I Want to Be Brave

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I want to be brave.

I’m trying so hard.

But the darkness is winning.
It’s won 10 years of battles and has nearly won the war.

I am crumbled, I am small, I am weak. I’m not sure I can be brave any more.

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7 thoughts on “I Want to Be Brave

  1. This I know: I spoke nearly these same sentences to my doctor on Wednesday. After 2 decades of back-and-forth with monsters mostly on my own, coupled with the last 5 years of enormous loss, it becomes more difficult to keep getting back up. But this I also know: I am alive today because I gave in & allowed my best friend to drag me to said doctor. He is near-magical, he has & continues to fight for me, even against myself, which blows me away. And in doing so, I am learning, as I near 40, that while the experience of living is fraught with grief & pain, there is also an astonishing well of compassion, empathy, & kindness out there. As I wear thin my memories of sunshine that kept me afloat, it is this discovery that even on the darkest roads, when we open up our boxes of sorrow, love & support emerge from so many unexpected places.

    I ramble in an effort to say that, although we feel alone in the dark, so very heavy, so very tired, & our brain lies to us (and somehow even knowing it lies does not make it any less effective) every day – nothing lasts forever. Am I in some rainbow of happiness? No, the universe continues its gleeful kicking of what’s left of me. I’ve never tried so hard at anything in my life. But it won’t always be like this, it wasn’t always before either. I’ve had the gift of glorious years, experiences beyond anything I could have dreamed. There will be others, not the same, but with gifts of their own if I can just keep the door propped open. Even if just because change is a law of physics & nature.

    Every day, I doubt myself, I punish myself for not living up to my own expectations, for not being able to move past my own trauma, I wonder how I will ever make it. Until I can stand on my own again, though, I must permit myself to lean on the kindnesses offered, as even the small ones can change the course of a day or a week. And at the same time, share forward what has been lent to me, as you do here. Because it may feel like a tiny thing, but I promise that a single connection, a thought, one beacon that we are not truly alone, that touches lives. I know because I’ve strung together quite a collection of these “beads” over the years. So thank you for sharing yours. Because tonight, I am feeling confused, tired, defeated — but then I saw your post, heard the echo of my own ghosts, & it gave me that moment of seeing that others share my path, some have gone before, as others come behind me. There’s a funny sort of the strength in that, I suppose that’s what empathy is, so I am grateful for it, although I wish I could fix it for you!

    And as my doctor very correctly told me (assigned to me, apparently you never get too old for assignments) this week (even though I know, but there are so many levels to knowing) — it IS hard, but it is not YOU, it is an illness, & it is not your fault, so focus on being as in the present as possible, find as many distractions, tasks, games, walks, trees to look at, birds to notice (I’m a biologist-but still, I’ve found it’s nearly impossible to not smile when I see a bluebird or the determined pluckiness of a wren), that you can, talk to people, any humans you can find, and above all, Do. Not. Disappear. You matter, you are loved, & you are allowed to just Be.

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such an amazing, empathetic and insightful post – you’ve made me smile this morning, something which is a big surprise. I wish I could make things better for you, too. Lots of love, Molly xxxxx

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      1. Smiles and hugs- oops, now you made me smile too. Let’s roll with it. Cause I just found one of my saplings that I was sure didn’t survive winter (I killed a cactus, so I refer to my planting attempts as “natural selection landscape” – here’s some dirt, good luck with that) – has suddenly resurfaced as 6″ of baby tree, LEAVES INCLUDED! That’s 2 smiles in 15 minutes; now anything can happen! šŸ˜€

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    2. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such an amazing, empathetic and insightful post – you’ve made me smile this morning, something which is a big surprise. I wish I could make things better for you, too. Lots of love, Molly xx

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  2. Someone once told me ‘Healing takes courage. & we all have that courage’. When you feel like you can’t be brave anymore, remind yourself there is a fighter inside you who managed to survive 10 years- what’s 10 more?
    Sending positive vibes your way. Hope you can stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

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