I am officially three weeks, or halfway into my recovery after the accident. In another three weeks I will meet with doctors to get follow-up scans, find out how my fractures are healing and if any additional time is needed before I can resume doing any “normal” activities again. In some ways, three weeks really seemed to fly by. In others, this has been the longest three weeks of my life.
Just three more weeks of resting and being as still as possible…that’s everyone’s dream, right? To be in a position where nothing is expected of them and they’re not allowed to do anything other than just sit and watch Netflix and play video games? Not me. I am as active, type A and OCD as a person can be. And for someone as active as I am, telling a person like me to lay down and be as still as possible is like telling a tree not to release oxygen into the atmosphere. It’s simply not in my nature.
It was never a question that this journey would be physically challenging, but as time ticks by and my physical strength improves, I find that it is my mental strength that is being tested more than anything. The idle mind is the devil’s playground, and this is my hell.
While everyone has been extremely kind sending me the most wonderful well wishes but being careful not to bother me so that I have “space” to heal, please hear me when I tell you: YOU ARE NOT A BOTHER TO ME WHATSOEVER. There is nothing I want or love more than seeing and spending time with the people I love so dearly; especially after believing I wouldn’t see anyone ever again. Every text, phone call and visit has been such a blessing and I’m thankful for every single one of them. I was given a second chance at life, and in essence a second chance to grow closer to the amazing people I have in my circle…and even build as many more relationships with people as I can. All I need is 8 hours of sleep every night, the other 16 hours of the day spent “healing,” or sitting on my butt, can get pretty lonely, so please don’t feel like you would be “disturbing my peace” if you wanted to come by and say hello. Just remember not to squeeze me too hard when you hug me 😉
The first day in the hospital, my brother warned me that I’d probably have nightmares for a few days after going through such a traumatic experience like that. He was wrong. That first week after the accident was by far the best sleep I have ever gotten in my entire life. I did not dream at all, just deep, sound sleep.
One thing that I did not disclose in my previous blog post is that I did not black out during the accident. I was not even concussed. It didn’t seem like it was happening in “slow motion” either, like everyone keeps asking me. I was completely awake during the whole thing and aware of everything that was going on around me. I remember everything so vividly. I didn’t tell my brother this, but I was not worried at all about nightmares because my mind was replaying the same horror scene clear as day, right in front of me over and over and over again. In fact, I couldn’t wait to fall asleep, because I knew my body was working in overdrive to recover so my mind didn’t even have the time to conjure up any dreams.
As it turns out, we were both wrong. Now that my body is weaning off the pain medication, my muscles are not in as high of a guard mode as they were initially, and I am able to move around a bit easier, the visions have gotten so much worse, and they have now invaded my dreams as well. In fact, if I’m not distracted, it’s the only thing I see. The shattered glass, the blood, and the remnants of my car and everything in it crumpled and thrown all around me. I can still feel my legs in my soaked leggings struggling to try and climb out of the vehicle. Unfortunately, this is something I can never unsee. Sitting on the muddy, wet concrete on the side of the road, the cold breeze on my arms and looking back at the cars whizzing past me is a feeling I will never unfeel. Completely helpless and alone.
In addition to the visions and nightmares and seeing the accident as it was, many of the them now have alternate endings. I see visions of everything that could have happened during the accident, as well as the hundreds of different ways it could have ended. Or how I could have ended up.
Everyone tells me that it was a complete miracle that I made it out alive, and I make no hesitation in agreeing with them. When watching the Indy 500 with my family, I saw the padding that the drivers had in their race cars and I made the joke to my grandmother, “Now THAT’S the kind of padding I needed during my accident.”
“Oh no,” she immediately shook her head. “You had something much more powerful. You had God’s arms wrapped around you.” I knew she was right, but I also couldn’t help but feel so betrayed.
I have been making it a priority to go to church and grow closer in my faith with God, and this was how he decided to thank me. Ultimately, he knew this would happen to me. He is the one who made this happen to me. But in the same breath, I know that nothing happens by coincidence. There is a purpose and a reason for everything. If I was meant to die, I would not be here right now. I know that my time on this earth is not up, and there are still things I have to do, and that He wants me to do. I know that I should feel nothing but completely grateful to be alive, but in the time I’ve had to myself I cannot help but also feel so irate and confused as to what I did to make me deserve to go through something like this. God is trying to tell me something, and I am determined to find out what it is.
My happiness has always stemmed from doing whatever I can to make those around me smile. My father always told me to kill others with kindness growing up, and that is the rule I live by. When those around me are happy, then I am happy. Most days I try to think of creative ways to let the people around me know just how much I love and care about them. I would like to believe and certainly hope it is not because of any way that I have treated another individual. Life is too wonderful and precious to be malicious toward one another.
This recovery has not all been bad, however. There is a definite silver lining that I have found. God knows just how much I have been missing my family lately, and he blessed me with the opportunity to spend a week with my brother, who I have not had any quality time to spend with since before he left for college when I was 15. Once my parents came back from their cruise, they took over babysitting me, and God is giving me very much needed time to spend with them now. I am moving out of the state soon, and this is his way of making sure I see them before I leave. I know I will miss them more than anything.
While looking through my photos to look for one to send to a friend of mine, I accidentally scrolled too far up in the photos app. I saw a ton of different pictures, from ones of my friends and I smiling and posing in the gym to modeling shoots, silly selfies and sarcastic snapchat filters saved…all happy moments. But I didn’t feel happy at all when I saw them. I instantly became overwhelmed with sadness and thought, “oh, this was before.” Before the accident. Before I had any idea what was about to happen. Then I thought,
“The rest is…after.”
I do not know what God has in store for me and I may not know the full reason of why I was meant to experience what I did, but all I know is that I look forward to filling my phone and social media with all the new photos, videos, blog posts, modeling pictures and YouTube covers that is yet to come. It is my hope that it does not take an event like that for you all to look at the photos and videos in your own phones to be thankful for having had the opportunity to live this long, create the amazing experiences you’ve had in your life thus far, as well as the ones yet to come.