As I mentioned a few posts back, a work acquaintance put me in touch with the local chapter of Go Red for Women. Go Red celebrates the power and passion of women to band together to end heart disease and strokes. Throughout the month of October, I have participated in a number of Go Red events. I was asked to share my story at the Go Red board meeting, which I did yesterday morning. As a fundraiser, I realize how important it is to tell your story - or find people who can share your "WHY". As I walked into a room full of people (quite frankly, whose $$ I'd like to support SLLIS!), I was NERVOUS. I have shared my heart attack with friends and family and through this blog, but hadn't spoken to a room of strangers yet. However, once I got started, everything just came pouring out. Not as eloquently as I would have like (or how I was able to write it), but I think I made the point. Everyone sitting in that room needed to be reminded (inspired to action!) of why they choose to volunteer their time to GRFW. At a recent survivor recognition event, I met a woman who has arterial spasms that caused her heart attack at the age of 30. Four years later, she has a little boy on the way and couldn't be happier. Hearing her story made me realize that I'm just at the beginning of mine (even though its been 6 months). And because I survived, when so many others didn't, I'll keep sharing my story. Maybe one day, SCAD will be a thing of the past like, oh I don't know, the plague or something. Until then, I take comfort in the reality that I'm in the company of some amazing, AMAZING (AH-MAH-ZING as Penny on Happy Endings would say) women.
So... the best medicine for me? See below. And the boa doesn't hurt either :)
"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." - Karl Menninger
"When we honestly ask ourselves what people in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate now knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares."