When darkness falls the monsters come out to play. Darkness for me can be brought on by sadness, anxiety or something/someone unexpectedly being taken or removed from my life. Change, for me, can bring on darkness quickly. I have experienced enough change to last a lifetime. I had my life and identity ripped apart within seconds. The actual absence of light also brings out the monsters as well. Night time is not the best for me anymore after my wreck. It brings on the flashbacks of being in my coma, hearing and feeling everything while being trapped inside my body. Being trapped in complete darkness with no escape. It brings back the horrible memories of Jim Thorpe, the screaming and being tied down to my bed. I hate reliving the nightmare. Will I ever fully be free of this nightmare? Can I break the chains or will I always be stuck in the dark?
I have shed a thousand skins to become the person I am today. I can vaguely remember my life before everything fell apart. Sometimes I question my “memories” of my previous life, I don’t know if they are truly memories or if they are just the what ifs I like to dream about. I used to cry every night, and long for the what ifs and the previous life I remembered. I long for the person I could’ve been. I long for the future I could’ve had. Would you like to take a walk with me for just a day? Do you think you have the strength to face constant rejection? To face the abandonment? To face the unknown?
I no longer have my previous identity, it was tragically lost forever along my road to recovery. It was ripped away in a matter of seconds. It was forever lost in my car. In the intersection. Disability seems like infinity. It seems like a never ending journey. Always searching for a way out and for a way back to the light. I just need reassurance that this will soon be over, I will find my way back to the light, I will find myself again. I know one day I will look back and remember when I was struggling to survive. When I was living minute to minute, hour by hour. I will remember how I was never fully living, just surviving. I will look back on this time of my life and I will smile. I will smile because I survived. I will marvel at the grief that softened me, at the heartache that made my wiser and at the suffering that strengthened me. I will smile because being stuck in the pit of Hell during my recovery introduced me to my new self. It introduced me to my new beginning.
This fight to become “normal” again has molded me and transformed me into the confident strong woman I am today. I am a continuous work in progress but I feel myself growing stronger and becoming more comfortable in my new body everyday. Because of my injury I had to start over, back from square one. By doing this I now know myself better than ever. I am confident because I know who I am, what I’ve survived and I can love myself for who I am becoming. Being stuck reminded me of all the reasons to move forward. Rock bottom is where I decided to fight and it is where I started building the foundation for my new identity.
None of us are getting out of here alive. I learned this lesson during my time at OU medical. I am constantly reminded of this lesson through my flashbacks of laying in the hospital bed clinging on for my life. Slowly fading but fighting to hold on. Getting closer and closer to the darkness but fighting for the light. We all have to go out and seize the life we want. You must speak the truth that you are carrying in your heart. Be silly. Be kind. And love like there is no tomorrow. There is no time for anything else. You never know when you will take your last breath. Someday the pain you are dealing with today will become the source of your strength. Face it. Embrace it. You will make it.