Eyes Open

Four years ago, I didn’t know anyone who had committed suicide. Today I’ve lost count. I recently read the statistic that 1 and 7 people who have known someone to commit suicide, will commit suicide themselves. In other words- Myself, you or the person next to you could be next. Does that not scare the shit out of you?

After my accident ten years ago, so much has changed. Most things out of my control. I laid everything out on the table last year. I had friends walk out of my life as if I was nothing. Their problems were bigger than mine. All the judgement. My own family not wanting to understand, rightfully so. No one thinks the same. Now that time has passed, I see why people react the way they do. And why I react the way I do. We are all molded by something in our past that has made us stay comfortable in our own ways.

I don’t blame anyone for ever hurting me. I blame myself for letting others control my feelings.

If I would have known that facing my fears of depression would flip my world upside down, I would have just kept to myself. I know I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. We are programmed to keep it all in and keep moving. Sometimes we need to take the time to heal the past and the present before we can move forward.

Being the girl that feels too much, I am always questioning my own worth. I’m either ‘too much’ or ‘not enough.’ I know things take time and clearly I’m not ready for all the BIG things I have been asking for out of life.

“He who loses Faith; loses all.”

I take things day by day. Some would say I’m selfish or even ignorant for feeling the way I do some days, when I have it so good. Others would say they had no idea I even felt such hurt. I used to hide it so well. For some reason over the years, I’ve let it be written all over my face.

I often wished that one day my past wouldn’t define who I am. But in reality, it is who I am and what I am becoming. The more I am true to myself and to others, the world is becoming more clear.

I have made my way back to working in a world that I am passionate in. Healing and helping others. I know I may question my worth, but at the end of the day, I know what I bring to the table. I was raised to be a good person, and that I know I am. I stand up for what I think is right or wrong. I celebrate the good. I get mad and let down when things go wrong. I am human. I hold myself and everyone to much higher standards than most. If I didn’t, my circle wouldn’t be so great.

The best part about my story, I am able to speak on it. I’m not afraid of it. Some days may be a struggle to get out of bed but I am able to grow everyday from something that happened so long ago. My father always told me back then that in tens years all of it wouldn’t matter, I wish I could say he was right. I’m lucky enough to have had someone as optimistic as him by my my side. I became a different person over night. I might not think the same, look the same, feel the same but my soul stayed pure.

The last few months have been life changing to say the least. The people i surrounded myself with have really shown me what life is. What I’ve been missing. Like my best friend who I walked out on a year ago because things got too hectic and I was selfish. I was welcomed with open arms a year later, that’s a true angel. The ones who forgive you when you can’t forgive yourself are the ones we need. There is so much good going on right now, so many changes, it’s hard to stay mad or fixated on something I know I can’t control.

I have found myself again through writing and sharing my trail and errors with all of you. All the love that is thrown my way can not be ignored. From sweet text checking in on me to random people encouraging me to keep going. It’s all right in front of us, we just have to open our eyes.

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Get off the field, Coach.

It’s been days, weeks, months, over a year since I have sat down and actually had the guts to spill the truth, or to what I think is true.

‘Understanding is the one-dimensional comprehension of the intellect. It leads to knowledge.’ Sometimes more than we can handle.

I have done so much research on the human brain in the last year. I have learned we are not all that crazy. Some things just don’t line up. And thats ok. It’s not one’s fault over another. It’s just the way we were made. Genetics. I myself have been through a shit storm of up and downs. Anyone who knows me can say the same. Maybe one day I’ll write a book, probably starting somewhere in Chapter 23. Just because that’s how my life is.

‘Before we are able to learn, we must first empty our tanks.’

Jumping from one thing to the next? Not finishing what was first started. Not realizing the shit you might be leaving behind for the other person to finish. Why is that fair? Because it’s life.

The other day I was listening to a podcast as to why relationships work and don’t work, and HOW to make things work. Sit down, and please shut up. You are just making yourself look stupid. Oh, and also feeding the ignorant minds listening to you. I know we have our own opinions, but lets not be so blinded as to what is really going on here. We all have a different hearts, lets not forget that one.

