I believe those who have experienced continual stress in their lives reach a certain point when a definite shift happens.
Perspectives change, as do priorities, and eventually, the realization that hope is your friend and worth clinging onto, much more so than fear. Existing through the darkest of times, the light, the shallow waters, all seem so far out of reach. You become a watcher of others, others that not only tread water but seem to be speeding through glistening oceans.
What you eventually learn is this: life throws everyone off track at some point.
This may be hard to believe when experiencing your own trials, but it is the truth. Concentrate on being grateful for the small things that are going right, even amidst the worst of your storms, however trivial those small things may seem.
If I had a penny for every time I heard, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and how many times I would inwardly roll my eyes. But now I know that to be true. I am no expert in the workings of the mind. I am not qualified on paper, but I think I am qualified in what life has thrown at me.
Now I do not dwell. I wake up every morning and have a sweet little conversation with myself. I promise to be kind to myself and others, show compassion, and check in on those I know may need it.
I tell the ones I love just how much I love them. All the time. This makes me feel good; this makes me feel me. I now have a strong heart, a lion heart. I may still be working on the strong mind bit, but that’s okay.
Look into your heart, work out what success means to you.
I love poetry, I love animals (I believe we can learn so much from them). I have let go of having to please people all the time. I work hard but will never again allow myself to fall into that pit of despair because of a work project. My priority is my family, friends, and staying well.
I love the sunrise and the sunset. I love sincere people, non-judgemental people. I want to be someone who lifts people up. Everyone knows that going through extreme struggles teaches you patience, patience beyond belief at times.
I love love love the new me that is emerging from the ashes. The strong me, the strong me that can help others and help myself.
But I would not be this person now if things had gone my way.
To anyone else struggling right now—nothing will make you feel better than being grateful. Nothing comes from comparing yourself to others.
Be the person that makes you happy. Be brave, be silly, and whatever you do, know your worth as a woman.