I used to fight change. It was so uncomfortable, unsettling and scary. My life and my being became stagnant. I stopped growing. I was stuck. The last six years has brought nothing but change and I am beyond grateful.

When I had my heart attack two years ago, though, I felt anything but gratitude. I was in shock and disbelief. I was angry. If you could promise me that I will never have another one my attitude toward the actual heart attack might change. But the odds of having another event are much higher than is comfortable. When I think of that I’m definitely not grateful.

Yet when I think of the changes I’ve undergone emotionally, the changes I’ve made intentionally in my life since then, albeit with claw marks still visible, I am amazed. I gave myself permission to leave a job that was emotionally scarring for me. I have grown kinder toward myself. I returned to a job I like, one with less financial stability but more flexibility. I have grown more trusting in the universe that I will be able to take care of myself and my son while living a life I want. I am writing and painting and allowing myself to draw. I am exploring my creative side and asking my literal, controlling, I need it all figured out side to take a break. I am traveling with my son for four months in Europe. It’s a life long dream to get up and go and I’m finally going to explore the world in a way I’ve always dreamed. I am allowing myself to live my life not based on fear but desire.

On March 1st, ,the second anniversary of my SCAD, I am sure I will have a lot of mixed emotions. I was told I got really lucky. Any other vessel in my heart and I might not have made it. But I did. And for that and everything that has happened since, I am forever grateful.



  1. Laura Parker · February 26, 2016

    Your post made me think how catastrophe in my life led to (after a long time and a lot of deep inner work) the happiness, laughter, play, and serenity I had been searching for. Of course I never would have asked for that crisis or pain, but the intensity of it fueled my ability to listen to myself and made it absolutely impossible to go back or to stay the same.


    • sussivoak · February 26, 2016

      Impossible to go back….that’s a great way to put it. Thanks for your comment.


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