Surviving Injury

though you know you wouldn’t act on such fantasies. Your anger can spill over onto others who may or may not deserve it – your family and friends, doctors and nurses, insurance agents and attorneys. You may be angry with yourself for not being able to avoid the crash; even though you know you did everything you could to prevent it.

Try not to push loved one’s away as you experience emotions related to the crash.

If you are feeling anger, give yourself permission to feel it. You will benefit from learning to accept and express what you feel to those people who are willing to try to understand. Bottling up your feelings only increases your frustration. It is far better to express your anger when you feel it, cry (even wail and moan) when you hurt or are frustrated. If you do, you will probably find that you then can think more clearly. Share your feelings with those who are willing to be in your presence.

It’s important that you know that feeling guilty for being alive, especially if someone you love was killed in the crash is common. You may feel that the death was your fault, even though you know it wasn’t. You might be feeling guilty for being a burden on others or for not carrying out your normal responsibilities.

Share your feelings with those who care and will listen.

You may be frustrated with those who attempt to comfort you, or misunderstood by those who say, “You’re just so lucky to be alive,” because you don’t feel lucky at all. You may struggle with a response when they say, “You are feeling better, aren’t you?” Knowing they want you to feel better so they will feel better … but you don’t. The word “time” may become a four-letter word you hate to hear. You are tired of hearing “It will just take time,” or “In time you’ll learn to live with the pain.” You may wish people would stop asking, “Are you okay?” It can be helpful to express your feelings by writing in a journal. Some people benefit from attending support groups with those who are also recovering from injury. Pain clinics often have such groups. Others find professional counseling helpful and say they could not have survived emotionally without it.


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