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Accepting Responsibility

There are steps a person has to go through when they are moving towards acceptance. At first a person wants to blame someone or something for what has happened to them. I wanted to blame someone, anyone, for this happening to me. I was into the self-pity stage of the recovery. If I accepted my responsibility for this injury, I would then have no reason to feel sorry for myself, and at this stage of acceptance, I simply was not ready to accept that part. 

It took me a long time to accept my responsibility and realize that this life changing event was my fault. I wanted to, however, be angry with the girl who was driving the car that night. I even wanted to be angry with my friend who had the party that night. Why did he have to have so much alcohol at the party? Why didn’t any of my friends there try to stop us from going on that ride? One thing I had to realize over time was that it was no one’s fault but my own. I got into that car that night on my own will, and I had to accept my responsibility in choosing to go for that ride. Trying to blame someone for the way things had turned out, did not change the fact that my life was what it was. I had to learn that going through life angry and bitter or have the poor-me attitude was not going to change things. I had to accept my responsibility for my life-changing-choice and decide to move beyond the consequences of my choice.  

Accepting my responsibility was hard. It took seven years to be able to not feel anger anymore and to forgive. 


Until It's Taken From You

I can truly say now that I understand the saying, “You do not know what you have or appreciate what you have until it is taken from you.Whether it is a person, a thing, or anything that takes root in our hearts, and it is suddenly taken away from us, we miss it everyday and want it back so bad. And yes, we go through the what ifs. What if it was me that had gone out to the store instead of them; what if I had communicated more and said I love you more; or in my situation, what if she had turned right onto that road instead of turning left? 

But as a person goes through the what ifs, in the end, we have to come to terms with the fact that it is not going to come back. And it is at this crossroad where we can find ourselves saying why me. This is not how I saw my life, and it was not supposed to happen to me. Those two words, why me, were said a lot. On my darkest days, I would cry out those two words, why me? 

There were many points throughout this recovery that my life had more darkness in it than light. This relentless injury and the recovery had taken all the joy from my life, and I desperately wanted my old life back.  


Is This What It's Like To Die?

I remember lying there, motionless, in a crumbled ball on the ceiling of the car. It was dark all around me. I could hear someone screaming my name and crying. I wanted to yell out to them, but there was no sound coming from my mouth. I was trying to breathe. Trying to get air in my lungs to yell but–nothing. I felt like I was suffocating. Every breath seemed like my last. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I breathe? I laid there for what seemed like eternity hoping that this was just a dream. I laid there thinking to myself that if I close my eyes and open them back up again, everything would be fine. Dear God, please let this be just a bad dream.

I opened my eyes, and nothing was different. I tried to keep myself calm so that I could keep breathing, but my mind was racing. Racing to put together what happen. I remember seeing headlights and my friend cutting the wheel as hard as she could to avoid hitting the lights that were coming at us. It all happened so quickly. The flipping. The impact into the ditch. And then everything stopped. Why couldn’t I move anything? 

Is this what it's like to die? I’m only eighteen years old. I’m not supposed to die yet. Life was not supposed to happen like this. This was not supposed to happen to me. I was simply going on a car ride with my friend, and then I would go home like all the other car rides before. But this one was different. I was not going home. Not for a very long time.