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The Gift of Surviving it All

This has been a tough couple years. OK, I’m correcting myself now. It’s been a tough 5 years! It’s been a hell-a-ride on a monster roller coaster with a weird psycho at the controls. While I can look back at it all and say I made it, I can also realize how deeply tired I am from all it too. My bones hurt from the constant shifting, adjusting and cajoling it has taken to stay and secure safe on the ride. Whew. That feels good to say too. Besides being able to say I made it, I can say I also survived it. That in itself is a gift of incredible experience, wisdom and even a lesson learned in perspective.

I feel I have worn out the saying that life isn’t easy. When you are in the middle of it all, life certainly doesn’t feel easy at all. When things are going wrong left and right and you’re waiting for the next shoe to drop on top of it, life definitely is not easy. After a while I felt like I was always waiting for the next shoe too. It was only a matter of time and boom! I’d be hit with another something out of left field to content with in my day. It would probably cost money too. Problems always seem to cost something. The stress of always being on guard for the next problem while you’re slaying the one in front of you takes its toll. I also forgot what it felt like to just be. To breathe instead of being ramped up ready for war all the time. I ran on the adrenaline of it all and that was impacting my body, mental well-being and everything in between.

From jobs that went bad resulting in the need to look for another to having my husband diagnosed with PTSD and unable to work, to just simple things breaking in our home or a vehicle, life seemed relentless. At one point I didn’t’ think there was an area of my life not on fire over something. That type of stress level went on for some time and at times still seems to spark up somewhere, usually in my job. I didn’t know where to start in fixing things. Laughingly, I realize now how little I could have actually done in some of these situations and yet there I was in the thick of them giving it anything I had to be better.

It is always a different view when it is behind you. The ability to see things and experiences from a different angle than right in front of you. Looking back I see strength I didn’t even know I had and I’ve always been considered strong. This though was next level. There were also a lot of times I lost it too. We all have those breaking points where it’s too much to stand. I see that too. Yet here I am 5 years later a survivor of it all. The essence of that time brought me here a even stronger person with a little more wisdom and the ability to still hope and dream. I realize it did harden me in spots and even left me untrusting in some places too, but it also opened me to possibility of good, for hope and dreams.

The ability to survive and be in a place of gratefulness for those problems is grace itself. I believe it is because there were moments over the past 5 years I was actually prepared for something that happened and that was nice. There were even moments when things seemed like they would be alright. I would figure it out, things would heal, get better, change for the better, just better. Sometimes they were and sometimes they weren’t. It at times seems like a crapshoot that you don’t know what you will get or find. Surviving against the tide of what has happened in our world along with personal family situations has it’s way of making you realize a few things about yourself that I need to just own and admit at last.

First, hard times don’t last. It seems like they do and sometimes things do happen one thing after the next but it is not forever. That is extremely hard to remember or understand when things are upside down in your life too. It has felt like a constant beating of hard waves in my family’s life the last 5 years. There have been so many tears, bouts of worry, struggle and lots of bowls of grit and determination. We figured out a lot of things I never thought we would ever face and we were actually alright even if we’re not out of it all yet. The hard times may come in a stream that never seems to stop flow