3 Years Ago Our Lives Were Changed and We Continue to Grow

A little over a week ago Matt and I were driving to dinner. We were stopped in traffic. I wondered what was taking so long when I looked over and it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. My vision blackened, I saw orbs of light, nausea stirred within, and my heart rate spiked to an unhealthy speed. A girl in her mid twenties lay on the ground and there was a car stopped right in front of her. I knew instantly she had been hit while trying to cross the street. My feelings were brought on by the remembrance of my witnessing Matt’s accident three years prior.

Without fail, a week before this day, I experience signs of extreme anxiety. I now know how to deal with it so that it does not get out of hand. However, the first year after Matt’s accident I was told that I experienced PTSD from witnessing him getting hit by a car. I was shocked. It had taken an entire year for the nasty issue to rear its ugly head and to swing at my insides and mind with its fists that were full of fear.

The first incident of PTSD/anxiety landed me in the emergency room. Since I had had no past with mental health issues the hospital did not initially consider the possibility of a panic attack. The hospital staff thought that I was either having a heart attack or experiencing a pulmonary embolism. When my EKG was normal and my tests came back negative for a blood clot they informed me that I had most likely experienced a panic attack and sent me home. It happened again a few days later and I went to the doctor. The doctor put me into contact with a counselor on staff. After scheduling an appointment and speaking with that staff person, I was able to work through the issues that had cropped up from that time in our lives and I learned coping mechanisms.

You may be thinking that this is a lot to share on a social media platform. I am okay with sharing my experience for the reason that there are others out there who may need to know my experience to help get through one of their own.

Every single day I am grateful for the beautiful person that is my husband. I can truly say that I don’t know anyone as kind hearted, giving, and as positive as him. I can also say I don’t know what I would do without the great community of people that we have had the privilege of knowing. That community who surrounded us during that time, changed our lives.

My eyes are tearing up as I write this, thinking about all of you. You cannot make it through life without others beside you. The line of friend and family blurs when both are so closely joined even after times of struggle have passed.

When things in life occur that are catastrophic we have two choices. The first choice is to let that hardship tear you down and to lose who you are. The other choice is the one my amazing husband made. He took that difficulty and turned it into something that is beautiful and allowed it to refine him into a stronger person.

I am thankful for the moments and times in our lives when we are refined by fire. The process is painful, the healing painstaking, but the finished product worth the labor. My challenge to you is to not hide your struggles. Don’t bury them so deeply you cannot get passed them. Things seem worse when you keep them to yourself. They have the ability to twist and turn and to grow bigger than they actually have right to be. Reach out and  talk about what you’re going through so that this doesn’t happen. In turn, love on others around you.

Matt and I have been molded by the hands that reached out to love, embrace, and hold us up when we were too tired to keep going. Thank you so much to those who stood with us during that time. It simply cannot be expressed how much you changed our lives. You all know who you are.

So Cheers to 3 years of life, of love, strength, and courage. Cheers to many more of learning, growing, refining, and being refined. Life is audacious and we should follow its example.

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