You're Stronger Than You Think
I've lost count of how many times someone has told me how strong I am in the past 8 months. People say things like "I don't know how you can be so strong" or "I don't think I could be that strong in your position", and the thing that I really want to say back to all of them? You're stronger than you think. Because the truth is, you really don't know how strong you are until that strength is tested. If you had have asked me 12 months ago, I would have classed myself as a grade A wimp. I got myself tied up in knots about the smallest things. I cried at TV adverts regularly. I went out of my way to avoid conflict because the thought of it made my stomach churn.
When tragedy struck our family last year, I was worried that I would crumble. That I wouldn't be able to shoulder the sadness or find the strength to keep going when everything felt so damn unfair. And yet somehow, here I am, 8 months on, a stronger person than I have ever been before.
Because when you really, really need it, you can find that strength. Sometimes you will find it in the love of all of the people around you, who will lift you up and make you feel less alone. Sometimes you will realise that you had it all along, that something just needed to happen to unearth it. And sometimes, sometimes you will build that strength slowly, day by painful day.
But it will be there - when you really need it, you will realise that you're stronger than you think. You'll be able to keep going, as awful as that may seem some days. And it will make you stronger in other areas of your life too.
There's something about surviving the worst pain you could ever imagine that makes you feel a little bit invincible. It's almost like wearing some sort of protective suit that stops all of the pointless crap worming it's way into your brain. All those small things that I used to worry or get upset about feel so trivial now.
I'm writing this post because terrible stuff happens to good people everyday. Life is random and messy and completely unfair. People lose their jobs, friends die, family members get sick - it happens every single day. And I used to worry that in those situations, I wouldn't be able to cope.
But I have, and I will. And so will you. You're stronger than you think.