Connie had vacation on her mind.

They were looking forward to kicking off the year with a few relaxing weeks in sunny Florida.

Little did they know; their lives would be completely different than they planned.

After a few days in Florida, Connie’s back was in so much pain she couldn’t get out of bed. Needing to get back to Midland for treatment, Connie rode the 26 hours home in an ambulance as her husband followed behind in their van. An MRI showed that Connie had several fractures that were causing the unbearable pain.

“By the time I was discharged from my surgery and recovery, it was already February,” shared Connie. “Little did we know the struggle had just begun.”

Her husband needed a pacemaker, which seemed like a routine procedure. Because of a complication, instead of healing, her husband was in intense pain. After another surgery and an eight-day stay in the hospital, her husband was home and they hoped that was the end of the hardships they would have to face in 2020.

“All of that before a global pandemic shut down schools, churches, and businesses,” said Connie. “And before the rains came. And the waters rose. And the dams broke.”


Connie felt herself slipping into the darkness. Overwhelming anxiety started to take over and she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to handle one more thing happening.

That’s when the dams broke. That’s when Connie broke.

Unplanned surgeries, hospitalizations, a global pandemic, and a 500-year flood. It was all too much.

“I think it’s human nature to want to make comparisons, and we do that with difficulties we face too,” Connie said. “We think ‘Well, yeah what I’m going through is tough, but not nearly as tough as what other people are dealing with.’”

Connie was doing her best to hold it together and get through these challenging times on her own, but she needed help.


Connie knew she needed help to get through all the challenges her and her husband had faced, so she made the call and scheduled an appointment with a therapist at Family & Children’s Services.

“I learned that the difficulties of life are not a competition,” shared Connie. “What you are dealing with, is what YOU are dealing with.”

Through conversations with her counselor, Connie gained strength and courage to face her pain. She learned that sitting with and processing all the overwhelming anxiety she was feeling helped to relieve the stress she was under. It helped her to rebuild what had fallen apart. It brought her back to balance and peace.

“How anxiety impacts you and how you respond is unique to you. No better, no worse than your neighbor. Just different,” she said. She continued to share a Stephen Hawking quote, “if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up – there’s a way out.”