I’ve always considered myself resilient.
Since the day Cooper was diagnosed with cancer I knew it was time to buckle up my boots and be strong. Not just strong for me, but for my family, friends, Cooper’s friends, and any one who knew him and was distraught by the news.
This obsession with being strong for everyone else turned into an obsession of worrying about every person I hold close to my heart, which is pretty much anyone who I get to know.
The obsession then turned into constant worry, stress, and pain as I felt for not only myself but for everyone around me. Cooper passing away was no different, I had my moments and then got back to work. “You just have to take care of everyone”, “If everyone around you is okay, you’ll be okay”, “Did you make sure to texted so-and-so about how much you love them?”. And the vicious cycle of never taking care of myself began.
During Coopers treatment I was diagnosed with a host of mental illness disorders. The list only grew as Cooper passed away and I ran for my life during the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. I went to therapy for years, sometimes 2-3x a week. I did everything possible to become of healthy body AND mind. But as most things do it eventually caught up to me. After the Route 91 shooting my level of trauma had gotten so high I couldn’t function. With the help of an amazing medical team I made the decision to start medications that would help ease the anxiety, allowing me to focus and get through finishing my degree. I remember the first time I took medication, what once would have taken me hours to finish, was done in 15 minutes. What once was panic, was now peace.
I continued with therapy and medication and made it to graduation day! I have never been more proud of myself than I was on that day.
That same year I made the massive decision to move across the country, after never living away from my family or my childhood home. In a little over 48 hours I had packed up my whole life and became a Florida resident.
I remember every step of going to the airport the day I left Las Vegas for Naples. The freedom! All I could think about was, “I am finally going to figure out who I am, what I want, and chase every damn dream I have. I’m leaving these traumas behind to focus on a better me.”
But thats the unfortunate thing about trauma, it doesn’t stay in one place.
Trauma LOVES to leak into other trauma.
It LOVES to trigger you right when you think you have it all together.
So I moved to Naples. Since then, I’ve worked what feels like 80,000 different jobs. Met new people, which I never thought I would be able to do! I got to one of the highest points in my mental health life, I was on top of the world and crushing it! Or so I thought.
See, I was doing EVERYTHING right. I was working out, listening to podcasts, reading self-help books, being grateful, journaling like nobody’s business, eating (relatively) healthy, spending time in my own headspace, spending time with people who fill my cup up. I was doing it ALL. But I was lying. I just kept telling myself if you keep doing all the right things, if you find NEW people to care and love for, you won’t have to face your OWN traumas.
Meanwhile, my body was physically screaming for help. I had been in the hospital twice, suffering severe boils. I had different infections almost every week. Yet I was still pushing myself to do more, be more.
Well a couple weeks ago, my body met up with my mind.
They decided no longer was I going to be able to push myself as hard as I once did.
So the panic set back in. The anxiety came full force. The depression like a 20ft wave. It hit me like a ton of bricks…you are not doing enough…you are not being enough…you don’t know what you’re doing…who are you to think you can lead people when you can’t even take care of yourself…you are worthless…and my least favorite, you. can. not. do. it.
I pushed through a beautiful vacation with my family, celebrating so many amazing accomplishments.
And then, like the clock striking midnight, my body was done fighting.
I clearly heard her say, “It’s over.”
I went into full blown panic and suffered my first real panic attack in a year and a half.
I just remember thinking to myself, “UGH! See Kassidy, you had it all together you were doing FINE and now look at you sitting helpless on the airport floor! This is why you will be NOTHING!”.
All this coming from someone who had spent so much time working on her self talk to ease the anxiety, yet here we are.
Since then, I’ve had numerous panic attacks, struggled to get into the right doctors, fought to get out of bed, and cried more tears than I can count.
I’m hurt, physically and mentally.
I’m exhausted, physically and mentally.
Yet somehow, in the midst of all the panic, the thing I worry about most?
Is other people. How they are doing, if they are okay, what’s going on in THEIR lives.
Friends, it’s not always healthy to care for other people.
When it becomes an obsession, I would say there is a problem.
When you become so obsessed with helping in other peoples lives, I would say you need to fix your own.
I need to fix my own.
The funny thing is, I’ve given this advice to a majority of my girlfriends.
They come to me struggling, I can see it in their eyes, and I tell them something along the lines of…”Girlfriend, you cannot fill others cups when yours is empty.”
I am actually laughing as I type this because of the irony.
My cup is so empty.
It’s not only empty, It’s been shattered.
There is no cup left.
I have to rebuild my cup and find some life to pour into it.
I have struggled with this post. Mostly because I do my very best to keep my blog and social media platforms as sunny as they can be.
But I never want anyone to think the sun is always shining for me.
I never want to give the illusion that my clouds are not dark, because they are and have been for some time now.
I took a bit of a social media break to clear my head. Then my blog had been down and the second it was back up I started typing, I felt the biggest relief come over me. It felt like one giant rock was lifted.
And I realized that this is exactly where I need to be, writing, sharing my story.
This blog, these words, are not only for you.
These words are for me.
Writing is healing – I healed so much when I started journaling about Cooper and then created this blog.
The purpose of this, is one, to let you know I’m struggling. To be transparent. And to two, remind everyone who is reading this that you are doing your absolute best.
You are trying.
You are giving it all you have, even if its only Netflix and your bed today.
It’s okay, to not be okay.
I’m not okay.
But I am resilient, so I will not be okay for a little bit. I will struggle, hurt, and feel all the pain and trauma this life has thrown at me so far. But then one day, hopefully soon, I will remember the bad ass I actually am. I will remember all the adversity I’ve overcome. I will remember who I am becoming.
And she will be beautiful and she will also be resilient, happy, sad, joyful, funny, depressed, smart, anxious, nervous, stunning, loved, scared, caring, hurt, and radiant just like the sun.
She will be all those things and then some, wrapped up into an extraordinary girl named Kassidy.
“Sometimes the happiest people are the saddest” – Robin Williams