Sometimes life can get the best of us. We get so wrapped up in our daily mundane routine that we forget to stop and smell the roses. I first hand know how stressful life can be. I have faced many disappointments and dealt with tragic loss over the last couple of years. What I have come to learn is that bad things happen. There is no stopping the bad. However, you can choose to dwell on the bad, or learn to embrace and enjoy all of the good.

In 2013 my life just became what felt like a downward spiral. I lost someone very special to me in a car accident. Someone who had been by my side since I was 13 years old, my best friend, Matthew. I have had family and friends pass away before but none that I was so close with. After his passing, the grief took over causing me to close off, build walls up, and shut people out. I have never known a loss like that. We had nothing to offer one another except pure honest friendship. That is rare these days. A friend who will look out for you with zero expectation. Losing him was devastating not only for me but everyone who knew and loved him.

b52060e230feabcaba946a8fa308a672Not even a year later a very dear friend of mine and my husbands, a friend whom we consider to be family, was in a tragic car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. That hurt us deeply. A man that we both grew up with, a man that our daughter calls uncle, and a man that just found out he was going to become a father was dealt something so tragic. After his accident my husband and I, along with our entire community rallied together to support him. Whether it was organizing benefits to raise money or just being by his side and helping in any way we could.

On top of grieving the loss of one friend and seeing another go through something so traumatic and life changing, David and I were having marital problems. We weren’t communicating the way we should have been. We had got to a point in our marriage where all we did was fight and it had taken its toll on not only us, but our daughter. We were so consumed by what was going on around us that we pushed each other away. We forgot that we were team.

However, that’s not where my downward spiral seemed to stop. I was so stressed out and overwhelmed with everything going on that I allowed it to affect my work. I was so upset by things in my personal life that I took everything personal and spoke up about things that were going on that I would normally let roll off my shoulder. The stress of the big issues made the trivial stuff even bigger than it was. It ended up costing me my job. Not even a few weeks later, David and I discussed splitting up and I went to stay with my sister out of town for a couple of weeks.

e32fe446fec419f7d1911f0ba3d99f75At this point I was so numb. I had shut everyone out except for my sisters and a few close friends. I was so consumed by all of the bad things happening around me, piled on top of the day to day stuff that I had become this miserable person that even I didn’t recognize. When I returned home, I returned home wanting to work on being the best me I could be. I wanted to focus more on my marriage and my family and less on the negative. Things seemed better for David and I after sometime apart, but that was not the case. There was an ugly secret that shortly showed its ugly face, shattering everything we had built.

After that, we decided it was either time to fight or flight. So we put all the cards on the table and decided to fight. It was rocky in the beginning, we had a lot of healing to do. We started therapy with a woman whom I couldn’t be more grateful for. We worked extremely hard to get our life back, to get our happiness back. Things were really looking up for us. I had even started working again. We began attending church every Sunday which we have found to be great for us as a married couple as well as individuals.

Not long after things started to go smoothly for us, we were faced with tragedy yet again (that’s a blog post by itself that I will share eventually), but here I am today having overcome each thing that has been dealt to me. I didn’t escape unharmed. I have scars that will remain with me forever, but I will not let them define me. I have fought my way to be who I am today and I am only a work in progress. I have come to realize that I have so much to be grateful for. I have a beautiful daughter who I couldn’t be more proud of. I have a husband who loves me despite my flaws and vice versa. We have our faith, health, family, and friends. We may not have all that we want or desire,  but we do have all that we need. I am going to strive to look for the silver lining in each day. I encourage you to do the same. Life is too short to walk through it filled with pain, anger, and resentment. Have faith that there is bigger and better plan, because there is!

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