A Survivor.

Saturday January 9, 2016

A few years ago when I was complaining, well explaining to my brother how I felt, about the fact that I had not achieved much in my life, he looked in me in the eye and said that he had always seen me as a survivor. This surprised me. Of course on one level I was a survivor as I was still around, but I suppose I interpreted the word survivor as being someone who was not merely here but had thrived against all odds. A survivor is someone who lives through a plane crash, a flood or fire, or some violent attack. Just getting through life, does that merit the word survivor?

My brother, bless him, saw me like this whereas I saw myself as a struggler, yes I was still here but not with a flourish, but with a constant one step in front of the other and with lots of effort and complaining.

It made me think. Should we all be celebrating the fact we have survived instead of listing like I tend to do all the things I wanted to achieve but never did? The academic career I never had, the award winning author I never became, the wonderful mother I wanted to be but never was: these were all visions I had of the fantasy me not the real me and were probably never attainable.

Why do we look at the things we have not done, the dreams we never fulfilled and not examine the things we have conquered, the people we have helped and the strong people we have become.

Realistically, I have survived and while I have not done anything that is noteworthy or would be considered famous. I have lived with a mental health label for over 40 years, I am still here to share my story and hopefully help others.

Everyone reading this has overcome obstacles, endured difficulties, and come through wiser and tougher.

Can we all be proud that we are survivors and tell our stories to inspire others?

What survival technique would you like to share?

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