One Year Later.
It’s amazing how quickly time passes, and yet in what feels like a short amount of time, so much can change.
Last year on this very day, I woke up excited and full of anticipation for the weekend. I went for a run with my dogs and packed my suitcase to head out of town. Just a few hours before my departure, I walked into town for a last minute haircut.
As I made my way across the street, I felt the impact of a Chevy Tahoe slamming me in the side, and right then my whole world changed. What should have been a day of celebration, family, and love suddenly became a nightmare of sirens, fear, and pain.
The days that followed seem like a blur to think about now. To be honest, just reliving that morning in my head gives me a burning sensation in my chest and shakiness in my hands. I was incredibly lucky to survive the accident at all, and that I’m here to reflect on it a year later.
I haven’t written about it in quite some time, as the bruises are gone and the scars are now an accepted part of me. I have some permanent nerve damage in my left knee that limits me from kneeling or putting pressure on it directly. And when I think about the fact that I can’t kneel by the tub to bathe my baby, or get down on my knees to play with my kids on the floor, I feel angry all over again.
I went from feeling strong and healthy to feeling virtually unrecognizable – both on the the inside and out.
The scars and nerve damage are not what really make it hard to think about that day. Until my accident, I didn’t understand how a physical event could create such a lasting emotional impact. The weeks and months that followed brought on intense depression and anxiety that I never expected.
I found myself terrified of being alone, and even more codependent than normal. I struggled to control my emotions, and found myself crying over things that should have been easy to manage. Riding in cars and crossing streets brought on a level of anxiety that was paralyzing.
It took a lot of physical and emotional healing to get me back to a place where I felt like myself again. And while I am most definitely healed, I am also changed.
Our time here is short, and I don’t take that for granted anymore. And while eventually I got over my fear of being alone, I realized that alone is never what I want. I make every effort to be surrounded by the people I love as much as possible.
I appreciate my body in ways I never knew I could. Prior to the accident, I allowed myself to be defined by being active, running long distances, and always striving to be a model of health. While those things are absolutely still important to me, they no longer define or control me.
The healing process taught me to slow down, listen to my body, and develop my identity from what was inside rather than outside.
So here I sit one year later, once again in a body that sometimes feels quite foreign to me, but this time for all the right reasons.
This year there is no fear or anxiety, but instead our house swells with excitement and anticipation. This year I am looking forward to heading to the hospital.
One year later, my body has not only healed, it has created a brand new life.
One year later, I have not run a single race, tackled a distance over 9 miles, or fit into my favorite pair of jeans.
But one year later, I have become a mother, and a better wife, and I’ve learned more about myself in the process than I knew possible.
What a year.