Have you ever fought for something? Truly and with all your might fought so hard for something, for someone, for yourself? You would know if you have or not because the fighting takes on a life of it’s own. You can’t hide it from your loved ones. You can’t hide it from strangers because it’s written all over your face and body language. The worst part is you can’t hide from the reason you are fighting to begin with.
I have learned something very valuable from this fight I have taken on recently – that fighting teaches you not only what you are made of but what those around you are made of too. It highlights the people who are on your team. The one's who will climb in bed with you and tell you it is going to be okay, even if they themselves don't know if it will.
I never considered myself a fighter before my life was threatened by ptsd. The funny thing is I was taught at a very formative age not to fight. My freshman year of high school a very charismatic and lovable nun proclaimed during our first week of physical education class that, “Xavier girls don’t fight, they run.” We all laughed then but it was a mantra that was en-grained in us for the remainder of our high school days. I wouldn’t say it was a bad thing either because there is plenty of drama to be had when you are in an all-girls school. Perhaps that mantra served me well many years later when I ran in the aftermath of the two bombs, or maybe it was just the sheer terror I witnessed. Either way this funny little lesson that Sister taught me so many years ago inspires me again today – as I fight.
I have decided I am not running anymore. I won’t sit back and let the actions of other’s have power over me. I won’t let fear in my house as a welcomed guest. I will not say yes to things that don’t serve the best interest of my family, myself or our health. These are non-negotiables.
I choose to wear my ptsd proudly on my sleeve like a badge because it has given me strength I never knew I had.
I will say yes to those who loyally stood by my side and fought for me when I couldn’t. I will say yes gratefully to God’s faithfulness and love. I will take on this fight and be a voice for others like me who survived something terrible and are trying to grow despite the pain. This is my new reality and it feels good and comfy like a worn in pair of black yoga pants… a closet staple for any 30-ish mom like myself.
This Xavier girl is a fighter.