9/25/09 The Most Challenging Thing

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What is the Most Challenging thing you have had to endure but you were surprise that you came out on top?

I always draw courage from my first really big challenge which was having my son at an early age and finding out that I was gonna be a single parent at age 17. I pick that one because I was very young and inexperienced and scared. I had some support financially from family but emotionally, I would say that was the hardest thing I ever had to do alone and I was so happy & proud to think back on it all earlier this week when my son turned 21. He's Married and has a good job and his wife is a sweet person and is about to start school & is working too. He turned out to be a Wonderful person even though his biological father did not help. Back then, I thought it would ruin my chance of having a well rounded child. I remember feeling & being afraid that I would be a failure because I was not even out of high school yet B) . To see all of the values my parents instilled in me help me endure so many different trails I faced and, to see where I am now really made me feel so good. Also, spirituality helped me through all of it too.

Sometimes, back then I did feel alone cause my friends could not relate because they were still "teenagers" and I had adult issues to concern myself with B) Sometimes, I feel that things I am going through now is just tough. To sit & ponder on past Challenges & Successes always pull me out of that feeling that I just won't make it out successfully through a current crisis. It also helps me to realize that I am stronger than I thought I was B) .

It made me wonder about my friends here. I have been chatting with a couple of members from here and I noticed we all endure current challenges based off of one major challenged we faced in our younger years and we came out on top. So I thought this would be a great encouraging topic for us to draw from each others strength. I know many of you are facing issues & challenges right now in your lives. What have you all found challenging in life and when did you realize just how successful you were at meeting and overcoming those challenges? Which one is the one that stands out in your mind that helped you to realize "Hey, I can accomplish anything when I set my mind to it"??

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David's married?!? Wow! Congratulations!

I would say surviving the automobile wreck I had 20 years ago last week. As I sat in the car waiting for the ambulance the police officer told me was coming I felt myself begin to die (freezing cold followed by numbness that started at my hands & feet & crept upwards) and I prayed that I hoped I could tell my husband & kids goodby somehow. I was alone in the car (people were busy moving the log truck I'd run into in the dark) and I felt strong warm hands on my shoulders that reached around me from behind and took me into a big, warm, hug, and the life came flowing back in warm waves of love and in my head I heard "You're OK, you're always with ME"). When my boss at work, who had passed the wreck, called the highway patrol to find out how I was, they told her I'd died (I found out when I went back to let them know when I'd be back to work).

It was a huge help when my heart was slowing down and about to stop not quite two years ago, and I was on the table in the OR watching my pulse drop into the 'teens as the doctor prepared to install my pacemaker, because I wasn't one bit afraid of the outcome.

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Wow Holly! That's something else for sure. I bet your family where afraid to owhen they found about the car wreck! When I found out about you and the pace maker the other year, I almost had a fit. You are one strong cookie! C'mon y'all, post your thing. You never know who you may encourage today (tomorrow) !

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When I had the nice policemen come and take my ex husband away 14 years ago, I knew that the odds of my dying went up by 75%. My ex was diagnosed as a 98.9% probability of a murder/suicide. But I took the advice of the doctor who had just treated me for an unexpected coronary event.........if I left I took a chance on dying but if I stayed, I'd be dead for sure within 6 months. I took the chance, went thru 5 years of stalking, death threats and the occasional attempt on my life.

People look at me so strangely when I say that it was probably the best time in my life. Not the circumstances. That's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy because I had to give up my teaching career and distance myself from family and friends because it just wasn't safe for people to be around me. Living in constant fear really sucks. Having someone trying to destroy every part of my life and deal with the psychological terrorism took me to new heights of frustration. Not being able to sleep until the sun came up for five years was really bad since I was only getting between 6-8 hours of sleep a *week*. All of that was a nightmare.

What made it the best time was the way I discovered just how strong I really was and how I got to know myself so well. I learned how to find parts of me that I thought had been snuffed out years before and bring them back to life. I was at my very best as I faced every single challenge head on and fought back with every ounce of my being. I had lots and lots of time during all those sleepless nights when I sat there with my gun in my hand, listening to him in the driveway or backyard. I used the time to think and search my soul to come to terms with so many things. I liked who I had become and when I look back at that time I try to forget the bad things and remember the strength and self-knowledge that I gained from it. <grinning> And how I used my sense of humor to keep things in balance. <cackle> I did a lot of things to my yard, windows and doors that ensured anyone prowling around in the dark would be leaving with a limp at the very least............and I'd sit there laughing so hard I'd literally be rolling on the floor when I'd hear him cussing because he'd stepped on a rat trap or got tangled up in a line of fish hooks (that I took from his own tackle box) in the bushes.

