5 years. A half decade. I can’t believe it. I have learned a lot about myself these last 5 years – about who I am, who I was, and who I will never be again.
I decided at the beginning of this year that it would be the Year of Me, and I’ve taken steps to do things that I’m interested in. I’ve redefined, reimagined, and reinvigorated myself. Along the way I’ve come to several realizations about me and about my struggle.
I have realized that my husband has loved me looking the way I do for 5 years, and only loved the old me for 1 year; he means it when he says that I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t look like this, so maybe it’s time I learn to love me like this too.
I have realized that I am a fighter, I am stronger than I have ever thought possible, and the things I thought would be hardest weren’t difficult at all. Since the event, I have gone a year where MiniSir was away for 5 months of 12, a 4-month “mini deployment” period, and countless nights of eating dinner at 8pm because he’s worked late again. I have gained and then lost 40 pounds, conceived and carried a beautiful baby boy, and am working on becoming more fit so I can be around to annoy Grunt for a long time.
I have realized that PTSD is insidious, never goes away, and can sneak up on you when you least expect it; it struck me, the victim, but it also struck my family, and they managed it with varying degrees of success.
It is for this reason that this year, I wanted to reach out to the city of Medicine Hat – particularly to the first responders, witnesses, and caretakers that were affected by this accident – because I know now that there could be people out there that need this closure to move on. But the Medicine Hat News never returned my letters regarding publishing an editorial or news story, so I’m struggling to get word out.
I’m pleading with all of you – share this with your friends. Let’s see if we can get word to these people: I am alive, I am well, and I am thriving. I don’t know how many are still in Calgary and Medicine Hat, but it’s a good place to start.
I never lost consciousness during the accident, so I know there were at least 6 witnesses to the accident. There were 3 paramedics that responded, one of them off-duty. I know there were police officers involved. I know there were two occupants of the vehicle in question. I know there were nurses and doctors, and later there were physical and occupational therapists that called me “Iron Woman”. If we can find any of these people, I would be grateful.
I want to let them know I’m here, and I’m okay. Better than okay, actually – I’m great. My life is not the same, but I wouldn’t give up what I have now to go back. I have everything I ever wanted and am working on getting more. The world is mine for the taking. Thank you all.