I didn't want to be around anyone who was an athlete and I cried a lot.
If only I could have given myself better advice.
Not racing or not completing the entire race is certainly one of the toughest decisions for an athlete to make.
Don't let this injury define you. No one is taking away your athlete status. You do not have to prove that you are tough as nails by pushing through pain. Do what you need to do to get yourself healthy again. That is all that matters. Every day that you let your ego get the best of you, is a day that you could have made progress with healing. Be patient. You may not feel it now, but you will heal. And if you are proactive during your recovery/rehab, you will not only heal but you will be stronger than before. If you got injured because you made a poor decision in training/racing, admit it, own up to it and move on vowing that you won't make the same mistake twice. If you can't figure out why you got injured, explore the situation so that you can take the steps when you are healed (which you will be) to reduce the risk of a future injury.
When you get injured, you have to be 2x as motivated to put in the work to heal yourself than when you were an injury-free athlete. Come back too soon and you may experience more time lost. Keep yourself as fit as possible by focusing on what you can do, pain free, so that you do not cause any more setbacks. When you are ready to make your return back to full training again, you will be so happy that you did not give up when the going got tough. You will not be injured forever - don't forget this.
I believe that we can learn a lot from injuries. We learn a new side of being mentally strong. We become better in areas that we were neglecting to focus on before and we don't take for granted what we once thought was simple and easy.
Be your own comeback story.
What's motivating you to get better? What's keeping you focused and determined to not give up?
Who's helping you make smart decisions so you don't back track? And what will this injury teach you about yourself?
Are you going to be weak, lazy, unmotivated, angry or bitter or are you going to be determined, focused, hard working and diligent that there WILL be a positive outcome when you DO return to the sport that you love.
It won't be easy, but it will be worth it.