By: Amy Jo Walls
Strong? I often wonder if I really am. I think I am an ordinary single mom, right? Then I think about the obstacles life has thrown at me. I was in a relationship in which I thought I would spend my whole life with this person. Things changed, we changed. We had a baby and have co-parented for 15 years now. I was always the happiest person. The go to person. The one who loaded up my child and all my friends kids to go out for the day. Then in 2008, a week before my birthday my world started to unravel. For me at least. Some may not see it that way. I woke up worried about my best friend I couldn’t reach her, knowing she had went to a friends house the night before. I called numerous times. Leaving a voicemail saying “Hey Nik, call me. I fell asleep. If you had called I was DEAD to the world”. Not knowing what I was about to experience as I got out of my car and headed into work. Calling her mom. This is when I was told to get to the hospital Nikki was unresponsive. My life long best friend was pronounced dead before I got there. Shortly after that I started experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. How do you live without your best friend? The one you are around daily? Who knows you better then anyone? I slowly started to live again. Decided to get a house with the guy I was seeing although things were rocky. He had an amazing beautiful daughter who had lost her mom right before we got the house. I love this child like she is mine. She is mine in my eyes. A year later I got a phone call to get home. The girl who I love as my own was begging me to come. Her dad had raped her. HOW? WHAT? NO!! He went to jail and she got taken from me to a foster home, because we were not blood. I just lost someone who was part of my heart. Like I had lost my child. I was grief stricken yet again. I felt this dark cloud over me. No matter how hard I tried where was the light. Then January 2010 a week after my birthday my grandmother passes away. At this point I hate my Birthday. My family was so sad. I stepped up and helped plan everything. I had to my mom was so saddened as were my aunts and uncles. Fast forward to October, I get off the phone with my mom who is fine and 6 minutes later I get a phone call from my daughter. She has found my mom dead at the kitchen table. My heart stops. My world is shattered again. I don” exactly know how I managed to get home or the next few days. What I do know is I lost myself after that. I went into deep depression. Severe anxiety and panic attacks. I lost my will to live. I stopped everything. I wouldn’t go out of the house for a year. Wouldn’t drive because I would have such panic attacks. Thinking I was going to die because my best friend died young and my mom. So strong?No not yet. Started battling with ovary problems to find out I have PCOS. Which is a disease that makes you gain weight, impossible to loose weight for many, infertile, severe pain and much more. Have had 5 surgeries due to this disease. I finally started to overcome some depression with the help of medicine from my doctor. Then last year my dad had 2 massive heart attacks 9 days apart. He only has 10 percent of his heart working. Within the past year we have had several scares with him including about 2 months ago his heart stopped while he was standing in front of me. Even though I believe that was the most frightening thing I have witnessed. I decided I didn’t need the medicine any more. I was going to deal with everything head on. I have. Yes I still have my days where the depression takes over. Who doesn’t? I have found a way to be happy with myself, lost 15 pounds recently and started living my life again. My daughter says she can see I am happier then I have been in a while. When a therapist who cried at our first meeting of me telling her my story says ” You are a STRONG woman” it puts faith in you. She gave me my first glimpse of becoming a fighter of my own demons..my own thoughts with this phrase.. “FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT” So maybe not to everyone else, but to me I am strong in my own personal battle called life.