What This Page Is About: Your Recovery
This page is written for several groups of people affected by serious auto accidents: those who have just been through an accident, their families, and their friends. All these people have their own reactions to the accident and want to help the people they love.
Above all, this page is about taking back your life and your personal power. That means helping you grab the tools within your reach. The “you” may be the survivor of a serious automobile accident, a concerned family member, a friend, or a colleague. The tools are understanding, knowledge, example, and encouragement. More information here:
You had an accident, and you took your car to the body shop; now what do you do about the driver?
You can se the damage to your vehicle, but will you pay attention to the hidden impact on your self?
You may not want to talk about it, but if you’re now curious to know about your stress reactions after the car accident, this page is for you.
Both sides of that reaction – wanting to get as far as possible away from your reactions, yet being hungry for information to help put them to rest – are what make car accident stress frustrating, complicated. . . and solvable. That’s why I wrote the page and why you are reading it – to figure out some of these reactions and move on.
The impact of an auto accident sends waves of reactions through many people – the people in the accident itself, their families and friends, and the teams of police, firefighters, and EMTs (emergency medical technicians). When it involves a school bus, a carload of children, several cars, or a well-known family, the impact can profoundly touch a whole community. Even when it is a near miss, an accident has an impact on the people involved.
Everybody who has an accident will have some reactions. The reactions may last only a few hours, or even a few minutes in a near miss or a minor fender-bender. But if the accident was more serious, a process will be at work. The “Stress Bill” scale on page 20 enables you to quickly size up the accident you had in terms of its likely consequences.
These car accident stress reactions are normal and expectable. One reason they don’t feel normal is that you probably didn’t have them before the accident. But they are the normal indicators that your mind, heart, and body are adjusting to the new reality of the accident. If today is very different from the day before the accident, it is because the car accident stress recovery process is at work. Just as your body needs healing;’so does your mind.
This page is practical, straightforward, and filled with advice from others who have successfully coped with accidents and emerged stronger people.
Even if I could talk at length with each of you, I could never know exactly what it has been and still is like for you coping with your accident. The pain, the trauma is yours alone, and it’s impossible to fully share with anyone else. But in watching the relief that so many people have gotten from unburdening themselves of their pain and reactions to others who have been through a similar trauma, I know that company truly helps. And I know that isolation does nothing to relieve the pain.
As you read Car Accident: A Practical Recovery Manual, keep these truths in mind:
The path you take through these actions is yours alone.
Some things may apply to you. Others may not.
You are the captain of your recovery. No expert has the answers; they lie within your heart.
If you are open, you will find wisdom in this page that will lend shape to what you have been through and illuminate the path ahead.
Each step on your journey will change your point of view.
Some things will make sense now; others may only be apparent later.
How you pace yourself, and the support you have and are willing to use, will determine your reactions and your outcome.
You are not alone. Your reactions and feelings are quite common, and those feelings form a pattern that flows in stages.”In the following pages, earlier survivors have agreed to share through their words, their pain, their courage, and their experiences – how they have dealt with the feelings you now have. And they want to show you some of what you may encounter on your Journe£
Everyone has response. Your choice is not whether you will have them but how you will handle them. This recovery is yours, and the option of how to handle it is yours. But you can rely on those who have made this journey before you to help you through.