The night of my accident I felt fear in a way that I hope to never experience again. It overtook me and was the only feeling I had resonating through my bones. Or maybe that was just my screams? Either way, I find now that my everyday fears which I think of as “little fears” have inhibited me from moving forward.
Having a chronic condition of PTSD, a chronic illness of thyroid and iron issues, combined with meningitis recovery means that I am always looking over my shoulder to see what’s next. My life has been inundated with so very many odd and difficult experiences. It seems only fitting that perhaps next year another one will grace me with its presence and I again will earn my title as a Survivor.
I have difficulty shaking off this notion that the next time something crazy happens to someone, it will probably be me.
I am tired of it. I’ve paid my dues. Mono, Shingles, Major car accident leading to PTSD, viral meningitis, iron overload, thyroid disorders. Doesn’t my body deserve a break? It’s so easy to fall into the why me, isn’t it? Think about what you’ve been through. Doesn’t it feel right to say that?
It was a conversation last week that started to change my thinking… There I was, sitting in lunch with some new colleagues and the conversation of birthdays led to age and graduation years. I proudly shared that I was 30. My new colleague snapped her head so fast around I wasn’t sure what she would do next. She was shocked and convinced that I was much older. Thinking I would take offense, she apologized immediately, but she didn’t need to. This is the second time I’ve had a new colleague think I was at least 10 years older and I didn’t mind one bit. You know why? It’s because in that moment I realized everything I’ve been through has allowed me to become wise beyond my years. I have crammed in so much life in these 30 that I feel like I am already 60 or more. Here I am just starting my 30s and I have more wisdom than I would without all of those crazy experiences and illnesses.Little did I know that I was sitting on this bit of gratitude underneath all of my frustration and fear. And while I still am working through my little and big fears, I am starting to realize there is a path forward even if I cannot see it just yet.
My hope is that as I approach Thanksgiving, I can land in gratitude. Because of my life experiences, I am a more informed and aware individual and with that information I can live a richer and more satisfying life.
So I guess I’ll say what I said to my colleague when she thought I was older…That’s a good thing and I’ll take it!