Before I share this, I would like to say, I have been reaching more for God than usual for guidance, to show me what is real and what is not. I have made a list of all the things I know I need out of life to live comfortably. Also, what I need in a man. Loyalty – my main word. In business and in Love. I felt God listening as I wrote out all of these things daily. I just know he is setting me up for something great. He is never finished.

I do not open up easily to men, due to my past. So please know how embarrassed I am to tell this. Walking away, this is a tough one to swallow. I can only grow from here. I recently went out of my way to go see a ‘boy’ who I thought was interested in me. We had actually met a year prior and recently reconnected. It was cute. He acted surprised and just as ‘Happy’ as I was. Only a week had passed, trembling Mandee sent him a message asking if I could come see him. Never done that before. Huge leap. But was that my mistake? He has a busy schedule, I was trying to let him know I was on his time by offering to come up. I wanted a chance to get to know him. We seemed to have a lot in common, so why not right? I took the chance and he said Yes!!! We ended up having a great time. He was everything I thought he would be and more. Got him drunk off his very first mimosa. HOLLA. Chatted about life. Ordered the whole pizza hut menu. THE GOOD LIFE. The nights we all live for. Of course we are always questioning what the other person is thinking, but sometimes we just have to go off of actions. It all seemed so real. When I went to leave, he walked me to my car. Kissed me goodbye.

By the time I got home, I went to send him a text thanking him for everything and that I had made it home. Realizing I was completely blocked on everything. WHAT THE FUCK!! I’m still yelling the F word, if anyone is wondering. I can honestly say, I have never felt more disrespected in my life. WHY?

Society has molded so many minds to hide behind their phones, just as the villains they are.

The most realistic reason relationships don’t work is the lack of respect. You can’t respect others, if you don’t respect yourself. It’s one full circle. We all know that but somewhere along the way we forget something so simple. For years now, we have had the power to do anything and everything from the palms of our hands. It’s disgusting to think about. I have lost friends, boyfriends, family members, etc.

From a girl who grew up before cell phones, I’m truly discouraged by this thing we are now calling ‘Life.’ Take a step back, (if you can) and look at the big picture. How many marriages have failed in the last 10 years between friends or even family. How many friendships? How many basic relationships have ended because someone didn’t text back fast enough, or maybe he/she liked anothers photo.

LETS TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE SUICIDE RATE IS THE HIGEST IT HAS EVER BEEN!!!!!! AND WHYYYYYYYYYY!?!?!

In the last ten years, these numbers have not stopped rising. Does that not make you cringe?! It’s something so real. More people you know feel this emotion and demon inside of them. It’s NOTHING they can control. This WAR, as I like to call it, you fight solo. No one will ever understand what your mind is capable of. Only you.

I’ve always wanted to be an advocate for young kids who feel like they don’t have anyone to talk to, go to for advice, whatever it may be. You know that saying, “Be who you needed when you were younger.” I’m in my late twenties and I’m still going through hard times. It’s never going to be easy. I wish I could speak to EVERY KID who is struggling and tell them to hold on. It only gets worse before it gets better. That’s the kind of thing they don’t teach you. Life is real. Life hurts. Life will bring you bliss in moments you least expect it. The next you could be in the heaviest down pour of your life. But in the end, that beautiful sunset you just witnessed, makes it all worth it.

‘Embody what you teach, and teach only what you have embodied.’

This quotes is something I read every single day. Do not teach on to others what you would not teach your sons or daughters.

No matter who you are, before you go and make that dick move, remember where you came from, where you are going, and where you want to be. Remember exactly what you are representing.

Don’t let your ego be the only thing you feed. She won’t scratch your back to sleep every night.

Resilience

I’ve been writing in a journal lately. I used to write all the time when I was a kid, I forgot how much I loved it. I think I’ve come to the realization of what is really important in life, or I’m getting there to say the least.

The last two months have been filled with so many ups and downs. For those who do not know, I quit my job at the Financial Firm. I felt myself drowning. I was becoming someone who wasn’t me. I got ugly and didn’t even want to be around my own company at times. I would sit there daily and stare out the window thinking of all the other things I should be doing with my life. I finally got the courage to stick up for my future. Money is great, yes. But is it worth your sanity? Some think so. Past generations don’t know any better. I have found myself lately comparing generations. Past, present, future. It’s scary. Is it not? I’m still trying to wrap my mind around where I come from- and how my parents grew up. The older I get- The more appreciation I have for their hard work and perservance to keep our family going. Every. Damn. Day. Life is SO tough. Whether we like it or not.

