its only a “mild” concussion and I don’t have any broken bones.”

At the time it seemed like a reasonable thought. But now, almost 3 months after being struck by the car, I would probably look at things a bit differently. At the time, I was not very familiar with concussions, concussion symptoms and the recovery journey. My limited experience was based on a concussion my 20-year old son experienced when he was 11, a concussion my 31-year old daughter experienced at 21 and a concussion I experienced nearly 30-years ago. My son and I recovered rapidly and were back to our “usual” selves in a week or so. But with my daughter’s concussion, the affects lingered for months and had a profound impact on her senior year of college. But as I am won’t to do, I figured if the Doctor told me my concussion is “mild” my reaction is to think, “how bad can this be?” and to believe that I will be fully recovered in a week to ten days. My biggest concern at the time was how long it was going to take for the swelling in my leg to subside.

Before I go on, I am going to step back a bit and look at some things that define a concussion. These definitions are taken from the CDC website, https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_whatis.html

“A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.”

Also,

“Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.”

Think about that for a moment, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury and is only defined as a mild because the symptoms are not life threatening. Concussions may not be life threatening, but they can be life altering so from that perspective should they be considered as mild? The final sentence of the paragraph sums it up, “the effects of a concussion can be serious.” Based on what I now know and what I am experiencing, all concussions are serious and need to be treated as such.

I know my perspective on concussions have changed over the course of the last 3-months. But, this has all been for the better as I have educated myself and embarked on my healing journey.

Posted in Mental Health, Musings, Racing, Training, TWLOHA

Is racing for 12 hours a good idea?

As we were driving a couple of days ago my son asked me a question:

“Dad, do you think that (racing for 12 hours) is a good idea?”

I collected my thoughts and said:

“I have no idea.”

For the first time in decades I am embarking on a voyage that I have no idea how it is going to end. It is equal parts, exciting and scary. 12 hours is a ridiculously long time and I have no idea how my body is going to react and respond. I have never raced much more than 6 hours and that will only be bringing me to “half-time” of Toughest Mudder East. But as much as the physical part of the event is daunting, it is not what frightens me the most.

What I think is going to be even harder to predict is the mental aspect of the race. I am pretty sure that there will be a least one point in this race where I will be in a “dark place”. That place where I begin to question everything in front of me. Asking:

  • Why am I out here?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • Why does finishing this matter?
  • If I quit, who cares?

It is that final question that scares me the most and is one of the reasons wht I need to be mentally prepared for the race. Right now, I have all of my answers ready and I hope they stand up to the darkness of 3am knowing that the sun won’t rise for another 2 ½ hours and that I still have 2 ½ more hours to race. Standing up to aching legs,, sore feet and myriad other physical problems that might pop up along the way.

It is at that point or those points along the way where I will need to dig deep and remember all of those who don’t get the option of stopping their suffering any time they want. I will need to use that as a part of my motivation to get this done and to press on to the finish.

I you want to help me in this endeavor click on the photo at the bottom.

Until next time when I begin to dig deeper into my motivation and my questions.

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Visit To Write Love on Her Arms at TWLOHA.COM

Posted in Depression, Life lessons, Mental Health, TWLOHA

Bringing light to a dark world

Toughest - TWLOHA-SmallAs I experience pain and suffering in my racing and training, I can make it stop anytime I want. As a result of mental illnesses some people as they experience life don’t have that option, their pain and suffering goes on 24 hour a day, 7 days a week. Let’s help to bring a message of hope to these people. Click of the photo or here for the donation link.

I have seen first hand the devastating effects that mental illness can have on people and the loved ones that surround them. The time has come for us to stop ignoring theses issues and to take real steps to get people the help that they need.

Once again, I want to use my racing and training as an opportunity to raise money for To Write Love on Her Arms a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

I will be participating in the Toughest Mudder East on May 18th-19th. A 12-hour race that begins at 8pm and ends at 8am. The vast majority of the event will be taking place in the darkness of the night. I believe that this is an interesting metaphor for the darkness associated with depression and other mental illnesses. While this might be a demanding race, it is not nearly as difficult as living with the effects of mental illness. I have the option to stop and withdrawn from the pain any time I want, others don’t have that luxury.

You can follow me and my training as it progresses at on Instagram at  @Lifeisanobstaclerace

 

Posted in Depression, Mental Health, TWLOHA

My Rededication to Running – A shared post

Not something that I have written, but something that I wanted to share. It’s from the TWLOHA Blog.

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I’ve stared at blank pages and screens for days. I’ve felt immobile and muted. I knew that if I wanted to write honestly I would have to get back to training. I had hopes that, by running, my lungs would gain the strength to carry my voice still muffled by that depression.

In subtle ebbs and flows, some thoughts came. And with familiar passes over retreaded paths I discovered that running was a fitting analogy for my relationship with my mental health.

Read more here