By Jenny Jones of Life’s a Polyp
A year ago my life was very different from what it is now, and it is even more drastically different from 2 years ago. I never would have imagined that I’d be where I am now in my life. And yet, despite these unforeseen changes, I’m full of gratitude and amazement as I struggle to believe my present life is reality.
To fill you in, a lot has transpired in the last 24 months:
- I decided not to have any children because of my health and FAP.
- My husband was diagnosed and hospitalized with diabetes.
- My marriage began to fall apart.
- I entered a bout of extremely severe depression.
- I was hospitalized for the first time in 8 years.
- I developed increased chronic pain and started having chronic nausea.
- I went on a dream family vacation to Alaska (highly recommended, by the way).
- One of my very beloved great uncles died at 99 years old.
- I became estranged from some very dear friends and family members.
- My husband and I separated.
- I moved back home to live with my parents.
- I got divorced.
- I bought a house.
- I became independent once again.
Not everything that has happened in the last 2 years has been a hardship. In spite of very difficult, trying situations throughout the last 2 years, every situation has held life lessons for me and has helped me grow as an individual.
I psychologically survived situations I never imagined I would face and wasn’t sure I would survive at the time of their occurrence. And yet, with each hurdle, I became stronger and fiercer. I never saw myself as a survivor or as a brave person before, in spite of surviving 7 surgeries, near death experiences, and the cancer that was developing in my body. I’ve lived through PTSD, suicidal ideation, and severe depression. I’ve survived the physical and emotional loss of many. I survived. I learned I am strong and after I’ve faced physical and psychological torments, I can survive anything.
It’s true that we don’t realize how strong we are until we have no other choice. Feeling on the verge of a mental breakdown for months on end last year, my mind somehow held onto the smallest amounts of hope and strength to keep me alive to fight another day. And now, I’m stronger than ever before. Now, I’m prepared to fight whatever future fights may be in store for me. I know I’ve survived the worst psychological torments I’ve ever encountered and it’s only going to go up from here. Even my bad days are not my worst days because those are behind me.
I’ve harnessed my inner strength that for far too long I didn’t know existed. It’s easy to ignore our inner strength. We tend to minimize our feats of mental strength. We become accustomed to survival mode without acknowledgment of what it actually takes to survive. We get caught up in surviving day to day without relishing in the fact that we are surviving.
Let us stop cheating ourselves. Let us honor our strength and harness it. When we bear witness to our strength, we honor ourselves, our survival, and our life. We begin to free ourselves of the draining mental fight by power-housing our strength, thereby allowing increased utilization for continued survival and breaking free of our mental chains. And after the fight, we will realize that we deserve to be free.
This post was originally published on Life’s a Polyp.
About the Author
Jenny was diagnosed with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis at age 8 and after 6 years with an ileostomy now has a Straight Pull Thru. She has a Masters degree in Social Work and shares on her personal blog lifesapolyp.blogspot.com.