Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Making Sense Of It All

This past Sunday was the second anniversary of my car accident. I was going to write a post on that day but forgot; this is a good sign as it makes me realize I've embraced the changes within myself since then without focusing on the cause. Still, when I look back I see it not as something that could have ended my life but as an event that marked a new beginning.

The first year following the accident (the year before I started my blog) was filled with internal confusion. I was uncertain, very emotional, restless. It's safe to say I was undergoing a form of post-traumatic stress and I think a brief period of mild depression. There was apprehension and tears, LOTS of tears out of nowhere. It was as if who I was inside was expanding beyond the confines of who I was externally. In other words it didn't feel like there was enough room inside me to accomodate the changes I was experiencing. Yet with all that growth there was also a void I couldn't fill. I couldn't fill it because I couldn't figure out what it was. Throughout all this Sandy was my rock. She gave me room to express my emotions (even when I didn't know what I was feeling), and just let me sort through it all. She was amazing and I love her dearly for it.

The second year was much more hopeful. The fact that I started my blog for the purpose of reaching out to others was to me a sign that I was taking the focus off myself. I soon realized that the void I was experiencing was filled a bit more each time I was able to do something for someone else; whether a favour, lending an ear or the occasional advice.  Any part of me that had been torn down before was being built back up with Sandy's love, and the acceptance and friendship of others. Today, two years later, I have more enthusiasm for life than ever.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because it's a perfect example of the positive impact that a traumatic situation can have on your life. At the time I saw nothing good that could possibly come from that scenario. I was in physiotherapy for months (tore the muscles between the ribs in my back), the car was a write-off, and I was an emotional mess. But I now realize it was meant to happen. Had I not made that spilt-second decision to make the turn in that intersection I wouldn't have set events in motion that led me to where I am now. I wouldn't have made so many friends worldwide, been as willing to lend an ear and in turn had a chance to better understand myself. I've probably learned more about life and people in the past year than in all my previous years combined. It's been an incredible education. Just as importantly, I love life. I'm in a good mood more often, laugh and joke around more and after all these years I still have a positive attitude. I didn't see any of this ever happening again two years ago.

If you're experiencing some adversity (and I know some of you are after talking with you), hang on. We won't always feel that we'll pull through but I truly believe there's a reason why things happen. If these reasons aren't evident right now, sometimes you just need to go on blind faith that things will get better.

They usually do.

Photo credit here.


  1. I am glad you are here. To make such a positive impact on me...

  2. Well, I am partially back on my feet after being seriously ill again and in the hospital. Ugh. Hope you still love me!


    "Throughout all this Sandy was my rock. She gave me room to express my emotions...."

    THAT is THE kind of person everyone should have in their life. What an amazing woman she is to be so strong for you, and help you out to the other side, in a better place. I'm happy for you, Barry.

    Always thinking of you, even when I am unable to visit frequently at times.

  3. "I truly believe there's a reason why things happen. If these reasons aren't evident right now, sometimes you just need to go on blind faith that things will get better."

    Thanks for sharing this Barry. Sometimes I think my situation (you know what I'm talking about) are just getting worst by the day. I even wanted to just dissapear from the blog world (I actually thought about doing that on Monday), because it is here where I got hurt the most.

    I'm glad your wife was and still is your rock!! May you be happy forever. In times like that you need someone like that.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us Barry.

  4. "Everything happens for a reason" has been my mantra for many years now. That phrase has gotten me through many a tough and dark time and its completely true (as you stated in your post) - if it weren't for past events, good or bad, then we would not be the people we are today. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Its wonderful that you have a partner as Sandy to help thourgh it all.

  5. I completely agree, I think that we have so much control about how we react to things. We can decide to let a horrible event bring us down and break us, or we can use it to life us up and move forward. At the end of the day we can not control what happens to us (all the time) but we can control how we decide to react to it.

  6. Wise words Barry! Everything truly does happen for a reason! Thanks for reminding us :) And I'm glad to hear you're continuing to feel better about your challenging experience!

  7. Very wise indeed... although the positive aspect may not be obvious right away, it really is good practice to look for it!