When I started to get sick, beginning with multiple organ failure due to a rather nasty case of mono that was almost fatal, my mantra was, "I didn't let the b*****d kill me and I won't let this take me out either". Sometimes now when the pain gets really bad and I start wondering about the quality of life in my future and how much I can take, I remind myself that I didn't live thru my ex to throw away my victory to something like illness. Whether it's living with a stalker or living with illness, my quality of life is my own decision. I refuse to let either one control me completely so I find ways to keep doing as many of the things that mean the most to me as possible. If I don't hold onto my joys, then I've let my adversaries win.

So when I look at the effects of my auto-immune system trying to destroy my body, I remember that I've been thru a lot worse. Most importantly I try to keep finding at least a little bit of humor in every situation. <grinning> I was always told in school that I didn't live up to my potential and now I can say that at least a part of me is an over-acheiver......even if it is a psychotic auto-immune system! B)

Deb

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Jimmy's death.

And it's not that I came out on top (because I didn't) but that I survived it at all.

Edited by LPCullen

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Sometimes the most challenging thing is to really realize that we are not really alone when going through horrible situations. During that time, all we think about is ourselves and how are we going to get through it and why is this happening to me. Like many I was a mother at 17 and a first time wife 3 months later at the age of 18. That marrage didn't last. I was in a bad car accident, dwi, my fault and ended up with a broken neck and left arm. Thank God nobody else was involved. I went a little overboard with my new found freedom and got a little too involved with alchol. I have that under control now. But I lost custudy of my daughter, couldn't take care of myself with a broken neck so how can I take care of a child. After a few years, my ex-husband convinced my daughter that I wasn't any good, and she stopped talking to me and my entire family. Six month later while still trying to cope with that my mother died. My daughter is now 24 and a mother herself. She has a little boy. I've only seen and held him once. And I have a feeling that's all I'm going to get to see him. We haven't talk since sometime in the spring. She still won't talk to any of my family members. Since all of this has happened I have met many people who were in very similar situations, but while going through all of this I kept asking myself why me, and felt like I was the only one on the planet who this was happening too. But I wasn't. In fact my second husband doesn't have any type of a relationship with his only daughter either. I guess since I have been talking about nothing but stuff that involves my daughter, I guess the most challenging thing I had to deal with was losing her and not having her in my life right now. Btw, I lost my job last Saturday. Even though my bosses were horrible people to work for, it was still a job. and my husband for the life of him can not understand why I was all upset over losing a job (with today's job market) that was making me miserable. The job wasn't just the people I worked for, and they are trying to screw me out of 3-4 hours of pay. That situation is still pending. So things in my house are a little stressfull right now. But when it comes right down to it. I'm not really alone. I'm not the only one going through this, and yes, I was looking up towards the heavens right after a hugh fight with my husband last weekend and asking the powers to be why me. But I also know I'll find another job and my husband and I will (hopefully) get past all the dumb things that were said and get on with our lives.

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Here's good vibes for your future Amy. And yes we all ask "Why me?" at one time or another. My philosophy is that we are here to learn lessons- to improve our body/mind and spirit."We're never given more than we can handle" sometimes wears thin but with a posetive attitude(however hard that may be at times)I believe we can eventually overcome just about anything.It's hard but what really good things come easy?Here's to peace of mind and comfort to us all!!

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Thank you Llyn, I could use some good vibes right now. The positive thing about this week, is that I got around getting my house cleaned up, including going through closets and dressers and I had two kitchen size bags of cloths that I was able to donate to Good Will. And my dogs seem happier that I'm home again, at least for the time being. Of course they're driving me nuts..lol. And it felt really good to get all of that stuff out last night. I've spent so much time just hiding my true feelings about my daughter. She stopped talking to me a long long time ago, and it still hurts like it happened just yesterday. I feel sometimes like I"m a can of soda that was left in the freezer, the liquid is frozen and about to explode. Which happened to me the other day. Put a can in to get cold fast and forgot about it. What a mess. Sorry to start ranting again. And thank you again.

