I tried to hide from it for the longest time. I thought it would be easier to pretend like I was never a part of it. To just be like everyone else in the city and mourn the death of my friend.
And that’s what I did for three years.
I was pretending that I was not involved with the car accident whatsoever, and I focused on mourning Lexi’s death.
Lexi; along with Kevin, Jeff, and Blake; was so important to so many people, and I don’t think that many realized that until she was gone. I mean, I knew she was important to me. She influenced my life in ways I didn’t even realize until now, but I had no idea that so many people felt the same way. Knowing this made it easier to get through her death. I knew that so many people were mourning not only for her, but for the others as well, so if I was having a difficult time with it, then I could reach out to people who understood.
But dealing with the fact that I was actually involved in this car accident was completely different. I felt like no one could understand, because no one really could. People offered to be there for me, but in many cases, I didn’t even want to talk about it because I didn’t really see a point. I saw this as something that I had to get through myself, and at the time, I wasn’t ready to deal with it.
Last year I wrote a post talking about how I had to go to counseling for post traumatic stress from the accident, but I didn’t really go into detail. To make a long story short, I was struggling. I was terrified to drive alone at night, I was terrified to be alone at all, and I pictured myself getting into a car accident almost every time I drove. Overall, I was not living a “normal life.” I was in my sophomore/junior year of college, and while all of my friends were going out and making new friends, I was stuck in a rut. That’s when I realized that I had to face what happened to me. I sought help, and I cannot thank myself enough for doing so.
For a while, I was doing extremely well, and it wasn’t until I was writing my book one day when things began tumbling again. I got to the section where I was actually writing about the accident, when halfway through, I had to stop. I was shaking and I felt like I was going to be sick. I couldn’t do it. I could not relive that moment in my life.
This past year, because of certain circumstances, I was forced to relive the accident. I had to recall every single detail, and there was absolutely no part of me that wanted to do that. I was put in a position where I had to come to terms with what has happened to me, even if I didn’t want to.
It was difficult. Very difficult. I was angry that I had to do this, especially when I just wanted to forget that this even happened to me. However, my dad told me something that really stuck with me (although it’s a strange way of putting it):
Think of it as if you’re throwing up. Once you get all the bad stuff up and out of you, you’ll feel better.
He was right. Actually talking in depth about what happened to me was exactly what I needed. In a way, it made me feel stronger. It made me feel in control of my emotions, and I could finally overcome this huge hurdle in my life.
The reason I’m sharing this is not to get attention or sympathy. I simply want to share my story. I know there are very few, if any, people that have gone through what I’ve been through, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t similar situations people deal with. I want someone to read this and realize that they may need help too. Going to counseling or seeing a psychiatrist has such a negative stigma, but it shouldn’t.
I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t reached out for help, and every single day I am glad that I did. Sometimes, we need help to overcome certain obstacles in life. Seeking help doesn’t mean you weren’t strong enough to handle it on your own. It just means you were wise enough to know that you couldn’t.
2 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out”
What makes me incredibly sad is that you even felt the need to mention that you didn’t write this for attention or sympathy. Sweetheart, high school is a crazy place and I’m sure you heard some crazy things after the accident. But I would like to hope that those who surrounded you then and now have grown enough to let you know that 1- you DESERVE sympathy, whether you ask for it or not. It’s simple human compassion,, and 2- nothing you could say or do regarding what you had to live though can ever be seen as “attention seeking”.
Your experience and your loss haunts the hearts of those you have never met, and your name is in the prayers of those you do not know. Live well, for yourself and those you lost.
I guess I never thought about it like that. Thank you so much