When It All Falls Down…
It’s hard to believe that it has been one year. On Feb. 22, 2016, my 4-year-old dog had a seven-minute seizure. He was rushed to the vet, given two IV’s of valium and started on seizure medication. That night, he had four more seizures.
And I wasn’t there.
I had been traveling when I got the call. I couldn’t believe it. I rushed to the airport and quickly learned that I wouldn’t be able to get on a flight that night. And there, in the middle of Orlando International, I had a complete mental breakdown. I sat down in the middle of the floor with my carry-on suitcase next to me and I cried.
And I cried.
Oh, did I cry.
I don’t think I ever cried like that before. Not even after I lost him.
The next morning, I got on a plane alone for the first time in my entire life. I don’t remember any of the flight. I just remember thinking about getting home to my boy and praying that he’d be okay. Praying he didn’t have any more seizures. That he’d remember who I was.
If you’ve followed my story over the past year, you might know what happened next. I could barely function for the next few weeks. I was an absolute disaster. I felt helpless. Non-stop vet appointments cost me my sanity. But my little love was resilient. And he handled everything beautifully. I’m positive that I took it harder than he did.
It took about a month for me to get myself out of that dark place. But getting myself out made me rethink every aspect of my life. I realized that I wasn’t happy. That I needed a change. I worked hard in therapy to talk myself through life and to come to the decision to put myself first. I went from wanting to die one day to wanting to make a life change the next. Yes, it was that extreme. I had never actually seen darkness like that.
I’ve also never seen light quite like that either.
Did I have any idea that Beau would be gone nine months later? No. Not in those moments. He fought for himself and did whatever he could to make his mommy and daddy happy. Every. Single. Day. And we fought for him too. We refused to believe that he was “sick.” We revolved our lives around him. We took him everywhere with us, hardly ever leaving him alone. But we never resented him or felt bad for him. If anything, we fell more in love with him.
Everyone says that their dog is “the best.” But Beau really was. He was a special boy. And so many people could feel that just being near him. By April, he was back to his old self again and my heart was so full. I was so grateful that all of the prayers we sent up were answered. That my boy was going to be okay.
Things were so good that we never even dreamed of what could happen in the future. And just seven months later, we had no choice but to face that real-life nightmare.
When we made the decision to put Beau down in December, my world went dark again. But this was a different kind of dark. I was numb for weeks. Maybe it sounds cliche, but a piece of me died that day. 12/14/16. I’m still trying to figure out how big of a piece of me is gone because I haven’t felt whole since then.
They say it gets easier but the truth is, I’m only okay when I’m not thinking about it.
There’s not a moment that goes by that I don’t think about it.
All of it.
And I’m never really okay.
I don’t know if I ever will be “okay.”
Losing Beau has been, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face in my life. And the truth is, I’m worried about me. It really is those tears you cry at night when no one is around that change you. I’m a different person now. Someone I don’t recognize from time to time. And it scares me.
But I still get up every morning.
It’s amazing how many times you can pick yourself up. No matter what life throws at you, there is incredible strength within you that you didn’t even know you had. That strength only shows its face to you when you’re down and out. You don’t find out how strong you really are until you have no other choice.
But when it all falls down that deep, do you ever really come back?