Life does not stop

One thing I wish I was told when I left Jim Thorpe rehabilitation was “that it’s going to be hard to watch life pass you by as you try to just get back to baseline. While you are achieving huge gains on your recovery from a traumatic brain injury you will watch others continue on in life & while you are celebrating monumental moments like walking again, standing to take a shower, being able to find & spell four letter words others will be celebrating getting married or having children. Just because your achievements seem small compared to others does not mean you haven’t moved forward in life. Your moving forward will just be quite a bit slower & harder to see.” 

I don’t know if being told this while leaving Jim Thorpe would’ve helped much because I was still in my walking coma at that time but I wish I could’ve had an hourly, daily, weekly reminder just so I could have prepared myself better. Once I left Jim Thorpe I started outpatient therapy at Mercy. I went three days a week for three hours. I did occupational, speech & physical therapy. During this time in my recovery I was just focused on surviving & doing what I needed to do to make it to the next hour & if I’m being completely honest I still haven’t fully left that mindset. My therapists at mercy were God sent. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today without them. They helped me improve so much. They all tried to prepare me as well as they could for when I started to wake up more from my walking coma & had the ability to think of a future for myself. But despite their best efforts I still wasn’t prepared. I went to a few traumatic brain injury support group meetings to seek help in moving on. The first meeting I went to the topic was grieving for the loss of yourself. At the time I didn’t really grasp that concept but once I started seeing my neuropsychologist she helped me to dive deeper into that. She helped me grieve the loss of myself & the loss of that girls future, the future I thought I had planned out. This was by far the hardest part of my recovery from a traumatic brain injury. I can deal with physical pain. Dealing with the “razor blades in my head” headaches, the pain of my broken hip, pelvis, sternum, ribs, collapsed lung & lung treatments were something I knew how to deal with. I grew up in sports & athletics so dealing with physical pain came easy to me. It was tough because sometimes the pain was blinding but I knew it would go away once it healed & once a little more time went by. It was the emotional pain that was the hardest. I joke sometimes about how I would go through the wreck 100 times if all I had to deal with was the physical pain & I got to bypass the emotional. I say I joke but now that it’s been almost 9 years since my wreck I’m quite serious. 

It’s hard to explain the kind of emotional pain, heartache & loneliness that comes with watching life leave you behind. It’s like being a child’s former favorite toy that has been stowed away in a closet & you watch that child pick up, play with new & better toys knowing that the child will never come back for you. You can never get back those moments. The child a.k.a life has moved on. 

We all deal with this feeling of being forgotten or being left behind & it can weigh you down, make you feel insecure, make you depressed, increase your anxiety but the one thing it can not do is stop you from moving forward in life. I know I can’t get back the huge life moments I missed. I can’t go back in time to witness friends weddings or friends having their children those moments are unfortunately lost. But I know I have the ability to move forward & create/witness new life moments. No matter what emotional pain you might be dealing with or life struggle you may currently be battling just know we always have the choice to keep taking baby steps forward. Yes it will be hard & there will be times when you think you have reached your endpoint, I know I did, but it’s in these hard moments when it is so important to keep going because once you’ve taken a few steps & gotten out of that darkness you will know there is nothing that can hold you back. You will have found your inner strength 💙#NeverGiveUp #Hope 

Learning to embrace acceptance

“Just accept it & move on.” “To move on & be happy you have to accept your situation.” “Just accept the new you.” It’s easy to talk about acceptance but in practice it is actually quite hard. I had to accept my “new” self after my wreck. I had to accept that my brain & body were not going to function like the “old” Kaylen. That was hard to accept especially when I come from a background of athletics & perfectionism. I used to believe that if you worked hard enough & practiced you could change or fix your physical/mental abilities. I was so very wrong. There is no “oh well if you would’ve just worked harder in rehab & outpatient therapy you would be back to the “old” you by now.” I did work hard. I did put in the effort. I did change some of my abilities but I will never be back to the “old” me. This I have accepted. I have embraced my “new” body & brain. I have made peace with it. Surprisingly this was one of the easier things for me to accept on my road to recovery from a traumatic brain injury. I personally think it’s because I had some control in this. I could control my work ethic. I could control the effort I gave in therapy. It’s the stuff I have no control over that is the hardest for me to accept. How do you accept something when there has yet to be any accountability taken? How do you accept loved ones leaving your life with no explanation? How do you accept unanswered questions? I honestly don’t know. My neuropsychologist has worked with me on this & has tried to help me get to a point of acceptance but I’m still not there yet. I could lie & say I’ve accepted these things because they don’t hurt me anymore but that’s just not true. They don’t hurt me because I have built up a wall to protect myself. I don’t allow myself to engage with those thoughts or feelings. A defense mechanism.