I’ve been fortunate enough to take some time off and gather myself. Heal the open wounds inside of me that kept getting ripped open over the last 10 years. As always, when you finally get time off, it seems that is when things get most hectic.

For those that don’t know my storm the last few months- Here it is:

Within two weeks of quitting my job, the guy who I had been on and off for with for almost two years, completely walked out of my life. Just when I needed him most. He had sat there a week prior saying he would never hurt me like everyone else had. He said he would prove to me he wanted me in his life, even if it was just as a friend. For some reason, I can’t get past that. How do people just say false words? I never expected this from him. Things had always been rocky. Rocky is all we knew.

“Real love is always chaotic. You lose control; you lose perspective. You lose the ability to protect yourself. The greater the love, the greater the chaos. It’s a given and that’s the secret.”

Like I stated in the last post, he left me sitting there crying and shaking. I was asking for answers. I asked if there was anything he needed to tell me. No Response. Dead look in his eyes. With my door open and his dog walking out he stopped and looked at me. Nothing else to say? What were you feeling and thinking in that moment? Did you even care that you were about to shatter my world. Once more.
I’m not here to sugar coat anything, He text me within minutes of leaving, telling me he was talking to another girl. WHAT THE FUCK BRO. Thank you for that. When my mind got to wandering. I had remembered you told me about her- You told me you turned the other way and I had nothing to worry about. Again, False words, that I believed. My mistake? Or your lie?

I’ve seen bits and pieces of their relationship all over Facebook and IG. Social Media is A Bitch. Not to mention we live in the same apartment complex. Killer right? I’ve had people send me stuff asking “what happened?” I don’t even know what to tell them at this point. I say I’m just as shocked as they are. He has made it FB official within one month of dating her. He has given her everything I asked of him for two years. All in one month. Before we stopped talking- When things were going back and forth- he sat there and ‘Thanked me for everything I had done and how I had helped him become a better person.’ Ironically, my ex prior to him of five years said those same exact words to me. Ohhh, so I worked my ass off to make him a better man. A better man for someone else to enjoy. You’re Welcome. I know my pain from all of this will pay off and push me forward even more than it already has. You can’t treat someone like that. I DO have a heart. You and her both destroyed it. #powerteam

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Within that same week, I had a friend of mine pass away. Cold Blood Murder. He went in a way no one should ever have to suffer. Not even your worst enemy. You can imagine the image I have of my friend in my head, something I have not stopped thinking about. I keep asking ‘why?’ Why do good people have to be taken so soon? The two friends we have all lost in the last two years were the most stand up guys you could ask for. There for anyone. To help. To encourage. Nothing but wanting to help others. They both loved bigger than their hearts could handle.

I know you may ask what does that have to do with anything written above. Well- The same weekend I was laying my friend to rest- Celebrating his life- My ‘ex’ or whatever he was- was at the beach making it official with someone he barely knew. In a sense- I feel like he died right along side with my friend. When I say that out loud- It makes me question everything. Am I crazy for feeling that way? I’ve been mourning a friend that I will never see again. At the same time- I’m mourning the loss of someone I never got closure from. A feeling I’ve never felt. You were in my life every day and then you just disappeared. But yet- You’re here. You’re around. I have to see you. Good thing for a strong heart.

I’ve sat here many nights- Wide awake. Contemplating my life. What to do. What to do next. I do see a future full of happiness for me. I have found my passion in Yoga. It flows thru me like nothing else ever has. The second I get upside down, the world disappears. I am working on my Level One Certification at the moment. I will be attending a PTSD course in College Station at the end of July. I am beyond excited to meet people who deal with some of the same pains I struggle with.

“If you have done the very best you can then stop worrying. If you want to be successful in life and relationships. Respect One Rule: Never let failure take control of you. Everybody has gone through something that has changed them in a way they could never go back to the person they once were.”

