Definition of resilient
: characterized or marked by resilience: such as
a: capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture
b: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
“Aliee you are so strong.”
“How do you do it?”
“I wouldn’t be able to survive as 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.”
Everything happens for a reason I’ve robotically said to everyone.
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.
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 and then rotating to their next “client.”
But then 3.5 yrs ago I found a $180/hr box of Kleenex and a leather couch whom 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 the present!
Let’s recap: as per Webster’s 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, and 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.
© 2021, Alison M. Cameron. All Rights Reserved.