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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Monday, June 21, 2010

Victim to Survivor - Picking Up the Pieces Mondays

The one thing that I have learned by watching people in waiting rooms at medical appointments (trust me I’ve seen plenty, more than I ever imagined existed or that I would be in), speaking with people who have gone through various detours in their lives (be it accident, abuse, job loss, etc.) and my own personal detour, is that we all go through a grieving process. Most professionals have told me there are 5 stages; Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Factors that may affect these stages are physical injuries, head injuries and the person’s outlook on life prior to the detour in life.

For me I seem to bounce back and forth through this maze of stages. When I have really bad days, as I sit on the floor, back against the wall – I wish that I could be given a set of gifts to open, and that opened in the right order I would end up at “acceptance” and know who "ME" is now.

Prior to my detour, I had a great and almost perfect life (if it was completely perfect it would have been boring); my career was going amazing – I worked for a fantastic company with an amazing team- was well respected in the industry by both co-workers and competitors; socially my life was very active – lots of friends, lots of functions and dinners to attend; loved entertaining friends at my home (I loved cooking and baking); I was Chair of Fundraising for a homeless youth shelter; I was very fit and loved travelling, shopping – shoes, clothes, handbags; had recently meant someone who I felt would challenge me to be the best I could be; most important to me I was INDEPENDENT. Then in a blink of an eye it was all gone!

Aside from the scars; lack of energy; out bursts (ok - perhaps some would call it tantrums); and when I’m really tired, stressed or anxious - my child like voice and mannerisms that appear – If you saw me you would think - I was OK. What you wouldn’t see is the amount of energy it takes for me to stay focused in a conversation, the preparation that goes into making it possible for me to go out on my own, the results of having attempted to do things – usually a few days in the house/bed and the extra pain that results -, the emotional disappointment/frustration/depression at not being able to do the things I use to do independently, without much thought.

I am still here and breathing, despite the doctors, for 6 weeks, telling my family the outcome did not look good, as I lay in a coma. So I guess I am a survivor – but will I ever be the me I adored, the me that felt so comfortable in her own skin, the me that was never afraid to speak up for herself or anyone that needed someone to stand by them, the me that was so independent, the me that could see anything through to the end - be it work project, social function - without tiring out?
Now that you know a little more about how I got here, I hope you visit each Monday for "Picking up the pieces" posts. I will do my best to share the past 3 ½ years and what has helped to keep me alive and moving forward. I hope to inspire you to stay positive and together we will get there. I encourage you to share your thoughts and what has worked for you - your comments may also help to inspire others.

images: google search - Jupiterimages and Shutterstock - wording added to gift boxes me.


  1. you are still that "me" that you adored, no matter what has happened you are still that same person and will feel confident and independent again one day. They say "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger" and in your case, this is most certainly true. You will emerge a stronger person who takes nothing in life for granted, it may take a while, but it will happen. xx

  2. I think you have greater strength than you realize my dear. I can't say I know what it's like to be in your shoes. Hell I never wore heels anyway. But I think in the struggle to return to who you were you need to embrace the things you are now that are so amazingly beautiful.

    Yes you have your shortcomings, as do we all. It's a long road ahead, but in this case I think you need to look back. Not at your previous life, but at how far you've come.

    I would imagine it's frustrating and painful and seemingly hopeless sometimes. I'm sure there are days when it seems no one understands, not even your partner. And that's okay. I think you need to have those times to feel sorry for yourself if you want to, to be mad at the world and the one who put you in this place. But when the sun sets you pick yourself up knowing it'll rise again tomorrow, bringing you one step closer to where you want to be. To where you will be.

    You make me feel everytime I read what you have to say. You make me cry, question and laugh, and I love you for all of it. I write this misty-eyed yet full of hope for you.

    If Sandy and I don't see you this summer I'm pretty sure I'll explode.

    PS: I (finally) posted the award you gave me. Thanks hon! ♥

  3. My sweet HHL friend:
    You probably will never again be the you that you adored. But good news! You will be a new you - more depth, more empathy, more strength, more compassion, more wisdom. You will be a version of you that people will envy. We'll all be in awe and wish that we could be where you are (never once realizing what it took to make you that way!). No, you won't be the you that you adored, but you will be a you that EVERYONE will adore.
    Love to you.

  4. Such an inspired post, my angel!!!
    I feel related.
    You're a brave girl and despite everything your spirit runs free....

    Tons of love


  5. No guess about it---you are a SURVIVOR!! I suppose we are all survivors of something but you deserve all cap letters. It is wonderful to learn from another who has survived in such a big way. I look forward to reading how you have picked yourself up when others might fall to pieces.

    Thanks, dear you, for reaching out while I was away. It means a lot!

  6. The fact you can write about your experience so well must be very healing. I appreciate the gift of your story you are sharing with your readers. I can't even imagine the recovery process you have been and are going through. It's obvious you are very strong and an incredible person. You shall overcome! :) xoxo

  7. Lovely High Heeled Life,

    You inspire me so many times when I read about your journey and what happened in your life. You really are an incredible person. I have been through some tough times in the past, although nothing like what you have. All I can say is it makes you learn so much about yourself and in some way, makes you who you are today. But you are adored... and incredible! xx

  8. I am in shock here, being so wrapped up in my own busy life .. I read your comments you are on my blog roll but sadly I am not up to date on my blog roll I tend to skim it and read something and miss others.. I am not sure I even know what happened to you I must go back into you archives ... But you ARE a survivor and an extremely positive one.. I love your comments always entertaining and informative. You are obviously coming through to the other side and should be very proud of yourself xxx

  9. Hi I'm new here a UK blogger and Image Consultant, starting my dream career late and trying not to let fear of failure take me over!You are so generous to share yourself in this way, my 14 year old son has a accident last xmas, he fell 3 floors and had to be operated on to remove a bleed in his brain, apart from my separation from his father it was the most traumatic experience of my life, he is fine now, miraculously!So my heart goes out to you and I congratulate you on all that you are and all that you have yet to become! P.S I'm holding a fun giveaway to win a book on how to wear colour and pretty scarf over on My Passport to Style if you want to join in! Sharon (UK) XX

  10. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I love the title of your blog. I will be your newest follower when I get home and can log back on (my work computer won't allow me to 'follow' for some reason).

    Hope you're having a good Tuesday.


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