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Trust Yourself

It was three years after my accident that I rejoined the athletic club I had belonged to years before when I was an active squash player. I had been through rigorous physical therapy during those early years post-injury and my therapist in early 2010 suggested I join a gym and continue with my exercise program. I knew exactly where I would go, the Seattle Athletic Club in downtown Seattle. I met a friend there who became my workout mentor and partner. In the early days of working out together I said to him, “Sam, when I say enough is enough, you have to trust me when I say it’s enough.” He replied, “Jamie, you need to learn to trust yourself.” Those words changed everything in my recovery trajectory. I realized that what was in the way of making further recovery progress was fear. It was getting in the way. Sam’s statement set in motion a whole new approach, and challenged me to go places in my recovery I never thought possible. Those words changed my life. They could change yours too.

Mental Health

 If I had a chance to do it over again I would have sought out mental health counseling right after being discharged from the hospital. Instead I waited a year until I finally partnered with a clinical psychologist. I’ve never been depressed before and figured I could macho my way through the initial months of recovery without any kind of intervention. I was so wrong. Four months after being discharged I slid in to a deep depression, even suicidal. I felt like I was falling and there was nothing there to catch me. Depression is a scary place. Fortunately my physician was able to get me stabilized with medicine and a new round of therapies. I had experienced a “second crash” and it took several years of hard work to climb out of that hole of depression. I finally did seek mental health intervention, which I did consistently for the next 6 years. My advice is there are no shortcuts when it comes to the grieving process, and encourage anyone facing a life adversity to seek out mental health support.