Silver Lining

As a sophomore, my parents got divorced and I sustained two concussions within two months and have suffered from post-concussion syndrome (PCS) ever since. I went from being an honors student who never needed help to being enrolled in special education. I wasn’t able to do things with my friends because often I didn’t feel well enough, and after a while they got tired of me not being able to, so they stopped asking. I felt isolated and alone and in pain. I was depressed and wondered if life was worth living.

After finally opening up to a therapist, I have learned that taking medication and talking to someone about how I really feel, isn’t a sign of weakness but rather of strength. I took me about 18 months, but I finally realized that the best thing I could do for myself was to help others. I created the HeadsUp Foundation for PCS to increase awareness, provide education to athletes, coaches and parents and raise funds for research. I have also spent time weekly volunteering at the Spofford Home, a facility for abused and neglected children.

Helping others didn’t eliminate my problems, but it helped me gain perspective about them and gave me hope. As difficult as it was to lose sports, my brain function and my family, it forced me to learn that life doesn’t always follow the path that you have planned for yourself, but there is often a silver lining ahead if you persevere. I would encourage anyone who feels like giving up, first do something good for someone else. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Just do something to make a positive difference in another person’s life and I can almost guarantee, you’ll feel better about yours.

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