Talking with my oldest the other night, he asked me about how people deal with tough things in their lives. How do we overcome obstacles or complications that make doing what we need to hard for us? I thought about that question for a few minutes.
My answer was that everyone has obstacles in their lives. Whether it be financial, emotional, physical, or mental. We all have issues we have to deal with on a daily basis. There are two ways to deal with the obstacles, to face them and fight back and find ways around them or to remain stuck and do nothing.
If you fight them it will not be easy. You may face set backs. You will encounter frustration. It can seem like an uphill battle with slippery ground. You may have to continue to fight for weeks, months, years, or the rest of your life. It is hard. It is a struggle but you can overcome or go around the big boulders that stand in your path.
If you choose not to fight, you remain stationary. You dwell with the negative thoughts of anger and sadness. Feelings of shame and doubt become like a heavy chain you wear around your neck. Fear of trying to fight back and failing can consume you. Feelings of worthlessness, stupidity, ugliness, and loss of self respect are rampant if you become stationary. The more negative the emotional pool you swim in, the less likely you are to fight back, to believe in yourself and your self worth.
There are two paths and which path you choose will decide what kind of person you are going to become in life, a fighter or someone who is stationary.
As I told him this I realized that there have been times when I had been stationary. There have been times when I lost touch with myself and what I feel. I have walked the lonely halls of feeling worthless and pathetic, damaged and broken, lost and alone. I found it hard to pull myself free from the thought that it was a lost cause to try. It was not a lost cause. It is never a lost cause. And so right then and there, I made a silent promise to myself that never again would I remain stationary and feel sorry for myself. That I would refuse to be ashamed of my mental illness. That I would be someone he could look up to because I refuse to back down and feel sorry for myself. That I would try to fight even when I am exhausted and barely hanging on. Not just for him and my family, but also for myself. Because I am worth it. That doesn't mean that I wont have times where I question if something can be done, it just means that I will try my hardest anyway. It doesn't mean that I won't feel sad about something I am going through or grieve the loss of my expectations, it just means that I will continue to dream and hope and believe even if I am sad, upset, or scared. That I can realize new dreams and the possibilities are endless. It means that I will not walk the easy path, the carefree road. The road that has been manicured and swept clean. It means that I will take the road less traveled and I will trip. I will fall. I will skin my knees and elbows all the way there, but I will get back up. I will walk myself around whatever is blocking my path even if I have to limp to do it. Whatever and however I get around my obstacles I will get around them. I promise that no matter what befalls me or gets in my way I will never again get stuck. I will not remain stationary.