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Using Discharge to Heal from a Concussion

At a recent Regional1 workshop, during playtime, one of my closest male Co-Counselors and I decided to go for a jog. We are both experienced runners. When we are at a workshop together, we usually go out for a run during playtime; it is a nice way to get our attention out. He is visually impaired, so we hold a towel between us to guide him. He was running on my left side, when suddenly I tripped over his right foot. This was directly after my proposal that he move to the right side of the track, which he did, and somehow I did not go right so his foot got in my way. Before I knew it, there I went—landing straight on my forehead.

Time was too short to catch myself during the fall. My forehead was the first part of my body to hit the ground. It was extremely painful. As I lay on the ground, my only thought was to get back on my feet as soon as possible and carry on.2 Blood was running down my face, but I got myself in a sitting position. My running mate stopped, turned around, and asked me how I was. I said I was in pain but okay. To clean up the blood on my face, I used our running towel. I was surprised to see it get red so quickly.

We were walking back along the road, when a car stopped spontaneously. The driver saw that I needed assistance. I looked pretty3 messy. When we got back to the workshop, I saw my face for the first time, reflected in a window. I was shocked. Then some Co-Counselors started to clean my wounds and wash my face. They stayed close and encouraged me to discharge.

Some Co-Counselors drove me to the local doctor. He was very relaxed and put stitches in my forehead and bandages on the worst parts on my face. I was shaking, and the counselors encouraged me to continue. The doctor did not seem to mind and kept talking to me. After I got back to the workshop, I got two Co-Counselors to be with me in my room.

A schedule was made so that I could have non-stop sessions, each with two or three counselors paying attention to me for half an hour. This brought eight hours of non-stop discharge. The first feeling that came up was loads of fear. I was shaking all the time. The fear was about the actual fall, how sudden it was, and the pain and discomfort in my body. I was also afraid that the damage on my face might never heal. I was encouraged to recount the incident over and over again. This helped me get my memory back of what happened. I could also discharge old pain of earlier physical damage and old fears of getting hurt.

After my first round of sessions, I noticed that I was thinking better because I decided that my counselors also needed to discharge—about being close to someone whose face was a big, bloody mess. The decision to be a counselor helped me get my attention in the present, and I found myself discharging heavy fear and terror.

Tim4 encouraged my counselors and me to get me to laugh a lot. Laughing was painful, because of the wounds, stitches, and dried blood on my face, but it helped to get my mind to places where it needed to go. We had lots of fun. Then some Co-Counselors with experience in counseling on physical hurts started threatening to touch the fresh wounds and press on the bandages, which was effective.

I asked a close Co-Counselor to stay with me during the night. He said I could wake him up in the night if I needed to, which I did several times. I had one of the best sessions then, with him being so close all the time.

The next morning, starting from before breakfast, I had more three-way sessions. I continued to discharge feelings of fear and terror, especially after taking a shower and seeing my damaged face in the mirror. I did not want to come to class, because I was scared and embarrassed. Tim encouraged me to come anyway, which I hated, and later he did a demonstration with me. It felt like a great opportunity to show my face in public and feel the fear and embarrassment. I literally discharged blood, sweat, and tears. I think it was a good demonstration of RC theory about healing from physical hurts.

During the next few months, I had lots of sessions—by phone, on Skype,5 and in person. I had enough free time since I was off work due to my injury. My local doctor suggested that I might have a concussion.

Some of my regular Co-Counselors were hesitant to touch my wounds, so I encouraged them to do so. It helped me to feel the pain and discharge fear and terror. People have usually never expressed all the pain, fear, and other feelings connected to physical hurt, so it can be restimulating for them to watch someone else do it. The encouragement worked well.

I did not go to work for three months. Now, eight months later, I am back at work almost 100 percent of the time, but I keep a close watch on not underestimating the need for rest and discharge to completely heal from the concussion.

On the one hand, I had to deal with the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) pressure to get back to working full-time. It was hard for some colleagues to understand that healing from a concussion takes a long time. A concussion doesn’t show much on the outside.On the other hand, a close friend who had a similar concussion kept encouraging me to take enough time for my full recovery. He went to work too soon, and now, five years later, he still suffers from the effects of his concussion.

At work I have a colleague who got a concussion at about the same time as I did. He is struggling to stay on his feet and realises that he started working too soon. He does not discharge. He likes talking with me about our incidents and how we are dealing with them so differently.

I have decided to go for6 full recovery and put myself, not my work, in the centre. Lots of discharge on physical hurts makes my life go better. I am running again, and I cycle every day. I am less scared of being visible and am more able to enjoy my leadership. I have more attention for my own physical pain and offer attention to others when they get hurt. It works when counselors ask me to tell the whole story again in full detail, and when they threaten to touch the spots that hurt.

Goof Buijs

the Netherlands

(Present Time 171, April 2013)

1 A Region is a subdivision of the International RC Community, usually consisting of several Areas (local RC Communities.
2 "Carry on" means continue on.
3 "Pretty" means quite.
4 Tim Jackins, the leader of the workshop
5 Skype is a service that allows people to communicate instantly over the Internet by voice or video.
6 "Go for" means pursue.

Last modified: 2020-07-01 19:14:07+00