I have held out for the man and friends who love me for me and I will not change my standards or morals now. He’s waiting for me, just as I am waiting for him.

Dedicated 

I’ve sat here for days wondering where I should even start. The words are there. They just won’t come out. 

I’m not really sure when I knew the truth. But I knew. I always have.  

“People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

You know that gut feeling you get when something bad is about to happen? I’ve talked about it before. Fight of flight. In every relationship, in the past my first instinct was to run. And I always have. Getting attached again and having the possibility of what happened before, happen again, wrecks my well-being just thinking about it. 

I’ve tried multiple times to open up. I get to a certain point and for some reason, my brain just goes into over load. Maybe half the shit is made up- but the other half. It’s real. I’ve lived it. And most of you have too.
 
When we first met, you were a mystery. It’s been 2 years- and I can still say I hardly know you. You told me you would never hurt me like everyone else has. Friends or more than friends. You crushed me. You were so predictable. You did exactly what I said you would do. Maybe I talked it into being- Or maybe that’s just what you truly stand for and I knew it all along. 

Why I ever let myself get lost in the chaos of another unfaithful friendship- relationship. I’ll never know. I must be reaching for something I never got in the past. 

You left me sitting there. Crying. Shaking. So many questions left unanswered. That you actually had the answers to.. To coward to tell me in person. You text me after you left- Giving me the truth I wanted. The truth I deserved all along. 

After two years, I thought I knew you a little better than that. But as I said, “It’s always easy to move on when you have someone waiting for you.” You got so defensive. Why? If this is something you actually wanted- To leave- To finally win this battle- You won. 

My only regret, is opening up to you. Letting you into my life as IF we had a future. Bringing you around my family and friends. Telling you every detail of my life and everything going on around me, thinking you weren’t judging. Truth always comes out. 

‘Sometimes we know why things happen, other times it takes awhile to set in. When the truth hits you- The strongest thing to do is accept it. You can’t force anybody to appreciate what you have to give. And not everybody will recognize what makes you special. But they’ll feel the difference when you’re no longer around.’

I started believing that everyone else in my life was bad for me, but you. That was my mistake. I knew better. This whole time you were telling me that my friends weren’t true to me or my life. In reality, they were quietly cheering me on from the sidelines. I feel whole again having them back in my life. Not only do I have my friends back, they won’t let me fall again. 

You taught me to stay true to what I believe in. I know what I want and need out of any relationship. I’ve been to rock bottom, I didn’t want to go back- You knew that and you still took me there. Thank you. It’s all up from here. 

‘We are on our own personal journey seeking our own truth. Sometimes we take things too personal. In order to grow as a soul, you have to come to an understanding that no matter what someone else has done to you, no matter who you wish them to be, people are who they are. They less you expect from them, the less you can be hurt by them.’

You dropped me with no intent on picking me up. That’s fine. This is where I pick myself up and move the fuck on. What I do best.

I really hope you’re happy. 

Dear Mom, 

You know that feeling you get right before you get in an accident, or almost get hit? That life or death feeling, that may choose you in that moment. As horrible and awful of a feeling or thought that may seem- it’s real. And people live their lives feeling this way. Every. Single. Day. 

Disclaimer: I did name this ‘Dear Mom’- That doesn’t mean it’s directed at my Saint of a Mother, by any means. There’s a ton of people in my life- who may or may not know the things that are about to spill from my heart. 

I was rudely awakened last Sunday to the fact that my own parents don’t really know their only daughters real struggles. Crazy to think when- I talk to mom every day. She is someone I consider my best friend. My dad- he’s always busy with work and he’s had a lot of back surgeries (9 to be exact) so when he gets time to nap, he does. I don’t like waking him, so I try not to call him too often. But yet- I have no problem calling him at 2 AM if I’m in trouble somewhere. You know how it works. 

I gave myself my own intervention, I asked my parents to talk and I opened up. I told them about my depression and how it was slowly taking over my life. I told them everything. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I felt as if I was living a lie. Can you imagine the weight lifted off my shoulders? Probably not. But it was massive. I’ve been wanting to speak to my parents on that level for a few years now. We’re all on our own timeline too, learned that. 