It’ll be nine years this June since my wreck. I have come a long way mentally & physically since then. I am beyond grateful just to be here still but I know I still have unresolved feelings/trauma to deal with. It’s hard to admit that & to even accept that because of how far I have come. It would be much easier to turn a blind eye to the unresolved feelings/trauma I still know I have than to actually deal with it. But what kind of life would that lead to if I never fully healed? It would lead to an unfulfilled life. An unfulfilled being. One thing I know for certain after all these years is that if you want to be happy & have true joy, you must live an authentic life. You have to embrace your true authentic self. This has always been my end goal. From my very first appointment with my neuropsychologist I said “I want to heal. I want to deal with my trauma so that one day, years from now, when someone looks me in the eye they won’t see a shell of a person & wonder “what happened to them?” I want them to just see me.” 

Carl Jung said “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” I believe this to be true but I also believe it is terrifying to accept situations that you have no say in or control over. That you can’t fix or change. You just have to accept it unresolved. I know lots of us have a hard time accepting & moving on from things in life. No matter how small or large they may be it is still a challenge to accept & move forward. It takes courage. But just know that you will gain strength, confidence & a new perspective during this process. I hope today can be the day you realize you are worth it to move forward & become one step closer to a fulfilled life. What seems overwhelming now will be your testimony later 💙 #NeverGiveUp #Hope #Courage 

Grief

Grief. We usually think about grief in terms of someone grieving the loss of a loved one or grieving the loss of a marriage. But what if you have to grieve the loss of your self? While on the road to recovery from a traumatic brain injury I have dealt with a lot of anger/rage. I took out that anger & rage on myself. I didn’t care about my well being, I was angry. My anger led to me almost killing myself. I dealt with suicidal thoughts but the biggest threat to my well being was my lack of concern for myself. My anger led me to believe I wasn’t worth any effort or concern. It wasn’t until I started opening up more to my neuropsychologist & trusting her that I realized what my anger’s real name was, it was grief. I was grieving the loss of myself. I was grieving the loss of what could have been, the life I pictured I would have, the what if’s & the what could’ve beens. I was grieving the certainty of the future I thought I was going to have because now I was left in the darkness of uncertainty. I’m not an emotional person but the one emotion I can access easily is anger. My anger covers for my hurt, sadness & grief. I know how to be angry, I didn’t know how to grieve. It’s a weird feeling to be grieving yourself when you are still alive. It’s a weird & almost selfish feeling to be grieving yourself & the future you pictured when you’re still alive. When you feel lucky/blessed to be alive, yet you still have this grief/sadness you’re caring in your soul. So instead of learning how to grieve properly I declined my true feelings & turned to anger. There are many times in our lives were we deny our true feelings or hide them because we don’t know how to express them or we are concerned with how they will be taken. But when we deny our true feelings we just put ourselves in more pain. There is no reason to hide or suppress yourself. It is in the process of learning to love yourself that you find true belonging. Believe in yourself. Belong to yourself. Share your most authentic self 💙 #NeverGiveUp #Hope 

Control

Control. I think a lot of people try to control things around them when they go through difficult times. During these times when we feel everything is going haywire in our lives we tend to try to grasp control, even if/when we know you don’t have any. I know I did. When I woke up from my coma I was welcomed by chaos. I was welcomed with the knowledge of what happened. I was welcomed with a list of my injuries. I was welcomed with unfathomable pain. I was welcomed with confusion. 

