It hasn’t just made my life that little more difficult, it has given me a new perspective on life and how much we do actually take for granted.
When I look back on the start of this journey I never ever expected it to be anything like what it’s been like. I expected it to be all smooth sailing, but my gosh was I wrong. Once I had my knee reconstruction in August 2015 and when I first started my rehabbing, I had my sights set on making my come back to the basketball court, the place where I first injured myself. I knew that when I tore my ACL it would take close to 12 months to recover, maybe 10 if I was lucky. Although I really struggled to take into account the amount of work and commitment it would actually take. I thought yes, ill have enough time to get back for the end of the season. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way though. High hopes and goals can fall through, I know, because it happened.
8 months post surgery; just 1 month before I was allowed to return to non-contact basketball drills, I was getting pretty eager to get back on the court after being sidelined for nearly a year. I had spent hours in the gym, been to numerous physical therapy sessions and I must say I was feeling pretty confident. However, my knee gave me a sign that It obviously wasn’t quite ready. The disappointing news of re-tearing my ligaments and cartilage had me pretty shattered. In the midst of an already brutal and seemingly endless rehab process, hearing that sucked. I used to just sit and think “why me,” this whole ordeal had already become such a time consuming part of my life, everything I did reflected on how my knee felt. It seemed that everything I used to be able to do so easily, for example, walking down stairs, riding a bike even kneeling down, it all became close to impossible. It was a pretty tough time for me to get my head around it, although it killed me physically, mentally things started to become really difficult as well.
I’m pretty sure this point convinced me that all the rehab I had done was close to a waste of time. I didn’t want to continue on with getting better and the thought of being able to play again didn’t seem to matter to me anymore, “it all became too hard.” I’m not a professional or anything but when something has been apart of your life for as long as you can remember, its hard to comprehend that you may never be able to play again and it was so easy for me to believe that after the news I had just heard. Each day continued to get harder and harder on me mentally. Each night I went to sleep, I would hope and pray that I would wake without pain but each day it seemed to get worse and worse, so bad that I felt completely numb and to the point where I didn’t want to wake up anymore. I knew right from that moment I desperately needed to get help. I was really at my last breaking point and I was really afraid of what was going to happen next. I’m a very shy person and I tend to bottle everything up inside. It took me months to work up the courage to talk to someone about it and even though every single day I put a smile on my face to hide the pain it didn’t seem to go away. Until I had that one person look me in the eye and say “You have two choices; you can either sit there, feel sorry for yourself and give up but once you do, that’s it. You can’t take it back or you can go out there and work your ass off, push through the pain and prove to yourself that you are so much tougher than what life throws at you. It was definitely a turning point and I’m so thankful that I held on and and found the strength to speak up about it.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounds but one day I woke and decided that I never wanted to feel that way again. I made a promise to myself, this time it wasn’t about getting back on the basketball court. I promised myself if I was going to get through this, the only way to do it was to change every part of my life, even if it took me one small step at a time. I can tell you now, I’m not sure where I’d be or if I’d still be here if I didn’t turn my life around. It’s ok to speak up, don’t be afraid and don’t go through it alone. I promise it’s not worth it.