2005 was a great year. I finally felt like I was managing my depression well. Things were really looking up and heading in the right direction along what I thought my path was supposed to be. I finished paramedic school, my fiancé finished nursing school, we got married and bought our first house. 2006 brought more fun and adventure for two outdoorsy newlyweds. We had it all planned out. We’d enjoy each others company for a while before we started our family and we’d save up as much as we could to prepare for our future, a future that was looking very bright. 2007 brought some struggles but we made it through the year with perseverance, standing by each others side. 2008 I found myself without a job, which altered my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. But it wasn’t the end of the world, yet. We decided this would be the opportunity we wanted to start our family since we agreed one of us would stay home with the kids anyway. So in 2009 along came son #1. Unfortunately that was also the year we lost our first house. With only one of us working, it became a challenge to live the lifestyle we had become accustom to. 2010 brought pregnancy #2 which led to son #2’s arrival in 2011. His appearance in our world would be the only bright part of 2011 though.
October 6, 2011, just 5 months after giving birth to our second son I was diagnosed with Stage 2b Triple Negative Breast Cancer. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. My first thought was of the family I had just started with my husband, then my second was how they would go on without me. To me The C Word was a death sentence. But, with the support of our family and friends we were getting things taken care of, especially the boys. Thanksgiving was uneventful, until a few days later. That’s when I became a widow/single-mom/breast cancer patient. The depression I had suffered with for so many years had finally come to the darkest point. I had no idea what I was going to do or where I was going to go. This was my rock bottom. I had to give up the life I had built, uproot my kids and myself and move two hours away so that I had the support I needed to get through the next few months of my life, because it was going to be a battle to make it through. I was determined to not allow my life to end. I made a decision to not only survive, but to thrive. I had no clue where to start, but I knew I had to start over.
On the other side of my breast cancer journey I began to hear whispers that were accompanied by a tug on my heart. That whisper led to me picking up one book, then another, then another. I eventually landed on Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. Debbie may have downloaded that book from her inner guidance, but it was delivered directly to my heart.
Since reading that book my life has snowballed into the adventure it is today, one filled with so much love, compassion, strength and light. I enrolled in The Ford Institute's Breakthrough Shadow Coaches Training without knowing how things would work out. The logistics didn't matter to me though because my heart was finally cracked open enough for me to hear it's cries and see it's light. The entire program taught me how and why I found myself as a single-mom/widower/breast cancer survivor. Making peace with my past and with the aspects of myself that I had tried to hide for so many years was key to me finally finding self-love and self-compassion, two concepts I never thought of before. I’ve been able to reacquaint myself with those aspects that I’ve denied for so long. Those aspects that I hid behind the Honor Roll in high school, the ones I hid behind the Bachelors degree in college, the ones I hid behind the role of caretaker. Being the caretaker since childhood gave me the opportunity to hide from myself. I’m still a caretaker, but I take care of myself first. Doing so has opened up my life to create the future I’ve been dreaming of. I’ve been able to reconnect to the vision I’ve had for my life all along. My tenacity has always been by my side and it’s what keeps me going each day. Its what helps me continue on my path of healing, not only for myself but for others to see that healing is possible, even after the most horrific of events. I'm no longer a victim of my circumstances and experiences. I see where every event that has occurred in my life has happened so that I may be the best me possible, and anything is possible.
I’m not a paramedic anymore but I am still a care provider, just in a different capacity. I still help people, that’s my passion. I now get to help people rediscover who they truly are so they too can embrace their wholeness. I get to help them bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be. I help them recognize limiting beliefs and excuses so they can take action in their lives. Together we create the brightest future for us all.