(CBS Local)– Sometimes in life, things happen for mysterious reasons and Ruthie Lindsey is living proof of that.

Lindsey got into a devastating car accident when she was 17 years old in Louisiana and she was given a five percent chance to live and a one percent chance to walk. Lindsey ended up being bedridden for seven years, battled issues with chronic pain, and became dependent on prescription painkillers. All of these stories are featured in Lindsey’s memoir for Simon & Schuster called “There I Am: The Journey from Hopelessness to Healing.” Lindsey’s story of perseverance is unlike anything you’ve ever heard or read before and the process of writing her story was extremely difficult.

“When you’re writing a memoir, you are going back in and re-traumatizing yourself,” said Lindsey in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I had to go through my wreck, being in my bed for seven years, finding out about the wire in my brain stem, and burying my dad, and going through my divorce. It was really painful and really hard, but in the same breath it became this invitation for me to do the deepest healing work I’ve ever done. I don’t think I would’ve gone in so deeply, if it wasn’t such a nightmare.

FULL INTERVIEW:

As a result of her experience, Lindsey is now a renowned speaker and activist who travels around the country to tell her story. The author said she was properly able to mourn the death of her father while writing her book and learned a lot about herself that she hadn’t focused on before.

“I had a complete nervous breakdown about seven and a half years ago, which I now call my breakthrough. My marriage had ended, my dad passed away and there had been so much loss and so much trauma. I stopped sleeping, I had to move home, and I couldn’t take care of myself. My family was going to send me away to get help because I was not okay. I started weening myself off the drugs the next day. I had to relearn how to live. I felt like my brain started to come back. In order to feel the beautiful good, you have to experience the loss. I thought I was broken. We are not broken, we are traumatized and the beautiful thing is we can heal from that.”

Lindsey’s book is available now wherever books are sold. Watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.

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