When you are twelve, you are going to be put into a situation that will change the way you perceive yourself, and others. After suffering an injury, you will be unable to play the sport that you were once obsessed with. You will feel as though you have lost a piece of you, and will question what represents you. In this moment, you will wonder what will happen next. You just need to put your faith in your cheerleaders… your family. They will be the people to help you, they will be the people to stay with you at appointments, and they will be the shoulder you need to lean on, every once in a while. Even though you may feel as if no one understands what you are going through, realize your support system does not need to consist of people who solely understand your problem, you will need the people to understand that you might just need someone to say, “It will be okay.” Or someone to just say, “I am here if you need to talk.” Those statements will remind you that you are not going through this by yourself and that it is okay to be scared about what is happening.
After going through your first surgery, you will feel as though you have lost your friend group. Don’t feel bad and wonder, “What did I do wrong?” Keep in mind, friendships evolve and change, they are not all supposed to last forever. If someone is not there for you, the way you are for them, reevaluate the relationship, communicate your feelings, and don’t brush your frustrations under the rug… just so you can feel like you haven’t missed that much while you were recovering.
At the age of sixteen, I can tell you that you will still be dealing with the injury. However, you will not be questioning friendships. You will eventually find your group of friends that support you no matter what. You will realize that you are not just an athlete that got hurt; you are a very intelligent, capable girl, who found her goal in life. Instead of dreaming of becoming a professional softball player, you will want to become a doctor. You will want to help others, and have the mindset to never give up on them, no matter how challenging. You will become a much stronger person and realize the things that truly matter in life. And for that, you will be grateful for the injury. Though it may have affected you negatively, it also had some positive, lasting, effects as well.
Please remember, you are NOT alone in this… you do have a support system. Just remember to breathe and trust that everything will be okay in the end.
You can do this,
Kelly- Your sixteen year old self