On May 13, 2006, my life changed forever.

It was a Saturday morning.  I was happy, I was young, and I was about to do my favorite thing – spend an endless amount of time perusing the aisles of Trader Joe’s.  The following day would be Mother’s Day and my husband and I were going to prepare a special brunch for my mom at her house.  It was one of the only times I actually lived in Indianapolis in my adult life and I was excited to spend Mother’s Day with my mom in person.

It was an average sort of morning. We had just dropped my car off at the shop for repairs.  Then we were going to ride together to the store to prepare for our big feast.  Menu and grocery list in hand, we took off happily — not realizing that within 10 minutes, our lives would be forever changed.

We were riding in my husband’s Volvo station wagon… a car I took a lot of pleasure in making fun of.  It was a total soccer mom car, but we were yet to be parents. I looked for opportunities to tease him about the car and actually loathed driving around in it.  I mean, it was a way nicer car than my Civic but my Civic was sporty and a stick shift and something that young people drive.  Anyway, I jumped into his mom-mobile and off we went on I-465 northbound to the only Trader Joe’s in the area.

The highway was relatively empty except for us and a semi-truck.  We were about a half mile away from our exit and decided to move into the right lane so we could exit.  It was just starting to sprinkle… really it was that spittle rain that’s hard to wipe off your windshield but wet enough to make it hard to see.  Anyway, we moved over into the right lane alongside this semi-truck.

As we approached the exit, we were a tad ahead of the semi.  We were chatting away, enjoying our tea and our time together (oh, the free time of being a couple without children!) when all of a sudden, I saw the front of the truck veering into our lane.

I couldn’t think fast enough.  Instead of clearly instructing my husband as to what to do, I yelled, “Watch out! Watch out! Watch out!” as the semi-truck barreled into the left back bumper of our car.

The initial impact was jarring, forceful.  For a second, I didn’t realize what was happening.  Because of the slick pavement, we were pushed forward in front of the truck now, spinning around and around across four lanes of traffic.  Time slowed down.  I was able to consciously look at my husband and see the oncoming cars.

I remember thinking, “We’re gonna get hit by another car,” and then the thought, “I-can’t-believe-THIS-is-how-I’m-going-to-die.”  Just as that thought entered my head, I could see myself dead across the highway divider on the other side of the highway… I was taken out of that by the sound of my husband yelling.

“Hold on!”

At that moment, the car straightened out and I felt it dip down and head directly for the cement highway divider.

I was about to hit the wall, literally.  

As we were violently propelled forward, I felt something push me back into my seat…and then I smelled smoke.  I looked up, dazed.  Smoke was filling the cabin of the car.

All I could think was that the car was going to explode.

I jumped out of the car and stumbled onto the highway. I grabbed the phone… My only thought was I needed my mom.  I must call my mom.

When you’re in an accident like that, your brain and body go into survival mode.  You can’t think straight.  You’re not even aware of what’s happened to you.  So much adrenaline is coursing through your body that you don’t realize if you’ve been injured or how severely.

Within days, the full magnitude of the accident began to reveal itself.  At age 31, I had a debilitating hip injury, my skeleton on the right side was completely out of alignment and the muscles couldn’t hold it all together correctly. I had PTSD and a mild traumatic brain injury.

Even suffering from just one of those would be challenging, but dealing with all of it together propelled me into the abyss of depression and an era of non-stop fight-or-flight living.

I could have remained a victim of this accident – depressed, disabled, and angry.  But that wasn’t me.  And I will not let an experience determine and define me.

It takes a change, a leap of faith, a willingness to overcome your fears, and a commitment to yourself to pull yourself off, dust yourself off and start all over again but I did it…and you can too.

So, do it.  Take the steps to reverse a thyroid or autoimmune condition. Once you get your life back, EVERYTHING gets better, brighter, more vibrant.

I don’t describe myself as a victim of a terrible accident or someone with thyroid disease anymore.  I am more than that. I am a mom, wife, author, coach, and more.

And you are so much more than your disease too.

Today, I am a survivor.

This is what living Your Best Thyroid Life is all about. You are not your thyroid condition. Thyroid disease doesn’t have to define you.  Stand up and claim that now, “Thyroid disease doesn’t define me.”  And, share this post to inspire others.

Want more inspiration, recipes and practical solutions to reclaiming your life from a thyroid or autoimmune condition?  Join me on my adventures here at www.YourBestThyroidLife.com/blog

If you are ready to discover more about how you can heal your thyroid from a place of power and hope, I provide a ton of resources on healing your thyroid, including:

  • Our totally free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Report and Coaching Sessions
  • Right here on my blog, where I talk about what’s worked best for me and my clients, as well as the latest research and resources I come across.  You can subscribe to get new blog posts delivered right to your email by signing up on the righthand side of the page.
  • My book, Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally — part memoir, part instruction manual for how I personally healed my Hashimoto’s disease.
  • My exclusive free 6 Thyroid Myths That Can Keep You From Healing workshop — with info on the comprehensive Thyroid Fix in 6 program, which walks you through, step-by-step, the exact actions you need to take to heal your thyroid and get your life back! We’ve seen hundreds of participants in the Thyroid Fix in 6 avoid, decrease, or even eliminate the need need for thyroid medications.
  • The incredible Your Best Thyroid Life Video Bundle, in which I personally invited 27 of the world’s top health experts to share their best tips for living with and healing thyroid disease.

Remember, no matter what diagnosis you’re facing, you always have a choice. Keep your chin up and take small daily action and you can heal and have a normal life again!

Jen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches women how to reverse thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally. She’s helped hundreds of women decrease (or even eliminate) their thyroid medications and has helped others stay off thyroid medication entirely.

Through her free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Jen teaches easy and simple steps to thyroid healing that can fit into your busy day. She also provides print outs to bring to your next doctor’s appointment so you can get the support and respect you deserve.