FINDING THE STRENGTH: Milledgeville man emerges stronger than ever following horrific accident, deep depression

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The house quiet, his thoughts racing, Shamir Simmons admits that there were some extremely low times following the motorcycle accident that upended his life on Oct. 2, 2022.

Simmons suddenly was dealing with the new reality that his left leg was amputated and his life would never be the same again. Alone with his thoughts, his mind in a dark place, Simmons definitely was struggling, coming to terms with having to rely on others for help. 

As someone who worked two jobs and prided himself on being independent, it's how he defined himself as a man and defined his manhood. Doubt and insecurity crept in. The lows got lower.

He's not too proud to admit it. There were times, Simmons says, when he'd look at the bottles of opiates that were prescribed to him for his pain. "What if I just took all of them? What if all of this just went away?"

Simmons held on, though, and Simmons never gave up. The storm eventually blew over, and the sun came back out.  After going through the "down times," Simmons says that he now feels more uplifted than ever.

"I feel like I was gifted another chance on this earth. I know that there's a purpose for me now," he said. "I know that there's somebody who needs to hear my story to get through whatever pain they're going through. I just want everybody to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

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Another bright part of that "light" are his three children. Seeing them grow up. Driving them off to college and getting their dorm room set up. He also looks forward to getting back to work. Prior to his injury, his day job was as a tow truck operator for Central Georgia Towing, while on the weekends he was "DJ Showtime," one of the most requested DJs in this part of Georgia.

It turns out that Simmons is an extremely talented writer. One of his outlets has been to share his emotions on social media. Wrote Simmons in a Facebook post on the day after Christmas:

The outside world sees only the arm damage and lower leg amputation. What about the internal injuries, the mental damage, the emotional damage? The insecurities, the self esteem? This rollercoaster of an injury has taught me so many lessons in such a short time, it gets so overwhelming that I'm reduced to tears. But one of the many things I've learned is that feeling these emotions is a sign of life. And with this life, I can either make the best of it, or allow the negative thoughts and bad days consume me until I give up hope. I choose to live and I hope that you'd do the same. Bad days will come, but so will the best days of your life. Hang in there, you're more than capable and you are truly loved.

October 1st, 2022. 

That's the date that Simmons now visualizes. The goal is to eventually "be doing everything I was able to do on that day, except even better." Part of that, for the time being, means continuing the rehab on his injured arm and what remains of his left leg. On some days, there are four different physical therapy sessions, much of the rehab work painful and grueling. At some point in 2023, meanwhile, Simmons hopes to be outfitted with a prosthetic leg.

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"Five years from now, I see myself thriving. I see my work and my career skyrocketing. I see myself being the best father that I can be," he said.

All the while, Simmons says that he'll continue to share his story "to whoever needs to hear it." That is basically why he agreed to do the interview with Baldwin2K News.

"I know that there's someone out there right now going through a low point," he said. "If they read this, I just want to tell them to believe in their own strength. You are stronger than you think. I overcame it and got through it, and I know that you can, too!"

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