With that being said, I suffer from severe depression. Some days I don’t even know how I make it out of bed- I get home from work and everything is a blur. Other days, I don’t even try. I just stay in. I wish it was appropriate to put a BEWARE sign on my door or even something to send out a text alert to my friends/family or anyone who might text me that day. That’s the real world stuff we need to be thinking about.

Most days- I feel doesn’t understood. My mom own mother doesn’t understand sometimes. She still makes comments to me about my relationship and all the mistakes I made- she ‘warned’ me about them all. Because she knew better. Maybe she did. But I was 18. Does anyone listen to their parents when they are 18? My heart bleeds when she throws stabs at me like that. It’s then- When I realize she just don’t understand exactly what I’ve been through. She isn’t the only one though. I have friends who constantly remind me- ‘The pain we bare, is pain we bring on ourselves.’ I try to keep those people at a distance. I didn’t ask to be this way. I never asked for any of this. I know people who have it way worse then I do, and they didn’t ask for that neither.

“No matter how hard we try to escape it, you’re the only you there is, so you might as well be true to your heart.”

The last few months I have been going through a lot of self-observation. I went to a therapist for the last year- every two weeks, if my schedule let me. 

I learned a lot about myself and who I am as a person. I learned I am a lot Stronger- Mentally. Physically. Emotionally- than I ever thought I was. The sad part is- Some how- some way- my brain doesn’t let me remember all the great things about myself that I should. We aren’t all programmed that way. The last ten years, I have gone from one shit storm to the next- No slowing down. I honestly have lost site of what is good and what is bad in people. I have gone through many shitty relationships/friendships. I’m exhausted. Who is fake? Who is even real anymore? Why do people put time and effort into someone just to drop them the next day for the better looking match on one of their 10 dating apps. Get a life. 

Since we are being honest here. Unloyaltly, is all I know. I continuously put myself through dirt for people. At the end of the end, it’s my mistake. I knew better, every time. 

About three years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD- Ummm? What does that even mean?? I thought people who only went to war could have PTSD- Or at least that is how it is often viewed. Little did I know that the ‘trauma’ from my accident is still hiding deep inside of me. The look on people’s faces when I tell them I was diagnosed with such a thing is probably the same look you might of just had. Some know the real meaning behind those 4 letters- and the others will learn on their own.

Like I’ve said before- Everything I had ever known growing up was flipped upside down, shattered, in a matter of minutes. No pun intended.

I am not ashamed to admit that I still have problems from an accident that happened 10 years ago. It was HUGE then. And it’s still big now. To all of my old friends who blew it off as if it was nothing, here’s a big ‘FUCK YOU’ — I don’t expect anyone to understand. It changed my life as an nine-teen year old kid. It’s still changing my life today.

And for the record. I didn’t sue anyone. So there’s that, to all you believers out there.

“Nothing of me is original, I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.”

Like I told my mother, as I’m about to tell all of you, I wish I could go back and change everything. But I can’t. I can’t live off of her mistakes or anyone else’s- I have to make my own. As I’m sure I will continue to do so. All I can do is take her advice. I hope she understands that much. It’s not JUST because of him, Mom. It was my ‘friends’ who turned their backs on me when things got sour. It was nothing but hatred and betrayal from people I knew my whole life. People who know things about me that nobody else does. They all left. Half of them came back after learning the truth. Probably not even half. More like a handful. It all happened so quickly, but yet it still feels like yesterday.

Where I have come from, where I’m at now, is completely different from where I hope to be in the next ten years. I have battled a ‘salty’ heart for awhile now. Flight of flight, right? What’s it going to be? Call me selfish, but I’m going to fight for my own ego for awhile. All I can do is pray for a bright future- I know it’s waiting for me. Healthy Living. Happiness. And Growth. 

Once you realize you don’t get to choose which way life takes you, your days become a lot easier. 

“I’ve never met anyone else I’d rather be, and even if that’s a delusion, it’s a lucky one.”

B for Broken

“Suicide doesn’t end the pain. It passes it on to someone else.”

