That moment for me came crashing down like cardiac arrest. It was that moment when there is still enough blood flow to barely be conscious, but not enough to be able to do anything about it. I felt helpless, lost, and afraid. The world around me kept going, but I was stuck in a mental fog and completely paralyzed by fear. I was in my late 20’s I was married, had two beautiful children, lived in a fantastic house, and was practicing as a nurse. If you were to look in through the window of my life, it seemed perfect. A lifelong dream come true. But inside I felt broken, emotionally devastated, mentally exhausted, hopeless, and out of control. I was desperate to just feel happiness. To feel joy in all that I had created. To feel love so strong it could never be broken. Instead, I soaked my pillow with tears most nights, used food to temporarily calm the unrest inside of me, and felt tremendous guilt simply for feeling the way I did. I woke up in the mornings, put on my happy face, and presented myself to the world as if my life was the perfection it appeared to be.
The reality was that I was 65 pounds overweight. My soul was broken. My marriage was in question. I was financially overwhelmed. I felt like a slave to debt, and I hated the person looking back at me in the mirror. Who had I become? I was so far gone from the person I was and no where near the person I wanted to be. Cardiac arrest. I could not keep going. I wanted so desperately to fix it, all of it. I knew none of it was sustainable but could not see any possibilities for repair. I wanted to change it. I couldn’t stand the state of my circumstances for another second. But how? Where do you even begin to fix what is broken when you have no ideas and no hope? I needed help. A code team. CPR, epinephrine, defibrillation.
Finally, I reached out to my dad and confessed what was actually happening behind the forced happy face. He paid for me to attend the first annual 1 Life Fully Lived conference in Portola, CA. I had no idea what to expect, but what happened that day was the exact jolt of electricity that I needed to wake up. I sat and listened to the speakers talking about the possibilities of really living life to the fullest: defining your happiness, taking control of your debt, overcoming challenges, doing the work that will accomplish the changes you want in your life, finding your passion and your purpose in this life. I sat there in awe, soaking it all in. It was like medication being drip fed into my veins. My whole perspective changed that day. It was the moment when I realized I deserved so much better and that so much better WAS POSSIBLE! I had resources, I had hope, I had ideas, I had a new-found motivation, and I had inspiration.
“Who you’re becoming is far more important than what you’re doing, and yet it is what you’re doing that is determining who you are becoming. ” Hal Elrod
Who I was at that moment was simply an accumulation of the decisions I had made up to that point in my life. My unhappiness was my creation. The good news for me was that all I had to do was start making different decisions to become the person I wanted to become. I had been revived. Over the next 3 years I lost that 65 pounds, ran a half marathon, completed a Tough Mudder competition, paid off all of our debt, took on extra challenges to advance at work, and am starting my own business. I made all the necessary changes to leave that desperate girl behind and have redefined who I am and what I want out of my life. I find joy in my children. I am grateful for every moment. I see challenges as opportunities to grow and learn. Each of my past failures has contained an incredible lesson that has served to make me stronger. I am healthy. I am optimistic. I am thankful.
The ultimate reward for all that I have been through is that I have discovered my purpose. I am a giver, a healer, a caregiver. I can use what I have learned and start giving back to others. It is my goal, my passion, and my pleasure to help you find your true happiness in this life. If you are feeling desperate to make a change in your life and are unsure of how to overcome the challenges that are in your way, it would be my pleasure to work with you. For me, there is no greater reward than to see those around me flourish and know that it is because I have touched their lives.
With Sincere Gratitude, Jessica Smith, RN, BSN