In June 2005, I was involved in a horrific car accident. I was the back seat passenger in a vehicle that flipped and despite wearing a seat belt, I was ejected out the back window. I cracked my head open and had slight bleeding in the brain but I survived. The driver of the vehicle, my husband’s brother Michael, did not survive. Shortly after the accident, I fell into a depression and began to suffer significantly with anxiety. I struggled with the fact that I had survived this accident and Michael did not. I suffered from migraines for a long time and, frankly, I didn’t feel worthy of survival. I spent a long time asking, Why me?
Looking back, one of the challenges that I created for myself was not opening up and talking about how I felt. I spoke openly about the accident but not about how it affected me inside. I internalized my feelings, which created a downward spiral. This was one of the most challenging, and darkest, times of my life.
One day, I woke up and decided that I wasn’t going to live that way anymore. I wasn’t going to feel sorry for myself. I wasn’t going to waste my life away. I was going to create a life that was worthy of survival. It is not perfect. It certainly has its ups and downs. I make mistakes – regularly. But it is my life. I am here, able to live it. And for that, I am grateful.
I am often asked how I am remaining positive throughout this journey. Because I have seen the other side. I have seen what negativity and sadness and anger can do to a person – because I did it to myself. Could I spend the next year asking myself – why me? Absolutely. Would anyone fault me for doing just that? Probably not. But I’m not wasting my time on that. I refuse to let cancer own me. I refuse to let cancer bring me down that spiral.
It’s mind over matter for me – the power of positivity!