Imagine waking up and having no idea where you are. People are talking to you and acting like they know you but you have no idea who they are. You finally realize you are in a hospital and you can’t move. Then it goes black. When you wake up you realize you are tied to your bed and once again can’t move. You are screaming for someone to take the razor blades out of your head but no one listens. You pull the tubes out of your nose and mouth. Why is it so painful and hard to breath? Then it goes black again. Next you wake up submerged in ice. You are freezing but no one will help you get out they just keep saying this is to help you stay alive. If you get out you will die. Darkness comes again but this time you don’t wake up you just feel yourself weaken and you feel yourself slipping. You hear screaming and beeping but you are being pulled down into the dark. You feel someone grab your hand and tell you everything is going to be ok. You recognize the voice telling you “Don’t go. You have to stay strong! Don’t GO!” Your heart is beating so hard and fast it feels like it’s going to explode. Everything is spinning. You struggle to stay but the darkness has a strong hold on you. You know you HAVE to keep fighting. Black.
You wake up in a completely different room and people are in your face asking you all kinds of questions. “Do you know where you are? How old are you? What month is it? Does this hurt?..etc” You can’t answer any of the questions you just search the room for a familiar face. Finally you find one and try to ask where you are and what happened but you can’t find words. You realize you have no language. You are terrified. You have some thoughts but they are jumbled and unclear. Is this a nightmare? Is this really happening? Finally you are told what happened you feel like your world has been ripped apart. You try to ask questions… About injuries, pain, why you’re tied down, about the bruises & gashes on your arms, etc. This is all too much to process. This is WAY too much. What the heck happened? This can’t be real. Then you forget everything. Black.
You have to answer the same questions everyday for months. “What happened to you? What are your injuries? What’s your name? How old are you? What month is it? Where are you?” I had to do this as part of therapy and to get my brain to recognize and hold on to the information as to what happened to me. This time was horrible. I would never wish that agony on anyone. The confusion, and pain was unimaginable. I was simply lost. I was stuck in a madhouse that I could not escape because it was inside my head. I lost myself somewhere in the darkness. I am alone here. I’m alone in my mind. I’m stuck with no maps and there is no road leading me out. There are no words to truly express this time because of what I have forgotten, it’s too painful to tap into that memory and there is simply too much to explain so that you would understand. Monsters for me don’t sleep under my bed, they sleep beneath my skin and they attack me with flashbacks. They replay the feeling of almost dying, the pain, the confusion and the realization that this is real. One of the differences in me now is that everyday when I wake up the nightmares don’t stop they just begin. Just because I’m not dead doesn’t mean I am fully alive. Everyday is a war, during the night I battle night terrors and during the day I have to maintain the monster that sleeps beneath my skin. I must remain calm and feed the good dog within me. I must remain positive. I have to feed my good dog words of hope and faith.. It’s the only way I can survive.
Tragedy into triumph:
Although this was a horrific time for me I have a special place in my heart for it. This time is a constant reminder that I have survived. I am strong and I can get through anything. The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we are still living. We all have to decide to not let anything else die within us while we still have unwritten pages in our book of life. I finally chose to embrace each day and use the hours and minutes within my days wisely. I have learned that we do not grow as a person when things are easy, we grow when we are challenged. We grow when we tackle the obstacles that stand in our way headstrong. We all have challenges in our lives and we all have the power to make them better or worse. Listen to how you talk about the challenges you are facing. Make sure you are speaking from a place of positivity, make sure you are speaking life not death. You can be pitiful or you can be powerful but you can’t be both at the same time. Today you can choose which you would like to be.
The only person we should try to be better than is the person we were yesterday. I have learned to be patient while on my road to recovery. I’ve also learned that patience isn’t the ability to wait but how you act while you are waiting. I’ve learned from past experiences I won’t do everything right but I also know I won’t do everything wrong either. I’m not where I want to be in this stage of my life but I know where I came from and I know the battles I have fought and won to get here. For that I am extremely proud of myself. Whenever I start to worry about my future and the fact I’m nowhere near being where I thought I would be at this age, having a family, job, career, etc. I stop and I cast my anxiety on Him because I know He cares for me and there is a greater reason for all my struggles and heartache. Courage is fear that has said its prayers and decided to go forward anyway. I have said my prayers and I am continuing to move forward. Today is the day to be courageous. The greatest pages of your story have yet to be written. The best is yet to come.