A car accident leaves you with permanent injuries. The worst part, in some ways, is that you don’t even remember the crash. You know that you didn’t do anything wrong; you’ve seen the footage from a nearby security camera as another car runs the red light and slams into the driver’s side of your vehicle.

It’s not your fault, but it changed your life. The other driver was fine. How are you supposed to move forward and overcome this type of issue? Here are a few tips that can help you live a happy, healthy life moving forward:

1. Remember that you don’t have to pretend

Let out those emotions. Don’t pretend you’re fine or that it’s not hard. Don’t hold in all of that stress. It just makes things worse. Be real about the way you feel. Talk to people who care about you. Get the support you need. Honesty can go a long way toward helping you work through your emotions.

2. Accept that it’s a roller-coaster

In many ways, the future could feel like a roller-coast. This starts emotionally; some days you’ll feel happy and optimistic, while other days you’ll feel sad and overwhelmed. But it could also be physical. Some days you will feel like you’re healing and making progress; other days you’ll feel like you took 10 steps back.

If you accept that this is how the process goes, it’s easier to deal with. You need to have the right expectations.

3. Learn everything that you can learn

Read up on the condition you face. Find out what symptoms to expect. Learn everything you can about treatment options. Find out what other people have done to deal with a similar condition. Not only will you learn a lot of valuable information, but it can definitely help you mentally to know that you are taking a proactive approach and working on improving your life.

4. Focus on what you can do

People often focus on what they can’t do anymore — not being able to walk after a spinal cord injury, for instance — but you are far better off to focus on what you can do. Think about the skills and abilities you retained. Invest yourself in those things. Maybe you can’t run, for instance, but you can still read and write, another passion of yours. Focus on that.

You also want to focus on what new options you have. Maybe you can’t ride a traditional bike, but you can ride a specialized bike made for someone with your disability. Put time into learning these new skills and pressing forward.

Financial options

Throughout this entire process, make sure you take the time to look into your options to seek financial compensation and assistance.