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Finding Gratitude After a Serious Injury and Healing PTSD Through Writing – MatChat Wellbeing Podcast

I was recently invited to make a guest appearance on a podcast. The host of the MatChat Wellbeing Podcast, Mina Blair, is an author, podcaster and yoga teacher. Every week she offers words of encouragement and empowerment to her listeners. She discusses relevant topics with her guests. Mina is a wellbeing advocate, just like myself. So I was looking forward to chatting with another like-minded person. In the podcast episode ‘Finding gratitude after serious injury and healing PTSD through writing,’ we look at what can help us during times of hardship.

Read also ‘Miracles do Happen: 8 Life Lessons that Can Prove it!

My Story

Towards the end of 2020, I had a terrible accident when a van hit me as I was crossing the road. I ended up in hospital with three fractured vertebrae. It was a life-changing event for me. The event has changed my outlook on life, and subsequentially my priorities, whilst also throwing up many challenges. A girl who travelled the world and moved countries several times during her life suddenly felt afraid to leave the safety of the hospital room. However, despite all the scars the trauma has left her with, she has found her silver lining amidst the clouds.

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📸: unsplash.com @angelekamp

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Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

A week after the accident I started to experience flashbacks and several weeks later I got diagnosed with PTSD. And the event wasn’t the only one that was giving me nightmares and flashbacks. Unwanted memories from my previous traumatic events started to haunt me again. Something I wasn’t prepared for, having buried them away as part of my coping mechanism. Now, pandora’s box had opened again and however hard I tried to shut it, the memories always managed to find a way to creep out.

My stay in hospital and recovery at home both coincided with a Covid related lockdown. In trying not to lose my sanity I actually managed to find my silver lining. I took a pen and a piece of paper and emptied my head onto it. Whilst I couldn’t walk, I had two hands which served me well. After a break from writing that had lasted many years, I returned back to it. Writing became my therapy for which I was more than grateful. I was grateful for each new day as I was making progress in my recovery and put my thoughts on paper. I started to research about PTSD and created the Journeyofsmiley blog where I shared my experience with others. It is a blessing to have someone you can share your thoughts with and it was great to see the positive response from others. This gave me the idea to start the PTSD: My Story Project, a safe place for trauma survivors to share their own experiences. I always believed in the power of stories. Through sharing our stories we can help others and try to fight the stigma, for me sharing my story was also personally therapeutic.

Pink background with the title 'don't be afraid to be broken, it's an opportunity to rebuild yourself, it's how the light get in and out', a phrase on Journeyofsmiley blog

Read also ‘What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? My Experience

Finding Gratitude in the Midst of Dark Clouds

Has the accident offered me an opportunity to heal myself and share my experience with others to show them they are not alone? Is it really possible to find beauty in difficulties? Finding gratitude when our life is shaken upside down might seem unlikely. We are so afraid of hitting rock bottom and getting broken. The thoughts of pain scare us, and we often try to delete painful memories from our life. But what if a bombshell breaks through the protective layer that you have built up? What if it opens up the pandora’s box that you have so forcefully kept shut?

Those moments are uncomfortable and painful, but what if these are exactly the moments that offer the opportunity to rebuild what has been broken? Can gratitude help us to find blessings in disguise?

Listen to Mina’s podcast about how gratitude can help you to not only survive the hardship but help you to come out the other side even stronger. Tune in here for more…

Thank you and till the next blog post,

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36 thoughts on “Finding Gratitude After a Serious Injury and Healing PTSD Through Writing – MatChat Wellbeing Podcast”

  1. This is a great post! Finding ourselves after an injury can be like restarting our lives. There was a time when I had been paralyzed due to a disease and I felt like my entire world had been turned over and had to decide to find a new way through life.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! And you have done so amazingly. What has helped you most on your recovery journey? Sending strength and prayers!

  2. This was really lovely to read. I agree undergoing these painful experiences helps you realise gratitude you have. Especially for things you take for granted. What are we if we can’t feel?

  3. Victoria Prasad

    When you choose to look at events from a different perspective, gratitude is definitely possible. I’m glad that you were able to find the positive in your experience and I’m glad you’re ok.

  4. You always read and hear about PTSD and there are so many versions of it these day, but I personally think this is one of the most terrifying stories where you replay the a horrifying accident over and over. It is like the soldiers that come home from war with PTSD these are the serious cases that need treatment.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story .. amazing. And that you have started a project to help others is a wonderful gift to the world. I hope you will share your story with Daily Inspired Life.

    1. Thank you so much, Karletta! I believe that stories have power and can help us and the readers to heal. That’s why I started the project – no one should feel alone. It will be my pleasure to share my story on Daily Inspired Life. Many thanks!

  6. I am so glad you found your silver lining and got your life back on track! It must have been hard, and you have found great strength! I wish you all the best! These stories are always so inspiring and eye-opening!

  7. I really loved reading your story and I admire your courage through your healing process. I love that you found writing to be healing for you. I have been through a lot in life and reading your story was moving to me. I hope you will always remain strong and grateful!
    Thanks for the awesome post!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Writing has been great therapy for me. I hope that sharing it with others will help those who need it most too. Many thanks!

  8. It’s true that it’s hard to be grateful when you’re experiencing bad times but this content will help those who needs it the most ☺️

  9. What a beautiful testimony as to how jarring situations can make us ponder about the meaning of life. Well done!

    1. Thank you so much! It’s not always easy to talk or write about those situations, but it’s good to know that they are people who find it helpful and useful. Many thanks!

  10. I really connected with this article! Thank you so much! I’ve carried my trauma alone for a long time. I’ve really never gone in depth about with anyone….and know that this is an area where I need a lot of healing.
    I’ve come a long way though.
    Writing has been one of my greatest tools in recovery….along with consistent yoga, meditation, walking in the woods, and I recently started taking cold showers! I’m up to a minute…and I feel the change! If you are interested in a guest post, I’d love to write a post for you. I think it would be really therapeutic!

    1. Valerie, thank you so much for sharing! I’m really sorry you also experienced trauma. Healing is a journey, although a difficult one, but better than suppressing our emotions. You’re doing so great! Take your time, healing takes time, and give yourself as much care as you can. I’d be happy to have you onboard if you are willing to share your story. I believe in the power of stories and sharing them can help us as well as the readers. Feel free to email smiley@journeyofsmiley.com and I’ll get back to you. Many thanks!

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