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Fighting hard: the mental side of an injury

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This isn’t the first time I’ve hurt myself. Last year I sprained my ankle playing soccer, then a few months later I sprained the other one playing dodgeball. It was terrible, and the second time was more discouraging. I’ve just been through this! I don’t want to do it again!

For some reason, this is worse. This injury is definitely more serious, and I think it’s the unknown (I’d sprained my ankle before) combined with the potential for being on the dreaded DL that freaks me out so much. (Check out that sports reference!)

It's been a week. This too shall pass!

It’s been a week. This too shall pass!

But this time, I’ve cried at night several times. It’s not because my knee hurts that bad, and it’s not because some people are idiots. This time it’s hitting me differently, and I’m having a hard time coping. Maybe it’s because this affects everything. Maybe it’s because I know that knee injuries are really serious.

I’m trying hard not to be discouraged. I still have my fingers crossed that at my appointment in two weeks the doctor will look at me and say, “You’re a miracle child! Take that brace off and get back to your sports!” Right now I can’t – I just can’t – imagine being out for any longer. If I am – if I need surgery, if I have to have this brace for the rest of the summer, if I can’t play sports for the next six months (gulp, please no) – well, I’m going to have to take it one step at a time, but for now I’m taking it one day at a time.

This article talks about the emotions of being injured, but more importantly, it talks about how to deal with the feelings that come with an injury. One question it suggests an injured athlete should ask is “What alternative workouts can I safely do?” I like that. I know I can do crunches! (I did a few before sitting down to write this.) Crunches aren’t the same as the sports I love, but they are something.

And that is my day, today.

I know I’m not the only one who’s been hit with an injury, and I know my experience isn’t the worst thing anyone can face. Do you have a story to share? How did you get over the mental discouragement of an injury?


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