I Owe My Physical Therapist The World

To My Physical Therapist, I Owe You My Life

You reminded me that we all have setbacks, and this was just the challenge I was meant to overcome.

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Two months and two weeks ago, I got surgery to repair a torn ACL. It was an injury I carried for almost a year because I did not want to miss my first year of college. I originally wanted the surgery before my first semester, but that was unrealistic. I then tried to get surgery during Christmas break, but that also was not enough time. The last thing I needed was to go back to North Philadelphia in January, four weeks post surgery, and end up falling and re-tearing my ACL.

Even though this definitely was not my ideal summer, I realized I needed to come back home one last time. I always love coming home to visit my parents, but it was frustrating not having really any friends in the area. My best friend lives all the way in Memphis, and my other friends are relatively close to Philadelphia. I felt like I grew distant from them just because I couldn't just hop in my car and drive. This past summer made me realize my life is not here anymore, and that's okay. My life is really in North Philadelphia.

So to my physical therapist, I really do owe you the world. You encouraged me through every session that I was getting stronger to get out of here. You reminded me that we all have setbacks, and this was just the challenge I was meant to overcome.

The moment you helped get all my bandages off a week after my surgery, I was already bending my knee. You saw my determination to get stronger and kept pushing me to go a harder weight or try something new. You were my biggest advocate in my recovery, besides my mother who basically waited on me hand and foot.

I even was able to lose my brace and crutches about three weeks after surgery, which we were all surprised. Of course, they sometimes ride backseat in my car in case of emergencies, but they are only there in case. I am not bound to them.

There were even a few sessions we just talked about what was frustrating me. Yes, I was too optimistic at times I thought I could run a little on the treadmill. I was frustrated that I felt stuck because I still couldn't do that much physically with how weak my knee can be if I walk a lot. I was even more frustrated I gained so much weight because I had to drop my workout routine after I tore my ACL.

However, you reassured me I would be back to where I was in no time, but I cannot rush the process. I had to trust the process.

You offered I could come in during Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and that was when we would begin running and other agility exercises. For now though, I was only to focus being able to walk around campus in the fall.

As I approach my final session of the summer, I can only say how blessed I am. You listened to when I was struggling and did not downplay the pain I sometimes felt. You encouraged me that greatness really doesn't quit. Also that life does get hard, but it's suppose to be hard.

There were times where the exercises were definitely tough and I walked out of PT feeling more beat up then stronger. However, it is all worth it.

Even though I am not technically done with PT, I know this is only the halfway point of my recovery. I was definitely frustrated with my injury, but it doesn't define me. I am not weak just because I had to get knee surgery. It actually made me stronger.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Sorry Guys, Girls Actually Want Attention From Other Girls

Who else knows fashion, beauty, style, or looks better than other females themselves?

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Men are ya know, "great." We love 'em (somedays). Some girls cry over men, run their lives around men, and make life choices because of men.

But, why should we try to impress men? Men don't understand the time it takes to "beat our face" with makeup. Men don't understand the soreness our arms experienced to get these perfect curls. Some men don't understand how excited we are to score big in the Urban Outfitters clearance section.

Some ladies live by "beauty is pain." But sorry guys, they are not here to impress you.

Why would some ladies spend all the time, effort, and money for men, when some men can't distinguish mascara from lipgloss.

Women are trying to impress other women.

You ever get a compliment from a fellow female and they're like, "Girl, yes girl. The outfit, the hair, YES." Ladies understand and appreciate our efforts.

Do you think what ladies post on social media is to get men pouring in their DMs? No.

We are sharing pictures to inspire and create a group of women to be creative and stylish themselves. Us ladies are trying to build an empire of strong women, and we will not spend time just to look good for men.

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