Do you identify as a survivor? A cancer survivor? A trauma survivor?
Sometimes, it is less about what we survived and more about the fact that we did.
And what that means about us.
When we say survivor, we are talking about the strength and grit that allowed us to keep going. We are talking about qualities inside us, how we quantify it, what specifically we lived through is less important than the very fact that we did survive.
You are so much more than the worst experiences in your life.
After a certain point, isn’t trauma just trauma? Who are we to designate and delineate hurts and heart-cracking experiences?
“I survived, that’s what happened, or that’s the most important part anyway.”
I am open here with my story, I have lived through pain and amazing experiences and it made me grow and helped to shape me into the flawed, beautiful and ever evolving human I am right now. I will not keep these things under wraps, illness is nothing shameful.
(Of course, I’d rather you didn’t tell me about your digestive system struggles over dinner, although you don’t need to hide things either.)
But sometimes we can identify too strongly with that we have lived through and forget to focus on the most important part of that sentence:
Living Through: A poem
We lived through it.
As in, we got past that, we got through and then we kept on going.
I lived through it but
At the time no one told me that
The very hardest part was not what
I was living through.
It was not the through
But the living.
To survive is one thing
To put down our history
To lay down our weapons,
Our badge of honour and old wounds
To say this is not me
I am more
So much more than this trauma
So much more than the hand fate dealt me
And darling, she can be a handful on a good day.
Move onwards speaking the truth that
What I survived is nothing on me,
I am so much more than that.
No one dimensional figures
In bending cardboard here.
I got past that
I walked through hell and
Honey, I kept right on walking
Into the life that was waiting inside me
The challenges I have lived through
Oh sweetheart, those are
Just the footnotes
They’ve got nothing on me.
I am fascinating, aside from my traumas,
‘I survived, that is what happened
Or the most important part anyway’.
Photo Credits: Solace Creek