The Difference a Decade and a Half Makes

Wow. I just realized the tenth anniversary of my accident went by – almost nine months ago. There was a time when I marked each  year, but then I guess it got to the place where it didn’t matter anymore.

For those of you who haven’t read some of my older blog posts, in 2008, life was pretty normal. I’d just bought a new (to me) home and was settling in nicely. Until that fateful day. (cue dramatic music – sorry, couldn’t resist having a little fun there – I’m a writer though so… :))

I was on my way to pick up lunch fixings for my kids for school the next day. It was a chilly late afternoon on the sixth of October. The sky was clear, the sun was out. And a guy named Ed blew through a red light on the highway and totaled my van.

I didn’t know it then but my life would change – a lot – not only for the next few years, but pretty much for the rest of my life. I didn’t know I’d wind up in physical, occupational, and vision therapy three days a week for close to a year. I didn’t know there were doctors who encouraged you to give up fighting. Who would flippantly suggest you accept what life has become and start using wheelchairs and walkers instead of fighting to get back what you had.

Nearly eleven years ago, I didn’t realize just how stubborn and determined I could be.

Thanks to those tendencies, that awful doctor, and a nurse advocate who told me I’d probably never get back to more than seventy percent of what I was before the accident, I set out to prove everyone wrong.

And I did. Mostly. I’d say I’m at eighty-five percent – and still planning to hit the hundred mark. It may take a while longer but that’s okay.

I’m not in a wheelchair and I don’t use a walker. There are some minor issues  – if I do stupid things. To observe me most days though, no one would ever guess how hard I worked to get here because I don’t look different.

And that’s not the only thing that happened either. Because of a TBI (traumatic brain injury) I went from so much difficulty concentrating that I was afraid I’d never be able to write again. But I wouldn’t accept that either. Telling stories has been a huge part of my life for most of my life, so I kept at it. And I’ve written and published more than two dozen books since 2011.

Am I telling you all of this to brag? Maybe a little. I worked my butt off to get here and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.

Mostly though, it’s to remind myself that no matter how difficult situations may sometimes seem, I do have it in me to change them. To make my life better. It may take more effort than I want to expend but I can do it. If I persist. If I call on the same stubbornness and determination that got me from ‘you should just give up and start using a wheelchair’ to where I am today. If I pray – a lot. If I do all of those things, I’ll almost always accomplish whatever it is I set out to do.

There are times when it would be nice if the things I really want (or the things I really want to change) would come easier. But I don’t think I’d appreciate them as much if they did. Now I just need to keep telling myself that as I get ready to make more changes in my life. The struggle is worth it, right? 🙂

Have you ever faced something that seemed impossible? Something where it looked as though the odds were stacked against you – and yet you prevailed? Let me know in the comments below.

To conclude, I was going to share an inspiring song. But then I found my new favorite and decided I wanted to use that one instead. I just cannot get enough of Ed Sheeran!

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