It was a little over a year ago that my counselor encouraged me to re-frame my experience regarding finding my daughter after her second attempt. You see I was feeling very guilty about what had happened. I was questioning myself. “What if I would have done this or that?” What a difference a year makes! At first, I didn’t get it. I couldn’t imagine thinking about the experience in a different light. Let me say, I feel totally different today. A year ago I honestly did not know what to do. While my beautiful daughter was home recuperating I fell and broke my wrist, injured my shoulder and had bronchitis on top of all of that. I found myself spiraling into depression. What was I to do? My husband, son and youngest daughter all returned to work, and I went on family leave to assist Kim with her recovery. A few months went by, and I was not doing well. I found myself staying close to Kim for fear of another attempt. My husband Bill creatively and out of total love, adoration and support got me back up on my feet. Reluctantly, I went with him on a trip out of state. I had the most difficult time removing myself from Kim.
When we returned from our trip I felt a little stronger, and I actually returned to work the end of July. Something clicked for me. I started going to the YMCA and began to lose weight. In addition to losing the weight, I noticed that I was feeling better and more optimistic. In relation, I believe, to my increasing positive outlook Kim returned to college and completed her CNA program. I admire her strength and determination. What a phenomenal and beautiful person she is! It’s been a little over a year, and I have lost over 30 pounds. I have completed my first year of graduate school in a clinical counseling program. I have become an active volunteer and most importantly I have regained my strength, and I have become a voice and an advocate for those with mental illness. Additionally, I hope that I have become a healthy source of strength for my loved ones. I rejoin Bill, Paul, Kim and Katlin in walking this journey together. May we never give up! I think I can finally say to my counselor, “Re-frame successful!”