She called me a survivor.
No one has ever said that to me before.
She told me that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.
I mean… I guess so.
This is my fight song.
I got an updated diagnosis last week and it was very difficult for me to try and process the words that were being said to me.
I can give myself lots of labels:
I am a mom. I am a wife. I am a Jamaican. I am a grammar snob. I am a runner. I am a writer. I am a black woman. I am a coffee addict.
I am lots of things.
But other labels? The ones that I get from my therapist? They are hard for me to accept… but sometimes they need to be said, out loud, in order to create a plan for the next steps that need to occur.
Take back my life song.
I have been doing a lot of reflection lately, thinking a lot about how I got here- trying to make sense of it all.
This past year has been transformative for me in so many ways.
I’ve truly taken ownership of my diagnoses- my labels- and tried to figure out how I can live with them instead of trying to fake my way, powering through as if they don’t exist.
I’ve been able to start running, something that has helped keep me focused on the good things in my life. I’ve been more aware and appreciative of those around me that help to keep me grounded and more in tune with my body.
These are all important things.
Prove I’m alright song.
I think sometimes I want so bad to be “normal,” whatever that means. So I put on my face and I go out into the world and try to be the person that everyone thinks I am. The problem with that is that it is exhausting.
Who am I trying to prove that I’m alright or normal to?
I’ve run out of f*cks, y’all.
I need to focus on being who I am. Living in my truth. And finding my own normal.
My powers turned on. Starting right now I’ll be strong.
Having people around me that accept my normal makes it easier for me to accept my normal. (Did that make sense?)
People that I can call when nothing in my brain makes sense.
People that I can text when I am frustrated with my diagnoses and feel so pissed that they even exist.
People who tell me to press on, to be pissed, that my frustration is totally warranted.
People who can say “me too.”
It is so much easier when you have people who can empathize; it is so much easier when you know that you aren’t alone.
I’ll play my fight song, and I don’t really care if nobody else believes.
Every single day is a struggle and sometimes I need a reminder to push forward.
Sometimes I need a reminder to put me back on the tracks when I fall off.
I’ve been studying Proverbs 31 with great intention lately and meditating on the words in that passage. I’ve also read different translations, though I’m not sure what I was looking for. What I did find was confirmation in the Good Book and the inspiration for my next tattoo.
Every single piece of ink of my body tells a story from some part in my life. They tell the stories even when I can’t. This tattoo gives me an affirmation, even when I can’t give it to myself, even when I don’t believe it- just like my tribe does.
You see, this isn’t just about mental illness. This is applicable to life. It just so happens that my life includes living with mental illness.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a die hard Grey’s Anatomy fan and I love the talk of having a “person.” I just happen to have a bunch of people.
I have found a wonderful and supportive group of women who all suffer from mental illness and we are able to support one another. We lift each other up in more ways than I can truly describe.
Who are your people?
Have you found your tribe?
Find them. They’ll help you sing your fight song.
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.*
*Song Credit: Rachel Platten, Fight Song