A word I love. A word I repeat in my head day in and day out. A constant reminder that I am stronger than any difficulty I am facing.
Physical strength is great. Without physical strength I wouldn’t have been able to get up to bat every time I had a migraine during a really important game. I wouldn’t have been able to endure the multiple nurses and endless prodding by needles when my veins were being stubborn during blood drawings. It’s a strength I’ve learned how to control and can be seen by others around me.
Mental and emotional strength takes a much stronger person to master. How many plans do you have to cancel, trips you have to miss, crying breakdowns you have to endure, anxiety attacks you have to conquer, etc, does it take for one person to truly give into the mental and emotional pain of chronic illness and pain?
I wish I could count on my hands the number of times I’ve broken down in extreme frustration, anger, sadness, the like due to health issues that piled on top of me until I felt like I was suffocating. But I can’t, because I don’t have that many hands.
It was worse in the years prior. With age, and experience, comes maturity. Lately, I’ve displayed more emotional and mental strength than I thought was capable of. It helps to have an encouraging support system who constantly tells you how strong you are. But instead of feeling like you’re getting an ego boost, you feel proud.
Proud that you are still fighting. Proud that you aren’t letting the difficulties that pile up, win. Proud that you are mentally and emotionally strong enough to show the world that no matter what, you will continue to walk through your journey with your head held high.
Fortitude is a word I repeat in my head every single day. I’ll be damned if I let my adversities beat me down.