   During my time at OU Medical center I had no control. Honestly I don’t even remember being there. I know the stories that have been told to me about how I couldn’t stop talking, my breathing treatments & my ice baths to bring my temperature down but I don’t actually remember being there. I remember the pain. I remember the sounds, the frantic energy. I remember trying so desperately to wake up when the doctors were yelling at me & beating on my chest. I remember my heart beating ungodly fast & almost slipping away while I tried desperately to hold on. 

    When I got to Jim Thorpe I was in my walking coma. I, kaylen was still not awake but I do remember more from there. I remember having no control. No control over my body, my brain, my memories, my daily schedule, therapists bathing me, therapists watching me eat.. no control. When I finally got home I foolishly thought “well now I’m home everything is going to be good”.. I was oh so wrong. Nothing was good & nothing had changed except for my surroundings. I was still in pain, I still couldn’t walk, I still couldn’t remember.. I was still out of control. After being home for a few weeks a “friend” entered my life. During this “friendship” turned “romantic relationship” there were extreme highs & lows which left me feeling out of control. So during this time I took control over the only thing I had, food. I used food to take out my anger. I used food to try to feel independent because I was making the choice not to eat. I used food to punish myself for not understanding why things had happened the way they had. I wanted to make myself numb. I wanted to quiet the madness within my bones. I wanted to feel nothing. But by doing this I became sick, very sick. My recovery from my traumatic brain injury was affected, my physical recovery was affected & the path to finding myself was altered. I lost a lot of weight. I lost my personality. I built up bearers around myself & I became a walking zombie. If you were to look at me all you would see was a hollowed out human. I was dead inside. I had felt too much so I completely shut down. 

     It’s now a few years later & I have gained 40lbs of life back. I’m alive again. I’ve discovered who I am & I’m back on the path of healing. I’ve learned that because of my trauma I feel I need to know every detail about every situation or have control because I know how it feels to have lost control. After years of therapy with my neuropsychologist I understand now that there is no such thing as “being in control.” I’ve learned that when I thought I was “in control” I was completely out of control. We all go through struggles & hard times where we feel out of control. During these times some try to grasp at anything to control, like I did, instead of focusing on what is actually in our ability to change or control. But we don’t always need to know how everything is going to work out. When we pass through deep waters He will be with us. Even when our path seems to be fraught with knots, twists & traps He is with us. When we leave the pen in His hands we will never be disappointed with the story He has written for us. Today is the day to surrender your control & start walking in freedom 💙 #NeverGiveUp #Hope #Faith 

Seasons of change

Removed. Outcast. On my road to recovery from a traumatic brain injury these are some of the words I would’ve used to describe how I felt when around others. It’s been 8 years now since my wreck & these are still words I would use for myself. It’s hard relearning yourself. Relearning the world, social norms, etc. Relearning your physical capacity; walking, swallowing, dressing, showering. Relearning your mental capacity; thinking, remembering, spelling, writing, recalling. 

In the past 8 years I have come a long way. I’ve recovered better than my doctors originally thought I would. I have recovered my mental & physical capabilities. My “recovered” though is part of my “new” normal. Am I the same kaylen now that I was before the wreck? No. Does my brain function the same now as it did before the wreck? Definitely no. Does my body function the same now as it did before the wreck? Definitely no. Because of this I constantly feel as if I’m stuck in limbo. I’m blessed & beyond grateful to be where I am now but I’m still not a “normal” 32 year old. When I’m around others or in a crowd I still feel as if I don’t belong. I feel like an intruder. When others talk about their lives, jobs, or families I can not relate. When I get asked how I’m doing, what i do, or where I work I’m immediately filled with panic. “What do I say?” “How do I answer?” “Will they even understand?” “Will they view me differently?” “Will they still want to talk to me? Or will I be an outcast?”

