8:59 pm, April 25, 2018: the moment I was hit by a car.
It's been 10 days since this happened and it's still weird to type out. I was hit, by a car. A car hit my body. I was on my bicycle. It's one of those things you hear that happens to your best friend's cousin's sister's boyfriend's roommate--not something that actually becomes a reality.
Because I know you are wondering, yes, I am fine. No broken bones. I have a scratch on my arm that will probably leave a little scar. Incredible soreness like never before, but I am alive. So physically, I think I am fine. But it's been the most surreal experience, emotionally. I have never felt so uncomfortable being in my skin. I have never felt so unlike myself. Emotional trauma is super, super real, whether it's from physical trauma or being on the receiving end of bad news or whatever. And it's something I thought I could type out and explain, but maybe I can't. I'm still not entirely sure.
Maybe some emotions can truly only be felt, not described in words. But I imagine that I am not alone in this feeling. I am willing to bet that this feeling, the process of trying to process, can apply when you get a horrible diagnosis. Or horrific news. Or any of the "is-this-really-happening?" moments in life that are quite inevitable, as I am learning. The things that happen that you never anticipated would happen to you.
Up until this instance, I really hadn't had many of those before. At least none that directly impacted me. I have watched many friends and family members go through crap--divorce, abusive spouses, miscarriages, cancer, death of loved ones, suicide attempts, you name it. But I had never been the one to feel like I just got hit by a car--literally.
Life is hard enough already. It really is. Then you throw in something that is truly traumatic and you have yourself a real mess of feelings that you can't sum up in words. And it can consume you. It has consumed me, many times in the past week and a half. I have never felt so out of control and out my element as I have for the past 10 days. And feeling this way, and feeling like nobody can possibly understand me, is beyond paralyzing.
I wrote the above 122 days ago. It's very strange still, trying to wrap my mind around the concept of actually being hit by a car. In some ways, I feel like a broken record, recapping this story, but in other ways it feels equally as surreal as it did four months ago. And so much has happened since then.
I could write so much on little event that is just a blip in the expanse of human existence. There are many lessons I have learned about myself, about God, about relationships, about grace. But I am not going to do that. Because I think I might still be processing and learning all this and I am notorious for getting ahead of myself. So I am giving myself grace, and it's so sweet. So while this could be a long, drawn out article on the many lessons that are being learned in my head, I am going to put one into practice: breathe and accept that things take time.
I am still seeing a chiropractor. I am still seeing new specialists for my injuries. I am still working through the insurance mess (fun fact--if you get hit by a car, whether you are in a car, a pedestrian, on a bike, whatever, everything goes through your car insurance...who knew?!). I am still seeing a counselor as I am working through the emotional and mental trauma I went through. My energy level still isn't back to 100%. I am in the middle of this process, this mess. It's not necessarily fun, but I am learning to breathe through it all. And that is new for me. I am usually the incredibly and productively busy, Ms. Fix-it. And as much as I would like to fix all this, fix myself, I'm not able to. So I am breathing, taking it a day at a time. And I gotta say, there is freedom in breathing. In trusting that Someone has this under control so I don't have to pretend like I do.
If you are a human reading this, you or a loved one are going through some sort of trauma, here is what I have for you : 'tis life. It happens and never in the ways you thought it would. We are told we will have trials and troubles, it's a given. If you haven't gone or are going through something overwhelmingly difficult, just wait. Because it will. And know, that this too shall pass--it always does. But what you do in the meantime is what makes all the difference.
It has now been 160 days since the accident, a little over 5 months. It's funny because right now, it seems like it was forever ago, that things are still dragging on. The scratch that has turned into a deep scar, the never-ending doctor appointments, insurance hiccups, counseling appointments, and the copious amounts of time spent thinking about all this. But when I consider how long it's been in terms of months or days, it really hasn't been that long--5 months. The nature of humanity, at least in my experience, makes time so relative. When pain is at its peak, seconds can last a lifetime and the good moments feel incredibly fleeting. As I type this thought out, I feel like I sound very melodramatic. But it's the best way I can describe it. I still have so much trouble translating my feelings into words. I assumed it would get easier from ground zero. I don't think it has. It might even be more complicated now, as I try to incorporate reason into feelings. Ha!
At the risk of this sounding more like diary entries than they already do, I have been thinking more about the impact of the middle--the time after a trauma and before resolution--and what we do with it. It's easy to sit back and let the pain consume you because at the very least, that's a familiar feeling. But when we look outside ourselves, even outside this earthly realm, we can glimpse something new and different. It might be cheesy to say it this way, but Jesus really does make all the difference. I've seen it in my life and in the lives of many other people. He's the only solution that sticks, that isn't just temporary, and isn't dependent on my ability to give back in return.
Some days are hard still. It kind of relates back to the waves in life that we experience. It's all a cycle of progress and backsliding and plateauing that all makes up the middle. There is so much in the middle that we can't control. But there is so much that we CAN control: our attitudes, our active choices towards recovery, and trust that the One who made us will see us through it. It's amazingly simple and yet effective to hold onto the promises that are laid out in Scripture for us. I still don't know when the light at the end of the tunnel will be clear in terms of my recovery. I don't know how many more really bad days I will have. I don't know how long it's going to take to feel mentally and emotionally okay. I don't know how many more doctors it'll take to understand the extent of my injuries. There are so many unknowns. But knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have not nor will ever be alone, is enough. It's enough to get me through the moments, the days, the weeks that feel impossible. it's enough to take something as crazy as getting hit by car and trust that it will one day be used for something good. And the same goes to you. Your deepest pains aren't in vain, so long as you look to the Father. Just let Him take it. He can handle it. I promise.
"I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”