I’ve been going back and forth on what I should write about next. I feel like I have so many things I want share but the right words don’t come to mind. I read that quote last week and it really hit home. Right under the picture it was captioned ‘These words saved my life’ – I can’t even find the words to describe how I felt in that moment. 

I’m sure in my blogs you will read the phrase ‘I feel’ a lot. And let me tell you. I fucking feel. I feel way too much. My whole life I’ve been told “You care too much” .. Deep down all I’ve ever wanted to say is “Maybe you don’t care enough.”

I’d be lying if I said the thought of suicide never crossed my mind. Luckily, the thought alone leaves an unbearable feeling in my soul. Almost 2 years ago, I lost a friend to a self-inflicted wound. You never think it’s going to hit home until it’s too late. I am still to this day asking myself, Why? It’s a mistake, Right? Wake me up from this horrid dream. To talk yourself down from the ledge has to be one of the hardest accomplishments one can face. Clearly, not everyone is lucky enough to win that battle.

Depression can and it will take over your life. If you aren’t personally suffering yourself, you know of someone who is. It’s true when they say ‘Pain changes people’ – All too often we are judged and crucified for what we have been through. Or even what we have not.

I can count a handful of times I’ve been pushed away because I am ‘broken’ – Whatever the fuck that means. I too get confused on what the true meaning is.

Broken- (1) having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order (2) having given up all hope.

Although I have been fractured, I was thankfully bolted back together. And even though I’ve been damaged, I’m still here fighting for my place.

B gave up. He gave up hope. He gave up on his friends. His family. And most importantly, he gave up on himself. He was worth fighting for. He worked so hard. Day in and day out- He was the best friend anyone could ask for. I think back and it brings tears to my eyes knowing how much he was hurting. Obviously, a little extra that day. He let himself get lost in this nasty world and doubted all of us.

If I had the chance to speak to him today, I would tell him he isn’t the only one who feels defeated. I too have loved someone so much I wanted to die. I would tell him he was enough. I would thank him for always being there for me. I would tell him his past never mattered and remind him how far he had come. I would show him proof of how hard he always worked. I would tell him I was proud of him and that I love him. Most importantly, I would remind him of our God. I’ve been told he can save a dying soul.

If at any point I feel like slipping- I think of him. He is my constant reminder of life. I’ll never forget that morning. January 19th. I woke up at 3:45 on the dot. I knew something was wrong. I will never forget the feeling I felt or the size of the knot I had in my throat as I was grasping for the words of disbelief.

That moment your soul is rocked.

“Suicide is the only thing you can control in your life. That’s why it’s considered a sin. Because you’re beating God at his own game.”

Never under estimate the pain someone is feeling, we’re all struggling if you haven’t noticed. A heart does not turn cold unless it’s been treated with coldness.

“For sometimes you the break the things you love, and sometimes the things you love break you.”

The beginning of the middle of the story… 

For those who don’t know me my name is Mandee. And no- it’s not short for Amanda. I am not a writing major by any means. I don’t always use commons in the right places. I might miss spell words and use run on sentences but I do know the difference between there, their and they’re. That’s really all that matters these days. First and foremost, I have lived a life full of blessings. Along the way I have had a few questionable moments happen to me. Sure, we all have. But I have seen and been through things that would make anyone question humanity. For awhile now I’ve had people telling me I should write a book. Sick joke, I say. The more time that goes by, the thought of telling my story and my past manifest into an idea of acceptance. Something I have not come to terms with yet.

When I say past, I mean the last eight years of my life. Prior to June 28, 2008- I had lived a life any young girl would dream of. I grew up in a loving family. One older brother. Whom I was super close with except for the times when I shined bright on the annoying little sister part. Growing up I always knew I was different from the other girls. I always knew who I was. Who I wanted to be. Or at least the idea was there. As I’m sitting here typing this my heart starts beating a little bit faster when I think of how big my dreams once were. I used to think I was invincible and nothing was in my way.