This limbo I find myself in is a funny place. I’m now the healthiest I’ve been mentally & physically in years & yet I still feel as if there is a barrier between me & the world I want to be apart of. I tiptoe into the world I want to be a part of & carefully weave my way through people & conversations so I don’t reveal that I am not the same. I am not one of them. It’s a challenge. I’ve gotten better at it & I’m walking with more confidence now but I’m still chained by the fear of being revealed as an outcast. I’m half in limbo & half in the world. It’s hard to get out of my head & to shut out the voice of fear but where I am now is better than where I was years ago. I always remind myself that it’s the baby steps everyday that add up to get me to my end goal. It’s hard for me to accept that, be patient & to allow time to run its course when it’s now coming up on 9 years since my wreck but then I think back or get reminded of stories about where I was 6yrs, 4yrs, or even a year ago & I know I’m doing my best to stay the course. I know it’ll all happen in Gods timing. His will, will be done. There are times in all of our lives when we feel like outcasts but that doesn’t mean that we are. It just means we are in a season of change. It can be hard to wait out those seasons when we feel we don’t belong but what we are missing is the tiny changes that are happening around & within us everyday. These seasons of change can be different for everyone so don’t compare your life to anyone else’s. They are not you & you are not them. God has a special plan & path for all of us to walk. If you’re currently walking in a season of change, keep taking your baby steps. Trust His plan for you. Pray. Wait. Trust 💙 #NeverGiveUp 

Speaking your truth

One of the hardest things to do is openly admit you are struggling. Next month it will be nine years since my wreck & I still struggle every day. It’s honestly terrifying just writing that out. It’s easier for me to remain in denial & lie to myself than to speak my truth. I have a bad habit of shutting off my feelings when it becomes too much. I’ve learned it’s a defense mechanism but it also keeps me numb. At the beginning of my recovery I preferred being numb than to actually feel what I had/was experiencing & honestly even now it’s preferable to be numb than feel. I used to never understand the expression dying from a broken heart or having a hole in your heart, but unfortunately I understand now. 

In the beginning of my recovery from a traumatic brain injury I was still in my walking coma & was basically being shuffled around from one therapy to the next & if I wasn’t in therapy then I was sleeping. It wasn’t until probably 3-5 years ago that I actually started to fully wake up & truly understand what had happened to me, what my life was like presently & how my future would be altered from the one I had pictured. In the beginning I was in such a foggy childlike mindset that I didn’t have the brain power to evaluate & deal with my feelings. My “new” self/brain wasn’t mature enough to work through anything yet. But then about 3-5 years ago when I started to fully wake up my heart, body & mind demanded that I start dealing with my feelings/emotions. This is around the time when I started to see my neuropsychologist & she helped me talk situations out & she helped me be more vulnerable in speaking my truth so I could get a handle on my unresolved emotions. 

It’s now a month away from being nine years since my wreck & I am still struggling. I’m still having to battle my instincts to just deny my feelings & move forward. I am still having to battle with grasping my life & how it is so much different than I could have ever imagined for myself. I am still nursing my broken heart & trying to patch the holes that have yet to heal. 

As I am writing this I am overwhelmed with a sense of embarrassment & shame. Thinking to myself “No don’t write this. People will read this. They might see you differently. Etc.” But these thoughts are the exact reason why I feel I need to speak my truth. So many of us are struggling every single day but we fear that if we speak life to our struggles people might view us differently, think less of us or avoid us because they don’t know what to do or say now they know how we are really feeling. If I’m honest with myself I know that if someone told me they were struggling & bared their soul to me that is not the reaction I would have. I would open my arms & heart to them. And I think a lot of people can relate to that. We forget that there are others out there just like us who know what it means to struggle, who know what it means to fight invisible battles every day. We forget we are not alone in our fights. If you are currently struggling I hope today you can be honest with yourself & speak your truth without fear. No matter what you are battling you are not alone.

