Are You Tired Of Being Resilient, Too?
Merriam-Webster defines resilience as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. It’s not the absence of weakness or emotional distress. Rather, it is the presence of pain and suffering, but being able to withstand the same regardless.
Resilience is seeing yourself in a dark place, and working so hard to get to the other side, no matter how long it takes. Resilience is knowing that things are going to get worse before they get better, and having the will not only to wait for better things to come but to go ahead and look for them.
Learning how to normalize pain
Ever since I was young, people have always told me that I was resilient. I grew up knowing that it is one of my best traits because people have always praised me for it. However, there are days where I wish that I didn’t have to be resilient anymore.
Chronic illness altered what was previously normal for me. I used to cry when I was in so much pain, but now, I've learned how to cope with the very same pain that used to make me immobilized for days. Although the pain is always there, and it never really went away, the moping, complaining, and crying did not altogether stop, but they were significantly lessened.
Honestly, I don’t know if this is something that I should be happy about, or if I should celebrate the fact that I have learned how to normalize pain so much. Is it comforting to know that I have accepted that this is how my life is now?
Resilience is essential in order to make it through life when you are dealing with chronic illness. It's the reason why you are still here, fighting, thriving and surviving. However, I want to stop romanticizing my resilience too much.
I am aware that my pain tolerance is high, that I am brave and tough, I also know that everything will eventually pass. But I sometimes wish that life would stop putting me in situations where I have no other option but to be strong. I sometimes wish that my illness would stop making me feel like I have no other choice but to resilient.
Maybe I’ve learned how to be strong at a very young age, maybe I’ve been praised for surviving too much. But there are days where I’d find myself thinking that I don’t want to have to be strong because I have to be, but because it was my choice. I don’t want people to praise my strength for getting up blow after blow. Instead, I want the blows to stop altogether. I don't want people to commend me for being able to withstand the pain. Instead, I don't want to be in pain anymore.
Being in constant pain is dreadful. Not being able to live a normal life is difficult. But I didn't know that being bold, strong, and resilient can be as exhausting, too.
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