I love you America but...

I love you America, but if I never heard another firework in my life I would be ok.

 The day time is great! The gatherings, celebrations, events, and family time are a blast! Seeing all the red, white, and blue makes my heart swell with pride for our beautiful country. We even got to celebrate a little 7 month milestone :)

But the night falls and this day every year becomes a struggle. I imagine I share this with others who have been through combat trauma, shootings, bombings, etc. Each year it gets a little easier except on the 4th. The sensory triggers bring memories flooding back quicker than I can process.

I sort of lose myself. Watching Adelynn enjoy them the past couple of nights made it a little easier, but tonight as she sleeps and my house shakes from the booms, I can't help but remember that day, the fear, the emotion. What used to signify freedom for me now is a binding reminder.

Sleep won't come easy tonight, but tomorrow is a new day. I will take today's struggles and use them for strength. As the 5th anniversary creeps up in a few days, I am going to find a way to do some good. To spread awareness of trauma and how it effects people.

"I am not what happened to me. I am what a choose to become."

This does not get to define me. It will shape me and strengthen me. I get to choose my happiness. I get to choose joy and so do you! Your circumstances do not get to control you unless you let them. You show your true strength through how you overcome!

So tonight as we celebrate our freedom and our beautiful country, please remember that it might be a struggle for a soldier, a friend, or family member. Reach out to them. Let them know you are thinking of them and you care. Your words can be their strength and reminder of the good. :)

Happy Independence Day!