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Don't be afraid to speak up when things get tough

In 2021 I found out I was pregnant for the first time, my husband and I were beyond excited because our prayer was finally answered. We were over the moon with this new blessing on the way, but the whole time deep down I felt I shouldn't be too excited. Almost 12 weeks in, about 2 weeks before my first appointment, I began to miscarry. Our world was shattered, it became one of the most difficult things I had faced in my life. I felt alone, angry, obligated to suck it up for the sake of those around me and most of all confused that what I'd prayed for for so long had been taken away just as quickly as it was given. Then two weeks after my miscarriage my husband was at risk of going blind. We went through several weeks of aggressive treatment to save his vision, by the grace of God it was saved. The scare with my husband I feel was a blessing in disguise, because I was having to assume the role of his caregiver I really didn't have time to grieve our loss, although, I was angry a lot during the treatment process, I still really didn't have a chance to fully face our loss. Once the dust settled and I began to process our loss, I re-lived the miscarriage, and was starting to finally make peace with it. I had come to the determination that God really does have a reason for everything in our lives, and I felt that had my pregnancy continued on, my husband and I would have been so consumed with my well-being that his vision problems would have been over looked and have ended up worse. Just as I was beginning to make sense of it all, I lost my grandmother. Once again, I faced an extremely difficult loss. I was very close to my grandmother as a child, in my adolescence, and moreso in my adulthood. I began to travel down a road that I felt the loneliest I've ever felt in my life. I was overwhelmed with emotions, mainly sadness, and anger. Being a nurse I have had my fair share of emotional patients in need of help plenty of times throughout my career, so I knew that I was starting down a dangerous road. I chose to put on a happy face every single day, all the while I felt I was dying inside. I felt numb, I felt unworthy of living, ashamed, ashamed that I had failed at what a woman is supposed to be able to do; give life. I am embarrassed to say that I allowed myself to continue this way for well over a year. It wasn't until earlier this year (2023) that I finally opened up to someone. What would've been my babies first birthday came around, and I found myself in the darkest hole that I'd ever been in. I was at a point where I was certain I was not meant to continue on this earth, and began to ponder with the idea of death. I told myself many times that my loved ones were better off without me, that I had somehow failed them, that I was no longer worthy of their love. I began to research my insurance policies to ensure that my husband would not have to worry about our finances, once I finally committed suicide. My relationship with my husband, and family began to change. I thought it best to begin to pull away, so that once I was gone it would make their coping a little easier, because I'd hoped they would be too angry with me to be hurt at my choice. I am lucky enough to work with my sister, and the day after I had decided I was going to be leaving in the next few days, we were having a conversation during a break between patients. It was really about nothing, and it was more about reminiscing about growing up together, and we reached the topic of the time when my sister faced depression. She began to tell me how grateful she was that I had reached out to her constantly, and that I never let her feel alone, and that she was ashamed that even though she had my support, she fell into a dark place where the thought of death began to cross her mind. She thanked me again and said that she didn't know what she would do without me during those difficult moments, and that she was grateful to still be around, because she was happily married with a 1 year old. She shared that she was excited to see what was in our future, and that she couldn't wait to see my relationship with my niece (her daughter) flourished into, she commented that she wondered if we would team up to prank her like I always have done, and many other things. Her last words to me of that conversation were that she thanked me for loving her daughter unconditionally, and that she was thankful to know that her daughter had me to look up to, and me to go to if she ever needed someone else to confide in. I was overwhelmed with emotion hearing her words, my soul felt so heavy, and my mind immediately began to remind me of my faith in God. I'm sure a lot of this may sound cliche, but its the honest truth. I cried in that moment of thinking of God, I realized I had forgotten who I belonged to, as well as who put me here, and that only HE should have the final word in our lives, not us. I realized I had allowed the devil to pollute my thoughts and heart, I allowed him to steal my peace, and I realized I could not continue to give him the power he was gaining over me, my thoughts, and emotions. I opened up to my sister and explained everything to her, she didn't judge me, she didn't scold me, she just simply loved me. She apologized for not having recognized the signs sooner, but said that after me opening up to her it all made better sense. I won't go on with other things that were said, as my point in my story was basically that we are all human. Being a nurse/caregiver does not make us immune to the things we those who seek out our care. To be a great caregiver, we must also be sure to care for ourselves, and to always advocate for our own well-being. We cannot allow ourselves to fall through the cracks that we so diligently fight to keep our patients through falling through. We have to be open to taking our own advice when we tell our patients that they need to reach out when facing difficulties in life that are too overwhelming to deal with alone. Mental health is not something to take lightly, we as caregivers know this, however, I feel that we forget we are just as much human as the patients that come into our care. Be kind to yourselves, give yourselves the grace, because at the end of the day it really is okay to not have it all together, because truly, none of us do. We all cannot be afraid to speak up when the going gets tough, we are worth this life we have been blessed with, and we each have a purpose to be here. Above all, GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES, and the Devil can NEVER have more power in our lives than our almighty God!