I think I am a pretty intelligent person. I am not a college educated person. I didn't graduate high school. I was an A B student until my mental illness became a problem with going to school. I am not stupid either. I try to learn something new everyday. You can never learn too much. Today I am trying to learn to be brave. I have had small moments of bravery in my life. Nothing heroic or anything to really write about. Things that took courage to admit or do. I need a cold hard hit of bravery. I need some courage because, frankly, I am in short supply.
I do genealogy I love to find what set of circumstances and people made it possible for me to be here in this moment. I was thrilled to go back hundreds of years. I discovered warriors and kings. None of their riches passed down to me. I am starting to believe that the bravery also failed to pass as well. Today going to my doctors office, we had to go up four floors on the elevator. No big deal. That is until five people walked in the elevator with me... I had to close my eyes and breathe. I could feel the lady touching my shoulder with her arm. It felt like we were sardines packed in a tin and I wanted to scream. Deep breaths. Then on the second floor some guy was going to get in. Thankfully the doors were shutting and he thought better of it. I actually said aloud,"No, go away." Not my proudest moment.
I realize that if you dropped an elevator on the ground next to my warrior ancestors they would be scared of it too. However, this is not 1300 a.d. and everyone here has used an elevator at some point.
I am terrified of rabbits. They creep me out like nothing I have ever come across.Rabbits. That's right, I said it. I realize it is stupid and silly. How many people have you heard of that have been mauled to death by a rabbit? None.
Last Fall I went outside on my porch. Something caught the corner of my eye. As I turned to look at it I saw that it was a rabbit My mouth got dry and sweat started to form on my forehead. I quickly turned and squeezed my eyes shut. I tried desperately to will it away, When I opened one eye the cursed thing was still there chomping his evil jaws at me. Ok, he was probably just happily munching on a dandelion but still he obviously, doesn't posses the ability to be mentally willed away. I bet he was wondering what the crazy red haired lady was doing freaking out on her porch.
I can just see my ancestors going to protect their land from invaders and charging. Swords ready for battle and their kilts swaying as the run. Then as they get to the battle field they stop and look down. "Oh My God a rabbit! Fall back men! Fall back!" And then run back home with horror on their faces.
I obviously do not posses the warrior gene. If there is such a thing.
So maybe I am not tough as nails. Maybe I am not a conqueror of great lands. I am a different kind of warrior. I am a verbal warrior. I battle for mental health. I conquer my fears everyday. I fight for the end of stigma. I fight for acceptance and understanding. I am not brave in the warrior sense, but I am brave in writing my truths. I am brave in that I am honest. That I am a warrior for my mental illness. I am brave every time I get up out of bed and face the day. I am brave every time I sit down and type my dysfunction to the world. I am brave that I accept that there will people that will judge me. That there are people that will tell me I am stupid or wimpy. It takes courage to tell the world that I am a mentally ill person. It takes courage to admit that to myself. It takes courage to be abnormal. It takes courage to truly look at yourself and accept what you are. I am brave in that I am still here. When it seemed to be an easier option to opt out, I chose to live. I chose to endure. I am brave that I will not be put in the shadows and ignored. It is brave that I stand up and say I am here. I have a mental illness and I am not going away because it makes you feel more comfortable. So maybe I am a warrior after all. Maybe I have the right amount of courage. Maybe I am brave. Just be on the look out for rabbits for me.