The road to acceptance

“Just accept it & move on.” “To move on & be happy you have to accept your situation.” “Just accept the new you.” It’s easy to talk about acceptance but in practice it is actually quite hard. I had to accept my “new” self after my wreck. I had to accept that my brain & body were not going to function like the “old” Kaylen. That was hard to accept especially when I come from a background of athletics & perfectionism. I used to believe that if you worked hard enough & practiced you could change or fix your physical/mental abilities. I was so very wrong. There is no “oh well if you would’ve just worked harder in rehab & outpatient therapy you would be back to the “old” you by now.” I did work hard. I did put in the effort. I did change some of my abilities but I will never be back to the “old” me. This I have accepted. I have embraced my “new” body & brain. I have made peace with it. Surprisingly this was one of the easier things for me to accept on my road to recovery from a traumatic brain injury. I personally think it’s because I had some control in this. I could control my work ethic. I could control the effort I gave in therapy. It’s the stuff I have no control over that is the hardest for me to accept. How do you accept something when there has yet to be any accountability taken? How do you accept loved ones leaving your life with no explanation? How do you accept unanswered questions? I honestly don’t know. My neuropsychologist has worked with me on this & has tried to help me get to a point of acceptance but I’m still not there yet. I could lie & say I’ve accepted these things because they don’t hurt me anymore but that’s just not true. They don’t hurt me because I have built up a wall to protect myself. I don’t allow myself to engage with those thoughts or feelings. A defense mechanism.

It’ll be nine years this June since my wreck. I have come a long way mentally & physically since then. I am beyond grateful just to be here still but I know I still have unresolved feelings/trauma to deal with. It’s hard to admit that & to even accept that because of how far I have come. It would be much easier to turn a blind eye to the unresolved feelings/trauma I still know I have than to actually deal with it. But what kind of life would that lead to if I never fully healed? It would lead to an unfulfilled life. An unfulfilled being. One thing I know for certain after all these years is that if you want to be happy & have true joy, you must live an authentic life. You have to embrace your true authentic self. This has always been my end goal. From my very first appointment with my neuropsychologist I said “I want to heal. I want to deal with my trauma so that one day, years from now, when someone looks me in the eye they won’t see a shell of a person & wonder “what happened to them?” I want them to just see me.” 

Carl Jung said “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” I believe this to be true but I also believe it is terrifying to accept situations that you have no say in or control over. That you can’t fix or change. You just have to accept it unresolved. I know lots of us have a hard time accepting & moving on from things in life. No matter how small or large they may be it is still a challenge to accept & move forward. It takes courage. But just know that you will gain strength, confidence & a new perspective during this process. I hope today can be the day you realize you are worth it to move forward & become one step closer to a fulfilled life. What seems overwhelming now will be your testimony later.

Learning to move forward

One thing I wish I was told when I left Jim Thorpe rehabilitation was “that it’s going to be hard to watch life pass you by as you try to just get back to baseline. While you are achieving huge gains on your recovery from a traumatic brain injury you will watch others continue on in life & while you are celebrating monumental moments like walking again, standing to take a shower, being able to find & spell four letter words others will be celebrating getting married or having children. Just because your achievements seem small compared to others does not mean you haven’t moved forward in life. Your moving forward will just be quite a bit slower & harder to see.” 

I don’t know if being told this while leaving Jim Thorpe would’ve helped much because I was still in my walking coma at that time but I wish I could’ve had an hourly, daily, weekly reminder just so I could have prepared myself better. Once I left Jim Thorpe I started outpatient therapy at Mercy. I went three days a week for three hours. I did occupational, speech & physical therapy. During this time in my recovery I was just focused on surviving & doing what I needed to do to make it to the next hour & if I’m being completely honest I still haven’t fully left that mindset. My therapists at mercy were God sent. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today without them. They helped me improve so much. They all tried to prepare me as well as they could for when I started to wake up more from my walking coma & had the ability to think of a future for myself. But despite their best efforts I still wasn’t prepared. I went to a few traumatic brain injury support group meetings to seek help in moving on. The first meeting I went to the topic was grieving for the loss of yourself. At the time I didn’t really grasp that concept but once I started seeing my neuropsychologist she helped me to dive deeper into that. She helped me grieve the loss of myself & the loss of that girls future, the future I thought I had planned out. This was by far the hardest part of my recovery from a traumatic brain injury. I can deal with physical pain. Dealing with the “razor blades in my head” headaches, the pain of my broken hip, pelvis, sternum, ribs, collapsed lung & lung treatments were something I knew how to deal with. I grew up in sports & athletics so dealing with physical pain came easy to me. It was tough because sometimes the pain was blinding but I knew it would go away once it healed & once a little more time went by. It was the emotional pain that was the hardest. I joke sometimes about how I would go through the wreck 100 times if all I had to deal with was the physical pain & I got to bypass the emotional. I say I joke but now that it’s been almost 9 years since my wreck I’m quite serious. 

