Feeling Isolated After A Personal Injury?

Feeling isolated after a personal injury? You are not alone. Many people feel this way.

Sometimes the physical pain is so great that a person forgets the loss he suffered that day was so much more than the damage to his body.

Feeling isolated means feeling alone. It means feeling like someone other than yourself. You always used to get up and go to Crossfit. But getting back together with your friends for an honest work out feels like a long way off.  Now it’s all about getting through the next 24 hours. Forget burpees. Getting out of bed feels like a long way off.

Feeling Isolated After A Personal Injury?

You’re not only hurt you are isolated. And the isolation hurts. It hurts bad. You message your friends on facebook but it’s not the same. You see pictures of their workouts. But you’re not in those pictures. You think about hiding your friends on facebook. It all feels so strange. So awful.

Here Are The Signs You Are Feeling Isolated After A Personal Injury

  1.  Your routine is off. You used to get up at 4:30 every morning to go work out. And now you can’t. Now you sleep. Your whole day feels different.
  2. Your friends treat you differently. They try not to but they do. They support you. But they used to say things after you didn’t show up for a day like”You’re gonna kill this workout, because you’re so well-rested.” Now they are just wishing you well.
  3. Social media makes you feel worse. You login to facebook and see others checking in at the gym. And while you’re happy for them you feel sad because it is a cold reminder of who you used to be.
  4. You are not sleeping well. You haven’t just lost use of part of your body. You have lost use of part of yourself. And you lie awake at night wondering if you’ll ever get back. And if you do if it will ever be the same.
  5. You are alone more of the time. You day used to be gym the work then back home. Now you are just watching TV all day. And daytime television is depressing as hell.

You miss your old self. You would give anything for it not to have happened. Anything to get back to your normal life.

How to Regain Control

You’ve been through a traumatic experience. You continue to be traumatized.  What’s happening now is not sustainable. You know this.

It’s time to change things. It’s time to regain control.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Acknowledge Your Situation

Denial isn’t acceptable. The first step toward exiting survival mode is acknowledging that it’s happening. Tell yourself: This is not normal. This is not sustainable.

If you are feeling isolated it is important to recognize this. To feel it. To acknowledge it. And do nothing more.

The road to recovery may be a long one. And perhaps you have to acknowledge that some things may never be the same.

2. Ask For Help

We’re proud of our strengths and our self-sufficiency. We’re embarrassed when things break down. You had no problem getting advice on training and nutrition at the gym. Now is the time to seek mental health coaching. It can make all the difference.

Ask for help. If your employer offers and Employee Assistance Plan that offers some free counseling for you. Take it if you need it.

Get the help you need. Do not suffer alone.

3. Make New Plans

You had a life before your injury. You had plans. Plans that likely didn’t involve getting injured.

The only way to move forward is to think long-term and execute deliberately. You’ve got to see the future, determine what you need to build it, and then commit to making it happen.

Find something else that interests you. Something that excites you. And seek some new community that can help support you.

4. Tell Your Friends You Are Feeling Isolated

Folks by and large want to help. Many people are really good at it. What many people aren’t really good at is recognizing just how someone may be suffering. Don’t assume your community understands what you are going through. They likely do not. Tell them. Give them the opportunity to connect with you in a way that you can.

Feeling all alone is one of the worst feelings anyone can feel. Let someone you trust know you’re feeling this way.

This Too Shall Pass

Suffering in silence won’t fix the problem.

Recognizing and then acknowledging your feelings and asking for help can improve your situation.

Remember this feeling too shall pass. You will have new normals. You will fight to get back to where you were. Your body will heal in some way. It may be different than it was before but it will be better than it is now.

Recognize that your whole person was hurt that day. Not just your body.


Ryan McKeen is an attorney at McKeen Law, LLC.