Rick Von Linsowe, MS, CPC suffered an alcohol and drug related brain injury in 1998. He was confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home.
He made the decision not to allow his injury to define him.
Through hard work and determination, Rick was able to overcome his physical limitations and achieve many successes in his personal and professional life.
RICK’S SURVIVAL STORY
My parents divorced when I was twelve and abandoned me for the bar lifestyle. Often, I was home alone or on the streets! I lived with relatives and friends for most of my teenage years, until I decided to give the streets a try! I started hanging out with older kids that accepted me and found they knew where to get alcohol. Alcohol made me forget about my parents splitting up. I started drinking often by age thirteen. By age sixteen, I was using cocaine and drinking. By the age of eighteen, I was living in a crack house selling drugs to support my own habit.
At twenty-two years old, I was hooked on cocaine and alcohol. I wanted help, but I did not know how to get it. I kept doing what I knew best and that was to get drunk and high. After a long night at the clubs with my friends, I was dropped off at home in a black out and ended up on a hill that surrounded my apartment complex. I rolled to the bottom, flopping off a retaining wall and smashing my head on the pavement. I was rushed to the hospital and had a right frontal craniotomy.
I had sustained a traumatic brain injury.
After the surgery I stayed in a comatose state for several days. I scored a 3 on the Glasgow Coma scale, which means deep coma or death! There was little hope for my survival!
When I woke up from the coma, I was taught how to eat again. Then, I was placed in a nursing home to live out the rest of my days confined to a wheelchair. I could not control my emotions and was angry all the time. I found it hard to accept what I did to myself and did not know how to express my feelings.
I discovered moving forward, being productive, and finding the positive in each day was the only way to make my circumstances better.
With determination, hard work, and focus, I left the nursing home and my wheelchair for a walker and eventually a cane. After three years of therapy I was walking with no assistive device.
In the sixteen years since my accident I have been able to walk, talk, and drive again.
I went to college and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology.
I retrained my brain to find positive in each day and keep moving forward.
I have dedicated my life to helping others who have experienced trauma, injury or addiction. I am a Behavior Therapist, and Professional Certified Coach that specializes in helping individuals overcome addiction and move beyond injury and trauma. I now have over seventeen years clean and sober! My date of becoming clean and sober is 8/26/1998.
If this drunk and junkie can turn things around, you can too!
Thanks for reading!
Rick Von Linsowe, MS, CPC