It’s hard to explain the kind of emotional pain, heartache & loneliness that comes with watching life leave you behind. It’s like being a child’s former favorite toy that has been stowed away in a closet & you watch that child pick up, play with new & better toys knowing that the child will never come back for you. You can never get back those moments. The child a.k.a life has moved on. 

We all deal with this feeling of being forgotten or being left behind & it can weigh you down, make you feel insecure, make you depressed, increase your anxiety but the one thing it can not do is stop you from moving forward in life. I know I can’t get back the huge life moments I missed. I can’t go back in time to witness friends weddings or friends having their children those moments are unfortunately lost. But I know I have the ability to move forward & create/witness new life moments. No matter what emotional pain you might be dealing with or life struggle you may currently be battling just know we always have the choice to keep taking baby steps forward. Yes it will be hard & there will be times when you think you have reached your endpoint, I know I did, but it’s in these hard moments when it is so important to keep going because once you’ve taken a few steps & gotten out of that darkness you will know there is nothing that can hold you back. You will have found your inner strength.

Finding myself

I don’t know how to write this or even if I should. I’ve tried to keep this close to my chest & I’ve done my best to work through it but I still feel as though I’m being haunted by a ghost. When I woke up from my coma I, kaylen, was not awake. I woke from my coma into a walking coma. I don’t think I, Kaylen, started to wake up until years later. Once I got home from my stay at Jim Thorpe I was told about a “friend” who had visited me & how I knew him from college. I couldn’t remember him but I was told he came to the hospital & he stayed for a while. Once I was allowed to get back on Facebook & use a phone I started getting messages from him. He wanted to come see me. My parents agreed so after being home for a few weeks from Jim Thorpe he came over. I didn’t remember him or know who he was but he seemed nice. My wreck occurred in June so my parents were out of school & my mother was taking me to therapy but when it came time for school to start she needed help with taking me to therapy. My new “friend” offered to help. He took me & sat with me through my therapies. He helped me with my wheelchair & walker. He came to some of my neurologist & neuropsychologist appointments as well. I still couldn’t remember him though but he told me stories of our “friendship” & with him taking me to therapy & helping my parents out I figured he had to be telling the truth & that this was just more memories my traumatic brain injury had stolen from me. This “friendship” ended up turning into a romantic relationship. I was completely blinded by my love for him & it didn’t help me that I was also trying to recover from a severe traumatic brain injury & my physical injuries. Broken hip & pelvis, broken sternum, ribs, sacrum, well basically my physical body needed just as much recovery as my brain. I missed a lot. I missed the lies. I missed the cheating. I missed the manipulation. I missed the gas lighting. I missed the emotional abuse. I missed the controlling. I was only hearing what he was telling me. All his hurtful words, harsh criticisms & anger towards me I took as truth. I thought he loved me & cared for me. I thought he was my friend. How could the friend who was taken you to therapy & going to doctors appointments with you being lying to you? If he is getting angry with me & saying hurtful things they must be true, right? He knew you before the wreck & you were best friends he wouldn’t be mean for no reason, right? It has to be you kaylen. You have got to change & fix what he is telling you. He is only trying to help because he loves you. He has promised you a future. He’s shown you rings & wedding dresses. He has shown you videos of men who stuck with their girlfriends after their traumatic brain injuries. He promised he will be with you till the end. He said he would never leave your side. You must change Kaylen. Become “right.” Become “good.” 

   So that’s exactly what I did. I tried my best to become “good.” Everything he said I took as truth & then went about trying to make the changes to fit whatever mold I was told I needed to fit that day to be a “good girlfriend.” As you can probably imagine this affected my recovery. But it wasn’t until years later that I started to see what was going on. I didn’t start seeing by myself. I had therapists & friends who helped me see this wasn’t good. I was not in the loving relationship I thought I was in. I mean from my side the love was unconditional & true but it wasn’t on his. It was a game. I was something to be used & played with. My story was a great storyline for him to tell. But it was just that a great storyline. Unfortunately when I started to see I found out we were never friends in college. Every story he had told me about college was a lie. We were never the best friends he had described to me. Once when I got brave enough to ask why I still couldn’t remember him he blamed my brain & said it was “just like how my grandpa couldn’t remember me.” My grandpa was currently struggling with dementia at this time & I was the only grandchild he had forgotten. 

