Wisdom From The Past

The purpose of life is to experience. It is not our experiences that shape who we are but the choices we make from these experiences; what we choose to perceive, how we choose to react, and what we choose to take away from it all. We all go through good times and bad and the bad times allow us to appreciate the good. I’ve been through a lot recently and I may have scars, but I wear them with pride as I have learned a lot from them and I am a better person because of them. I choose strength and self-love, and choose to share this love with the world in hopes to inspire others and change lives. It is what you make of it so #StayStrong ❤️ – Angie Carter (June 21, 2014 – One week before Bella passed away)

Sometimes when we look back, we surprise ourselves. I often feel amazed when I look back at my written words. Did I write that? I don’t remember. Where did it come from? I’m in awe of how my own words helped me through the darkest days of my life. How could I have known what I would need to hear just one short week later? I had no way of knowing what was coming, but I have strong sense that something (a force?) was preparing me for what was to come. It was inevitable. When I look back at the last 6 months of Bella’s life, I was undergoing an enormous shift. I was waking up, accepting life as it was. I was finally adjusting to life as a single mom and made a point to celebrate life with my kids every single day. I was happy and felt fulfilled.

A few days after this inspiration hit me, I had the words “Stay Strong” tattooed on my arm. When I woke up in the Emergency Room the day after I lost my daughter, the doctor and nurses were in disbelief at the fresh tattoo on my arm. It’s as though I had the words I would need most permanently etched in the place where my eyes couldn’t miss seeing them. Reading these words helped remind me to live when I would forget to breathe.

IMG_5775

June 25, 2014 – 3 days before saying goodbye.

In 7 days, it will be 3 years since I’ve held my baby girl. Today, I stand by these words that escaped my fingertips and am grateful they crossed my screen today. I am reminded of my life purpose. The next week will be an emotional ride, and once again I will visit the past. I will look at photos and remember the final days I had with Bella, relive the last memories we made together. Remembering her brings me so much joy, but memories bring deep pain as the two are intertwined. Grief is the price of love and memories are the prize. No one can ever take these priceless moments away from me.

IMG_5773

June 21, 2014 – Blowing bubbles with her brother Hudson. She loved her puppy backpack.

IMG_5770

June 22, 2014 – The day the power went out and we spent the whole day outside. It was the best day we ever had!

IMG_5769

June 22, 2014 – Sleeping peacefully in the same outfit she’s still wearing today…

IMG_5771

June 25, 2014 – The day I got my tattoo and Zia Lori picked Bella up from daycare, but forgot her diaper bag. HA!

IMG_5772

June 26 – Bella’s new favourite snack. I still have this bag of edamame in our freezer.

IMG_5774

June 27, 2014 – The last photo I have of Bella… also the last day I would ever know what “normal” feels like.

My hears hurts tonight, but once again I must choose how I react to this pain. She’s still here with me, holding me, guiding me. What matters is what I choose to do with this pain and instead of letting it eat away inside me, I am choosing to share it with the world. Letting it out can be painful, but every tear that falls helps my soul heal a little bit more. Instead of keeping these beautiful memories inside, I am sharing them with the world because this is now the only way to keep Bella alive. It is what you make of it so #StayStrong ❤️

 

 

 

Finally Breaking

It’s time to break open. Little by little I feel myself crumble and I celebrate every piece that breaks off. I can feel, and as painful as that is, it’s wonderful to be able to feel.
Recovery means so many things, but what’s important is what it means to me at this very moment. I need goals and I need a plan on how I am going to achieve these goals. I also need the proper supports in place to be able to achieve them. It’s time to create a plan.
Sometimes the truth hurts and it can be very upsetting to hear what you don’t want to hear, but sometimes we need to hear the truth from another source before we can open our eyes to it. My truth is avoidance. I am avoiding healing. It’s too painful to break open, yet this needs to happen in order for healing to take place. People often suppress pain and take on the belief that time will heal their wounds. I don’t believe this is true at all! I believe that in order to heal, emotions need to be felt, then let go. Healing isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a process, but that process must be experienced in order to make progress. When you suppress it, you are avoiding reality and ignoring the wounds. I believe that this results in much deeper scars.
Today I am making a promise to myself, and I’m going to track my progress here in order to ensure that I’m held accountable! My promise is to start doing the work and to stop avoiding the inevitable. Step one will be to set goals. Step 2 will be to create an action plan. I need to start preparing to go back to work and I’m avoiding this. The truth is I am not ready for this but if I don’t start doing the work, I’ll never be ready. It’s also possible that I will never be fully ready, and that’s okay too, but life has to continue. 
Yesterday was a groundbreaking day for me. I realized that it’s time to do the work. There is never a convenient time to fall apart, so today I’m going to take the box off the shelf, the one that holds all my pain, and I’m going to open it. Today I choose to feel pain. Let the healing begin! #StayStrong❤️
“Have the courage to shine your light into the darkest and deepest wounds of your soul. You are worthy of healing.” – Kate Spencer

I feel lost. I’ve closed myself off. I am stuck in this happy place. As great as it feels to be here, I have so much work to do and it’s important to continue to push through it in order to get where I need to be. 
No one wants to feel pain. I’ve gone back and forth from wanting to feel pain when I couldn’t feel a thing, to wanting the pain to go away because it was too much for me to bare. Now all I feel is happiness and by suppressing the pain, I am wearing down. It’s making me sick. Physically. 
Distractions are all around me. They give the impression of helping me, but in the end they are just wearing me down even more. Stress surrounds me, but all I want to do is close my eyes and pretend everything is fine. 
That voice I heard keeps playing in my head like a broken record. “It was meant to be this way. It will be ok.” But a part of me is dead. Gone forever. How can anything ever be fine ever again? It can’t… but I can pretend. 
People say that time heals all wounds, but I don’t believe that. Time will heal nothing if you refuse to confront it. You can keep your pain on a shelf neatly tucked away for eternity, but the pain will remain there. My pain surfaces every now and then. I’ve built a strong wall that holds the pain in quite well. I remain hidden behind this wall surrounded by love, which is healing to an extent, but it’s time to take this wall down. It’s time to feel. It’s time to start the healing process, which I have begun countless times but keep retreating to my safe place. 
It’s time to stop being strong.
It’s time to break.
Stop telling me to #StayStrong💔