“Aliee you are so strong.”
“How do you do it?”
“I wouldn’t be able to survive like you have.”
Are these compliments? I have no doubt that was the intention but unfortunately all the loving supportive words did was push me deeper into myself. Gotta keep that face on, the one of a “strong woman.” The everything happens for a reason I’ve robotically said to everyone.
Definition of resilient
: characterized or marked by resilience: such as
b: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
For the longest time I really thought all of the crap life has thrown at me was just normal. From the trauma (it’s not a dirty word fyi) of my parents 15 + years of “on and off,” to hearing my grandmother’s gut-wrenching sobs and denials down the hallway learning my cousin David was dead, he was 18, I was 16. I would need an Excel Spreadsheet to truly articulate my life from 10 yrs old to frankly 2017.
I will never deny that a therapist in my life has served their purpose. Some actually caused more damage than good; accepting my handwritten check then rotating in their next “client.” But then 3.5 yrs ago I found a $180/hr box of Kleenex and a leather couch who rivals my F-Bombs; he threw a bucket of verbal ice cold water on me. I knew that first appointment I had found my therapist. “Alison why do you think your life has been ‘normal’?”
Me: (insert smart-ass deflecting response that I will keep to myself)
I have always believed that I was resilient. Married then divorced and a single mother of 2 babies by 21 years old. Desperately trying to navigate a chronically ill daughter, a son with mental illness, at the time a broken tumultuous relationship with both of my parents. I mean we all have chaos right? I was not resilient. And let’s be frank, I haven’t even gotten into mid 90s to present!
Let’s recap: as per Websters Dictionary: “capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture.” I mean sounds lovely to say you’re resilient, but life check that’s bullshit.
Everything in life is permanent. It’s massive. It’s powerful. The power (also not a dirty word) is recognizing it. I am resilient in my convictions. I am resilient in my drive to do better, be better and not intentionally inflict pain on anyone and that includes myself. I am resilient in my conviction that I will never be taken advantage of again via friends, family, men…the list is vast and wide.
I, to this day say to my dearest friends constantly:
“Be kind to yourself!”
“Love yourself above everyone.”
“Sit in grace and breathe.”
I say this to myself now. I practice what I preach. I don’t accept anything in life that doesn’t serve my happiness. Selfish? Maybe. But I will never apologize for it.
Keep climbing. Keep pushing. Get uncomfortable with yourself; that means asking those you truly trust to put you in check. Or do what I do. Take a walk.