Sunday, May 11, 2014

Leaving Colorful Colorado

In less than two weeks Jon and I will be heading out on yet another adventure. Answers to our prayers have led us back to our "home" of Arizona. This past year we have been faced with many trials and through it all what has helped us most is our family and friends. We know being closer to them will help as we begin new things in both of our lives.

If you would've asked me 3 years ago if I would ever go back to Arizona, I would've said, "I wish!" But, now it's actually happening. Before we go and before the craziness of moving is among us, I wanted to sit down and write my thoughts down of our experiences in Colorado.

Four and a half years ago Jon came to Colorado by himself to begin graduate school at University of Colorado Denver. He got himself a VERY small studio apartment in the ghetto of Aurora, CO and began our adventure by himself. I stayed back and moved in with my parents in Gilbert to finish out my year teaching in Arizona. That was at the time the hardest thing we had been through, living 600 miles apart. I joined Jon in June 2010 and we started our new life in Colorado. We fell in love with this place. We loved the beautiful summer weather and quickly we found out unexpectedly I was pregnant! We were so excited to be in a place and with baby on the way!  That summer I made friends at school. We both got great callings in our new ward one in young women and Jon in primary.  However, later that summer we quickly found our lives weren't exactly going the way we hoped. Not being able to control anything, we lost our baby girl due to a neural tube defect only being 13 weeks along. That began our toughest trial as a couple. We tried again to get pregnant for another 2 years and nothing happened. It weighed on both of us heavily and we both bargained with our Heavenly Father hoping and praying something would happened.... it didn't. I began seeing a fertility specialist and both Jon and I seemed to have nothing seriously wrong with us. Minor complications but nothing that was going to cause infertility. For a year I went through ups and downs of trying different methods to get pregnant.... nothing but surgery after surgery! My frustrations began to take over my life. I felt so inadequate and a failure to Jon as a wife. I would be promised by my doctor that this time it would work and it never did. Finally getting ready to start a round of IVF that seemed to be hopeful my body wasn't responding and they didn't even get to the shots. I was so upset a year ago back in April 2013 asking why wasn't my body responding. A month later I realized quickly there was a reason to why I couldn't handle a pregnancy or the IVF treatments. Another life altering event happened unexpectedly. My father passed away May 20, 2013 due to heart complications and it sent me into a whirlwind as it did to all my family. I already wasn't stable but this caused me to become a different person. I was filled with anger, rage, resentment, doubt, and so much more. I longed for myself. I wanted to be that girl I knew I was. The Ashlyn who was happy and always smiling. During a Thanksgiving dinner with my family and having a heart to heart with my sister, I realized I needed help. I was suffering from depression and I wasn't willing to admit it. I was digging a deeper hole and all my family knew I needed to start talking to someone. I always said it was like I was outside of my body seeing a totally different person in myself.

It's now almost a year since my Dad's death and I can finally say I'm feeling like myself again. I have the strength now to get through things. I've been through a lot these past few years but I'm grateful every day for what I have become through it all. I am a stronger woman now. This journey in Colorado has taught me so much. I truly know Jon and I were guided to come here for those exact reasons. It made us grow closer to one another through our hard times and has prepared us for the future. I met some of the most amazing people while living here who have been my stability and have helped me along the way! I've realized that family even though we are related, sometimes we don't see eye to eye. I've learned who truly cares about me and want whats best for Jon and I. I wouldn't take back any of our experiences here in Colorado because they have given me strength to overcome anything. I'm strong because of what I've been through during the last 4 years. Colorado I will miss you. I will miss the fun memories. I will hold close the last friendships I have made. But most importantly I will remember what I have become through this all.

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