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To Anyone Who Needs to Be Reminded It’s OK to Not Be OK

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I need to tell you something: it is OK to sometimes not be OK.

I’m a Mom, a caregiver, a mediator, an educator, a therapist, a cook and an advocate, among other things, but first and foremost, I’m a human. I have an identity. You have an identity.

I hope you don’t compare yourself to anyone because you are as unique as the next person. Remember all the things that make you, you. Give yourself time to breath, time to sit, time to be you, time to recognize that you are amazing, that you are strong. And if people try to criticize you and your decisions, tell them to walk a mile in your shoes. Until they’ve done that, I don’t think they have any right to tell you what you have done wrong or how to run your life or what decisions you should be making. You are doing your best and that’s the greatest achievement of all. You are giving it your all. Be proud of yourself.

So you cried, you had a meltdown, a moment. You rolled around on the ground and kicked and screamed and had a tantrum. Who gives a shit! Everyone needs a good cry every now and then. I don’t think it’s healthy to withhold emotion.

You did what you needed to do in that moment to survive and continue on with your day. You did this because you are a fighter. Our most basic instinct is survival, and when we are faced with exhausting or difficult or traumatic circumstances, we may want to just give in. It’s the “flight, fight, freeze response.” You may want to take flight and run away, you may want to freeze like a deer in headlights or you may want to fight on.  We’ve evolved this way to alert us to danger. This response assists us to act in stressful situations.

The “flight, fight, freeze response” is actually pretty cool. It is almost like having superhero powers that we can activate when we need to protect ourselves or our loved ones. The tricky bit is working out which one is your fallback response.

You? You’re a Fighter. You didn’t give up, you stood your ground, you put your big kid panties on and fought on. You stood up for what you believe in, for what is right. So you sought medical help in the form of “happy pills.” Do these help you to stay focused and think logically about what is happening around you? If the answer is yes, then you did the right thing. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong, because you can recognize your weaknesses and you recognized that you needed help. You did what you needed to do to keep fighting on.

You are a Fighter.

Say it with me: “I am a Fighter!”

You didn’t give up.

I was once told by physical training instructor that, “It isn’t the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it is the size of the fight in the dog.” This will always stick with me. I may be short in stature, but don’t underestimate the fight in me. Don’t let people underestimate the fight in you.

I acknowledge all your struggles and your pain. I feel your pain because I have been there, but I’d also like to salute the fighter that is within you. I hope you can be thankful and proud for all the things that you have done that displayed courage and strength and sheer determination… and maybe stubbornness because you didn’t give up.

You are a strong person. You admire others from a distance for their inner strength, but did you know that they also admire you? That they can see your inner strength? That they can see the fighter in you?

Be strong and be brave.

Why? Because you are a fighter!

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Thinkstock photo via amoklv

Originally published: August 18, 2017
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