‘She Was Only 15!’ By Shaniqua Jones

Shaniqua was only 15 years old when she experienced one of the most traumatic moments of her life. Her left ankle partially detached from her leg all because she wanted to be accepted by her peers. She was a church girl to her core, but lacked direction to connect her religious upbringing to her spiritual and natural senses. Therefore, she chose the road frequently traveled – the streets. Her hometown had potential which is a word we dangerously use to hope for the future of someone we may not be connected to…..
Shaniqua was running home to make curfew at 9pm CST and chose to take the shortcut through the dark alley her mom warned her about. In that alley, Shaniqua realized the danger that changed the trajectory of her life. She fell on black ice and when she made the attempt to get up to start running again as time revealed to not be on her side that evening. A freak accident turned into multiple surgeries, a long stint (like jail) away from her norm, countless hours of rehab to learn how to walk again, and a broken soul. The amount of pain Shaniqua experienced challenged her brain to only operate from a place of survival – a poverty mindset. Because she lacked the support needed to articulate her emotions due to the realization that mental health and/or illness is not normalized caused 11 years of heart and headache. In this memoir, we take you on a journey from brokenness to wholeness by asking one question, “do you want to be whole or as whole as possible?” Shaniqua sought wholeness from the 15 year old girl who lost her way…..

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