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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Bynum

This I Believe: Post-Traumatic Growth

I believe there are moments in our lives that change us forever. We don’t even see them coming. In an instant, trauma rocks our world dividing life forever into before and after. I believe that even though we cannot change these moments we can control how they change our lives.

My moment came on September 5, 2017. Carpet under my knees as they hit the floor, white baseboard meeting the yellow wall and the words “self-inflicted gunshot” on the other end of the phone. Thirty seconds burned forever into my memory. Dividing my life forever into before and after.

The weeks after David’s death were dark as I sat in what would have been our first home. Empty and alone. A home full of all that could have been but never would be. I faced a reality that was forced on me but a choice that was only mine to make.

The first ink on my skin…for you I will go on. The first choice I made…to go on, not for David, not for my family, not for my friends. For me. The second choice I made was to lean into the pain. To feel every moment of grief. I believe experiencing the lows of life is just as important as the experiencing the highs.

The day David died is not the worst day of my life anymore. It is the day I became the woman I was meant to be.

I believe in post-traumatic growth. I found meaning in my pain when I discovered a woman within myself that I did not even know I could be. I did not realize how strong I could be until the moments I felt I was going to break and I did not break.

I believe I can hold space for others because I leaned into my grief. I believe I can meet others in their darkest times because I myself have walked the path before them. I am not this person because of my trauma…I am this person because of how I choose to let it break me.

This I believe.

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