 These years were quite challenging for me. They were filled with extreme highs & extreme lows. I would be lying if I didn’t say they affected my recovery from my traumatic brain injury & if I didn’t say they brought on a different kind of trauma & PTSD than from my wreck. It’s weird though because it’s been years now & I still am haunted by the ghost of what I thought was. It’s hard when you relearned the world with someone only to learn it was a lie. It’s hard when you created new memories with someone only to learn they weren’t real. Nothing was real for me in the first five years of my recovery. Everything I thought was real turned out to be a lie or manipulation. It’s funny though because if I wouldn’t have gone through that I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. If I wouldn’t have gone through those years I wouldn’t have found my untapped strength & my joy. If I were to tell you about my wreck you would say that was probably the worst thing that happened to me in my life & well you would be half right because if it wasn’t for my wreck the “friend” that entered my life would’ve never happened. I never would’ve gone through those years of pain, heartache & confusion after my wreck. But now that you know a brief summary of those years I can honestly say, like I have before, I still would drive through that intersection even knowing what was to follow. It was literally at rock bottom were I found myself. It was on a bathroom floor were I was debating ending my life that I finally met kaylen. Were I learned how strong my faith really was & were I found my untapped strength.      

  God doesn’t give the hardest battles to His toughest soldiers, He creates the toughest soldiers through life’s hardest battles. No matter what you are currently struggling with or working through just know that these hard times aren’t meant to destroy you or weaken you. They are meant to strengthen you & to allow you to find your true self. Never doubt your strength to carry on. It’s only through the darkness that you will find the brilliant light inside yourself 💙 #NeverGiveUp #Hope #Strength

Alone

img_6518She is all bark and no bite. Just like a china doll with a tough exterior but so fragile and empty. Trying to fix her broken pieces with duck tape, patching up the wounds from her past. She is alone. Alone in the worst way because no one understands. Do you see her scars? Do you feel her pain? Nobody understands the pain she feels inside her head everyday. She puts on a smile and a brave front to keep out the cold, she must protect herself. Her past has proven trust no one. Smiles, tears and words tend to all mean nothing in the end. She hates feeling so isolated, unloved and weak. Each day chips away another piece of her soul. How long can she last? She doesn’t know. She is overwhelmed with pain and her quiet rage grows inside everyday.

I guess this is how it happens. It doesn’t happen all at once, it is a slow fade. You lose a piece of yourself here and someone takes a piece from you there, until there is nothing left. You slip, stumble and fall countless times just trying to find your grip. Trying to find your balance so you can continue on. Until one day a piece gets taken from you that’s so big everything crumbles around it. Just like a game of Jinga, there are certain pieces that must stay intact or the game is over.

You never realize you are broken until you already are. You don’t realize how bad off you are until the blinders get ripped off and you see everything with a new perspective. Every next level of your life will demand a new version of you, as long as you can make it through the transition. If all you can do is crawl, then start crawling. You can’t give up and stay at the bottom. One day your heart will stop beating and you will draw the last breath from your lungs. When you have reached your end none of your fears or worries will matter. Don’t reach the end of life with regrets from the missed chances that your heart was urging you to take but your fear overpowered your heart. The only thing that matters is how well you lived. People may forget what you say but they won’t forget how you made them feel. Live out the rest of your days in such a way that you enhance and influence the lives of those around you. Don’t be the last man, who’s sole desire is his own comfort.

As time goes by I realize the things that cost nothing hold the most value. Don’t be afraid to keep trying. You will get knocked down over and over again but I promise you can always get back up and stand tall. Believe in yourself. And if there ever comes a time where you are too afraid to continue, just remember to be scarier than whatever it is that scares you. You must be unshakable in the belief that you are worthy of a great life. I promise you are never too far gone.