Man, sophomore year of college was going pretty well. I had been named one of the starters of my college basketball team, but our season was fairly rough. I had no idea that it would be the last season of basketball I’d ever play in my life… It was at an away game vs Kennesaw State where my life would begin to change. I had sustained my first concussion in that game. I follow normal protocol and was fortunate to finish out the season in good health. Fast forward to post season workouts, I sustained another concussion playing a pick up game with my teammates. This go around, my symptoms were terrible. Awful mood swings, migranes, panic attacks, depression and anxiety… I didn’t know how to cope. There were days when I’d be feeling great, but then there were days when I couldn’t get out of bed and didn’t want to see anyone. After a few weeks, my headaches began to subside and I thought that I could continue my career as usual. Little did I know that a 3rd concussion awaited me on the first day of Junior year official practice 3 months later. The symptoms were so bad that I ended up taking a medical withdrawal from school and going home 2 hours away to recover. For weeks I layed in my bed at home, in pain both physically and mentally. I wanted to be with my team and my peers, but I also wanted to be alone. I would cry myself to sleep every single day. There was even a time where I thought that I was ready to return and made the trip up to the college. Only upon arrival my symptoms flared and I was asked to return home. After a few more weeks I forced myself to seek a counselor to try the work through and the mental blockades that I was having. I was able to re-enroll the following semester and complete my courses. Upon return I worked hard with my trainers and staff to prepare myself to return to basketball. All the weeks, all the tears, all the work…. When I stepped onto the court again with my teammates for practice, I got hit in the head… a 4th concussion. I tried to shake it off and play through it. I even went to the weight room after practice to prove I was fine, only to lift the squat rack and have an overwhelming rush of pain. I cried on the training room table. I told the team doctor about the incident. He said, I’m sorry Amber, but I think you should do what’s best for your future. I fell back into a deep depression. I cried when I broke the news to my teammates I didn’t know if I would wake up the next morning… but I did. By the grace of God, my friends and family, I was able to get up, get help, and move on. I urge everyone that read this to pay attention to your mind. Don’t try to tough it out alone. Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Heed the signs. It will help you in the long run, I promise you. God spared my life and I thank Him for it daily. It gets better, I promise you!