On June 28th, 2008 my whole world was changed. In a matter of seconds. Myself and a group of friends had been hanging out at a friends house. We were throwing a ‘Welcome Home’ party for my friend who had been back-packing in Europe for a month. By group of friends- I mean friends who had known each other for over 10 years. Some longer. The bond we all once had was something that brings a smile to my face despite the mess we made. That night I was there without my boyfriend who I was with at the time. I had work the next morning and it was my bosses birthday. Around 12 AM- As I was walking out to leave- A few people hopped on the golf-cart to ride up to the front gate to let an old friend in. Someone who I had not seen in a long time. Instead of just leaving, I jumped on with them for a short adventure. We made it to the front- We also made to back to house- Instead of parking it- we kept going. As we were turning around- Someone yelled “my hat flew off’ – The driver jerked the wheel to the left. There was a bunch of loose gravel and an open ditch. The cart went off the road and ending up flipping over. Everyone was thrown off but me. I landed on all fours with my back holding up the cart. My friend lifted it off of me and I crawled out. I rolled over and laid on my back. I remember laying there in the first few seconds, adrenaline rushing. My first thought was wiggle your toes. Since it was dark all I can picture was the porch light that was on in the distance. I wiggled my toes and they moved! Do I even need to say that was the best feeling in the world? My legs! They work! I’m fine! I jumped up and walked home half a mile.

Within 20 minutes I knew something was wrong. I went to sit up like I had sat up the last 18 years of my life. I couldn’t move. My body was completely numb from my armpits down. My friend rolled me over and noticed bruising and swelling down my spine. The only word I can use to describe that feeling in that moment is fearful. I was scared. I was scared I was going to be late for work. I was scared my boyfriend was going to be mad at me. I was scared of what my parents were going to say. I called my mom and asked her to come pick me up- I assured her I was fine and that I just needed rest before work tomorrow. I reminded her that my dad need to come to drive my car home. By the time they got there I was completely stiff. My friends had to carry me out to the car. I remember the whole way to the ER I kept telling my mom to hurry up. As if she wasn’t already going as fast as she could. When we arrived they immediately rushed me in. Hooked me up to a bunch of IV’s. Within minutes I felt nothing. Morphine is one hell of a drug. After my CT scan and MRI they pulled my parents out of the room to show them the results. It was maybe a few minutes which felt like hours before they came back in.

When my parents walked in I noticed they were BOTH crying. That was the first time I had ever seen my father cry in all of my years. I muttered “What did I do?” – Neither one of my parents could talk. The nurse spoke up and shared the news that I had shattered my L2 vertebrae. “I what? What does that mean?” I was so shocked. Still am. They then explained exactly what my condition was. My L2 had shattered into my spinal cord. For some unknown reason it did not puncture it. I should have been paralyzed. Typing this brings tears to my eyes- as I am constantly reminded just how lucky I am.

For the next six months, my life had become something I never knew. I was having to depend on everyone in reach. I couldn’t do anything for myself. I felt trapped and I couldn’t understand why me?

I can now say I fully understand what it means when they say ‘It isn’t always the initial heartache, but what comes after that hurts the most.’

I not only had my ‘normal’ life taken away from me but I lost a lot of friends too. When you’re young, friends are life. You learn peoples true colors when times get tough. Everyone I ever knew growing up turned their backs on me. Everything I believed in was false. I felt like my life I once knew was just a dream and I was rudely awakened into a nasty hell. Stripped of my identity and forced to make my way with no guidance.

God has always made his faith very apparent in my life. I might have questioned his reasoning in my time of my pain but I never doubted him.

After my accident, I moved out and began a relationship with someone who I thought would be my husband and who I would start a family with one day. We were young and both still growing into who we are supposed to be today. We lasted for five strong years. Even though we had great times it was toxic to say the least. We were both fighting for something completely different. I was trying to find myself after losing everything- But the only thing I found was myself lost in him.

This last Wednesday, I was out and about in New Braunfels. I had some time to kill so I stopped by the river where I used to spend my days before the accident happened and where I met my ex. I had not been there in eight years. The feeling I got was so indescribable. I was talking to a friend and I said ‘it made me feel like one day i’ll be happy again.’ In that same breath I clicked over and read the words “Im going to be a dad.”

Ironic. Don’t you think? I believe in the good. And I believe in God. There is a purpose for me. I’m so close to finding it.

‘You defeat who wounded you when you choose not to be like them.’