I know a lot of strong people.
I also know a lot of abused, discarded, neglected, traumatized, easily dissociative, and supposedly “broken” people.
More often than not? These are the same people.
I feel that I am one of those people as well. Kicked down, broken, shattered, unloved, neglected, horribly abused… just one more person amongst many unfortunate souls that shared my fate or one any bit like it.
Yet I am strong. Far stronger than anyone really knows. Myself included on many days…
I have a list of things I would like to do each day that I never allow myself to do. I’ve given up cigarettes, alcohol, self harming, daydreaming about my suicide, planning a well executed “payback”, and so much more. I deal with voices, smells, sounds such as a girl crying/screaming, I can’t sleep half the time and the other half when I do sleep? That time is filled with nightmares.
So yes, I am strong. Even on my weakest day, I am still stronger than most people will ever need to even imagine.
I am not bragging here. I just feel that there are so many others just like me that fight similar yet different battles on a daily basis and I don’t think they give themselves enough credit for all they handle. Perhaps someone will see themselves within my strengths and give themselves a bit and well deserved pat on the back.
Is that someone you?
The people whom I see struggle the most in this world, often complain the least. I recall being in hospital and discussions during the day could uncover the most horrific of horrors and several hours later, those same people were laughing at silly movies, going out for supper as a group, getting together for coffee or making chipper phone calls to loved ones at home and taking on THEIR struggles from their day without so much as a mention of the pain the suffered only hours earlier or the big bruise that it left on their hearts.
It takes strength to do the opposite as well. To speak out, show the bruises, cry, get angry, write journal entries or letters to those who’ve hurt you. To allow the air to get at secrets so deeply buried that only the very strongest of people can dig that deep down.
The two hardest days in my last two years was the day I shared a 5 page letter written to my mother. I did not share it with her. There is no point. I shared it with people who could help me deal with the fallout of allowing my story to surface. I did fall apart afterwards and stayed very delicate and broken in many ways for weeks… but I stayed. I wanted to just die but I stayed. I even asked for help. That was big.
The other hardest day was the day I pressed “Publish” to my first blog. Allowing others to have a good and honest look at how my life really is? That was HARD. It would be easy if my intention was to share nothing but frilly stories, funny clips of cute animals, or poems made up of fictional creatures. That was not my intention though and that was decided long before I even hit “Publish”. If I was going to share? I was going to be real even if that meant showing the side of me that isn’t always happy, feeling strong, or knows the right answers to everything. That happy side of me is very easy to show. I’ve shown that side for my whole life. My intention here was different. It was to be whole and real. It is not always rainbows, butterflies and unicorns in my world or anyone else’s. Someone who’s hidden the deep and dark truth ( like me) knows that better than anyone but few like to admit that.
I wrote a poem about courage a month or two ago and the line that always jumps out at me is “having the courage to stay when it would be easier to die”. There are just so many courageous people out there who get very little credit for their strength.
The person with agoraphobia that walks to the store even if it is only once in a week. Heck, even if they can only step on to their porch.
The person with OCD who refuses to give in to a compulsion even though he or she is POSITIVE this will cause huge issues.
Someone with depression who got out of bed today and continued to breathe through another entire day.
How about someone with DID? Feeling overwhelmed, unsure, losing time, being called a liar, or having your struggle reduced to someones opinion of “if” DID exists or not.
The people who have experienced horrible, heart wrenching losses who someone still find a way to move forwards.
A person with PTSD whom gets hit with a terrible flashback that wracks their entire body yet they breathe, refocus and somehow move on with their day.
Someone with schizophrenia who hears that voice telling them to do something yet ignores it dang near every single time.
That single mother who just stretched her last dollars every single way possible yet still can’t afford enough food so she find another way or asks for help.
The trauma nurse who hears or sees things that no human should ever have to see yet deals with it, helps and then goes home to make supper for the family.
I can not possibly list every struggle. There are too many. I do know something though, struggle is what binds us together as humans. We all struggle and we all do not want to struggle any longer. That is fairly common. Right?
How about stopping for a moment and in the midst of crazy days, crazy thoughts or being crazy busy? Give yourself some credit for still being here. For putting your heart out there to care for others. A pat on the back for the compassion you show and also allowing yourself to receive compassion. That can be very hard for many people. Myself included.
Just try not to forget how strong that you are and how having a weakness does the opposite of what we are taught. Rather than our weaknesses making us weaker, they make us stronger. Celebrate that.