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My challenges in life havne't been sad, scary or worrying, so I have been blessed so far. Does make me worry a little at times that something bad will come along... but can't live life worrying about the future!

My most challenging thing? it was definitely getting through the university degree enabling me to do the pharmacy training and pass the final exam. I failed one of my exams in year 3, and couldn't go on to do year 4 until I retook that unit. I'd never failed an exam like that before, so was quite put out by it. All my friends got to continue, but I had to wait. But I looked on the bright side - I could work in a pharmacy and get more experience, I could earn some money and buy a new computer, but most importantly for me I think, I could have a break from studying so hard for a year, and then go into yeaf 4 rejuvinated. My friends were so sick and tired of Uni by the time they got there, they weren't so happy.

It was very very tough, and would I do it again if I knew how difficult it would be? I'm not so sure! But I made it now and am proud when I can help people out as a pharmacist :D

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As a perpetual "rescuer", my life has kind of gone from one enabling situation to another - always taking care of someone else at the expense of my own health and well being. It's a life long habit and, while it has good sides, it's so hard for me to say "no" when I really need to. I've been taken advantage of in a bazillion ways, starting as a kid and moving right on up thru grandma-hood. Probably won't change now, but there's always hope I guess.

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I guess I have been very lucky thus far, as I have not been faced with anything that challenged me to my core. Life is full of challenges in one form or another for sure, and I applaud all of you who have dealt with and conquered the life lessons you have faced.

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Wow. I guess I don't have anything to complain about.

I have had a number of conditions that should have been life altering or could have been fatal, but nature has a way of correcting things sometimes. When I was 14 I was counting down the days until I would get my learner's license. About two weeks before my date with the DMV I was sitting in spanish class when I familiar feeling and a distinct chemical odor hit me just before the worst headache I had ever had struck. Then the lights went out. About 20 minutes later I started to wake up, but couldn't see in color for a while. Some of the other students say I was bleeding from my nose and ears, but I don't remember any of that. Ironically, it only traumatized my classmates. The doc said I probably had a seizure. I felt great after the side effects wore off and hoped it was a one-time event, but I used to have "two minute headaches" as I called them when I was younger so I knew there was a chance of another one. It happened two months later on the bus just before leaving school. The blood all over my oboe case confirmed what everyone said before. The doctors never did find out what caused the seizures, but they did find that I was missing most of my right frontal temporal lobe. They said for that amount of brain tissue to have atrophied without disability or death it would have happened before or shortly after birth. My only complaint was the headache and not being allowed to drive. The docs also said I probably wouldn't live past 30. I guess thats because of the damage caused by the anti seizure medicine I stopped taking when I was 21. When I was 19 I went in for a 5 day EEG to see if the docs could find where the source of the problem was coming from. Days of sleep deprevation and strobe lights didn't produce anything. The only thing they did find was extremely low cholestorol and high blood pressure. I was 6' tall and barely 100 pounds, so they thought I was a drug addict. Problem was, I didn't even use tobacco! I haven't blacked out since those two episodes in 1990. I didn't get my driver's license until an attorney informed me about my rights in 1999. By then I was 24 and had been bicycling all over Florida since I wasn't allowed to drive. After getting hit by bad drivers for the 9th time I finally got my license and a motorcycle. It wasn't until then I was able to find work that paid a living. Eventually they found what they thought was a walnut size kidney stone, but after a failed attempt to pulverize it they discovered that it was a calcium covered aneurism. The shell around it makes it harmless, but they still embolized it just in case. That caused part of the kidney to fail and I think they hit the wrong artery, but I don't worry about it since it has a shell. I still don't know when or how I broke my C-2 vertebrae, but it healed in a strange shape that lends itself to slip out of place on occasion. I figure I should have ended up in a wheelchair or an urn so many times over, I really can't complain.

But I didn't know what pain was until my little brother died in 2003. He was only 24 and had two kids. I realized that there wasn't anything I could do to bring him back, and I could either become paralyzed in that moment, or move on, relish every moment of life I had left and continue to live. I see now that there are few things that can break someone and I had survived one of them. For the first few years I would meet up with my surviving siblings and we would have a party around the anniversary of his death, but we don't anymore.

Sorry, guess thats TMI.

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