Life takes us sometimes, grabs us tightly around the waist, turns us upside down, and shakes us until we are mere shadows of what we once were. Then, just as abruptly, it sets us back in an upright and locked position, only without everything solidly locked back into place.
This is when healing and growth takes place.
Some of us heal faster than others with the kindness of strangers bestowed upon us. Strangers who find all that which we’ve lost and gift us new things we need to deal with this new “self” we’ve been gifted.
Some of us, even with the kindness of strangers, don’t heal as fast. That’s okay too. It’s frustrating but we are all on our own journey. Your journey will not look like her journey or his journey or even my journey. Sure, we can sit around a campfire, compare notes, and possibly even realize we have some things in common but ultimately, we are all on our own island, struggling to survive.
Technology has made it easier to connect between these islands and created a virtual campfire.
But it’s also made it easier for those who don’t support us to fling unsupportive words our way as we try to share and reach out for the support we so desperately need.
So we find ourselves stuck.
Stuck between needing to reach out to those like us and not wanting those who don’t understand to turn our cries for support into fodder for their attacks.
We might freeze. We might get silent, watchful, worried, allow the fear of attack to keep us from fully healing. Until.
Until we realize that it’s OUR STORY, and we have a right to share our story. We inhale, brace ourselves, and begin to speak up. Maybe a whisper at first, but eventually it turns into a barbaric YAWP as we realize we are above those who would grab us and keep us down, that in order to heal, we must learn to shake off the chains of that which has held us down in the past.
It’s important for us to give ourselves permission to be that which we think others won’t let us be as we move forward. No one has the right to tell you who you are…aside from yourself. One of my favourite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
No more complicit participation in accepting that I am anything less than ME – a mental health advocate, a Mom, a girlfriend, a woman, a daughter, a sister, and someone searching for herself in the wind.
This is me.
Working toward my barbaric YAWP.