A while back I blogged about mindset and going through a fairly severe injury that kind of gave me a whole new perspective on my life and how I do things a little differently now.
If you missed it, you can catch up on it here, Are you playing mind games?
Let me just say that I am still growing and learning and it definitely wasn’t a transformation overnight kind of thing, (though I wish it was that easy lol). But...this unfortunate event really made me realize how much I controlled my perspective on everything!!
At that moment, I was faced with a huge decision...how was I going to think and feel about this life changing event?
But, before we go any further let me fill you in on this particular event…
It all started the winter of 2016, when a friend asked for help with a pony (bad idea we all know how nasty those little buggers can be!)...We were handling him when he started to lose his mind, like not just a little, but he wanted to make me hurt! Me being the stubborn kind, and I ain’t no quitter, decided that he wasn’t going to win this battle...(also a bad idea, read my what do you need to quit blog post).
Hmmmm...I think I'm seeing a pattern here…
Anyway, apparently this pony was possessed, so when the dust, or in this case the snow settled, I had torn some scar tissue in my neck, from a car accident years ago. I figured I was no worse for wear since I could move my neck better than I had in years, and Mr Nasty himself was definitely no worse for wear...and I actually listened to my gut this time and decided he wasn’t worth any further effort...
After my near death by possessed pony experience, I carried on with the busyness of life, and ignored the nagging soreness in my neck. Fast forward to February of 2017 which started out like any other day, waking up to my alarm to get the kids ready, and then I stood up…
...and found myself on the floor in pain. It was blinding but I brushed it off at first as maybe a pulled muscle, until it continued to get worse. The pain became so severe that I don’t remember much of what followed, other than I ended up in the hospital and they attempted to give me x-rays while I spent most of the time on the floor sobbing in pain.
When they ruled out a broken neck, I was sent home with some pain meds, and added to the waiting list for an MRI. Finding out it could be 6-12 months, I knew I couldn’t wait that long and chose to go to a private clinic instead. Shortly after, I received the news that I had slipped 3 discs in my neck...apparently that pony meant business after all.
Now, I won’t say the rehab was easy or the physical pain I was in was not debilitating, because it was. It took two weeks before I was able to walk and not crawl, and many months before I was able to hold my head upright again. I spent many more months on pain medication, and having traction, physio and acupuncture, and pretty much whatever I could do to avoid the possibility of surgery.
But, the hardest part of the whole ordeal was keeping a positive mindset. I remember being faced with the choice of how I was going to think about the injury and my life moving forward, and that I most definitely had a choice.
I could choose to feel sorry for myself (which at times I did), or I could choose to believe that no matter what happened I would get through it and I would deal with whatever I was faced with head on. I definitely had my fair share of ups and downs, wanting the pain to go away, wanting my life back to normal, and not knowing if or when that would ever happen.
Those kinds of thoughts can definitely send a person to some dark places...but I pushed on and struggled through it even when I didn’t think I had anything left…and believe me there were times I didn’t want to...especially when I realized my life might never be the same, that everything could be different, and that I might not ride again.
What I didn’t realize at the time was how much it would change my future and my life. How the journey shaped me and not the end result, because I didn’t know what the end result would be...I became much more aware of what I was thinking and how much control I did have, even though sometimes I felt like I had none. It taught me how to strengthen my thoughts, and beliefs and even changed my values and self worth along the way.
Sometimes our growth can be so incredibly painful, that we don’t even see it as growth at the time, just feel the pain and the struggles. Wanting so badly to give up not even knowing if we are strong enough to make it through to the other side. Yet, there’s always that whisper deep inside if you listen, to keep going on, a soft and gentle yet firm whisper, telling you, you cant quit because you are so close…
Would you believe me if I told you that you are strong enough, you are always strong enough and you don’t need to know how you’re going to do it? Well you should, because you will always make it, no matter how bad it gets, no matter how many times you feel like quitting, when you think you just can’t go on. Because there is something so special and amazing about you, that you were created with all of your perfections and imperfections, to get you through this.
That even your greatest fears can and will be conquered if you choose. It might not always be easy, and it might be the scariest thing you’ve had to face this far but just on the other side of it is your true freedom. Your truest self is the best version of you yet.
It might feel safer staying where you are, but venturing into your fear and pain will be your biggest growth, I guarantee it.
How, you might ask, can I even begin to know what you are going through?
Well it’s because I have been there too, felt like quitting and giving up on it all. So scared and alone and had no clue how I would ever get through it. But...I chose to change my perspective, my beliefs and my thoughts, and you can choose to change them in yourself too.
Oh...and I am happy to announce that as of this spring I have started to ride again and I am so incredibly blessed to be able to run and play with my kids, live a normal life and just be able to ride a horse again.
I gave myself the gift of believing I would get through this and everything else life has thrown my way, I now walk with my chin held high and know that keeping a positive mindset is so much more important than I ever thought possible.
So if you are feeling like giving up, and you just can’t quite hear that little voice right now, reach out to someone you trust. Know that I too am always here for you, and that I do know what it’s like, that I’ve been to those dark, scary places, where it’s lonely and feels hopeless and hard, and sometimes all we need is someone else to tell us it’s going to be ok.
...that you are going to make it.
Please call someone you trust or your local crisis centre.