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Survivor?... or fighter?

Monday, April 23, 2018

I have been contemplating lately whether I am a “survivor” or a “fighter”... in my perception the difference is pretty clear. A survivor endures the junk life throws at her ( usually with grace and humor), but doesn’t pick up the struggle and fight to change things. Whereas a fighter, refuses to accept the way things “are” and fights to change and adapt themselves or the world around them. My conclusion? I think at times I have been both. I firmly believe it depends on the situation and context. Some things are immutable. My mom died last year. There is no changing that fact. What I CAN change is my attitude and my reaction... how I learn to deal with a world in which she is no longer a physical, mortal, moral support or confidant. I have lupus. That is a fact. I am still learning the ramifications of that diagnosis, but there’s no changing the reality... only the possibility of changing how I cope with that reality, and how I can affect the flare ups through diet and other lifestyle choices. I managed to control my Type 2 diabetes for 6 years through diet and exercise... now that I am more hypoglycemic (rather than hyperglycemic)... I have to relearn what and when to eat. But I have reached out to a Registered Dietitian to see if my needs fit her practice... so I am searching for answers... A way to fight back and continue to control my blood sugar through diet and exercise. But when I look at my mental health issues, I find that lately I have been more of a survivor than a fighter. My anxiety has been astronomical. I do not mean the garden-variety unease, but paralyzing anxiety attacks, and geographical limitations, which make me have to chose between suffering through very real physical symptoms or avoidance. And sometimes I push through and chose to do something or go somewhere outside my comfort zone (the boundaries of my safe space), and other times I find myself curtailing my activities to cater to my fear. But I endure whether I am pushing myself to move outside my comfort zone, or giving up an opportunity due to the anxiety. Nothing stops me completely. If the anxiety gets to be too much, and I am paralyzed in my own choices... I still have to walk the dog. He keeps me moving. So, am I a fighter or a survivor? I am a bit of both. As I think we all are. Maybe the perception we have of someone being more one than the other has more to do with their day to day attitude. If I can smile (or spit) in the face of adversity...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • _CYNDY55_
    emoticon emoticon blog emoticon emoticon
    208 days ago
  • SUSANM18
    Sometimes weathering the storm is all we can do. My best wishes to you on your journey.
    emoticon Susan
    210 days ago
  • BONNIEMARGAY
    Sending you all of my deepest empathy for profound anxiety, and what it feels like to be debilitated by fear.

    I am so grateful to picture you with Cooper, and thankful for your online presence here. Your self care is an inspiration to me, and I think of you often on my daily walks with Addie Shanti.

    I am impressed with your determination to find the best way to address each health challenge, friend. We can move through this. May we find ease and joy on this journey.
    emoticon
    211 days ago
  • KATIE5668
    As said by many ..indeed a bit of both..with the one needed at the time surfacing to be in charge for that time.
    As a fighter one must from time to time recoup...then during that refueling time survivor mode kicks in.
    You are doing an amazing job of looking honestly at setf..then sharing your wisdom with all of us..Thank You!!
    Continue to seek that balance.

    emoticon emoticon
    211 days ago
  • DIANEDOESSMILES
    Oh I'd quickly agree in the way of both terms being described here, you ARE both ,,,though more of a fighter.

    We can't change our parent(s) being gone or someday will be. Sadly, its a part of life as we know it. With Mom its been 27 Yrs and the hurt isn't there though of course I DO miss her. Dads been gone only 3, but yeah,it hurts. I find myself as no doubt you passing their words of wisdom down the next generation.

    Anxiety is NO fun!!! Thankfully in Portland they have a large mental health building. They do tons of classes. I did a few around anxiety. It helped. Learning to not let my fear take control,,,by counteracting those thoughts that quickly popped into my head instantly with their help. Phew to this day its something I do. Probably always will.

    So glad you have Cooper and many who realize your true value,,,,,better than gold.
    211 days ago
  • DESERTDREAMERS
    I’ve always thought of you as more of a fighter, but there are times when all we can do is survive until we can fight.
    211 days ago
  • JEANKNEE
    A bit of both here too, Leslie. emoticon
    211 days ago
  • MBPP50
    emoticon emoticon emoticon You are a fighter!
    211 days ago
  • ROCKYCPA
    Great blog.
    211 days ago
  • ONEDAY_ILLWIN
    Thanks for sharing! emoticon
    212 days ago
  • SPARKLE-IT
    I agree with you and 1CRAZYDOG. We are all both and as for the anxiety/depression(I take meds), but depend on God for help in that area too. He's my best friend as well as my husband.

    I lost both my parents. My dad long ago and my mom a few years back. While I miss their physical touch and communications, I can feel their presence and know they're always with me just as God is. That includes my grandparents and all those who I dearly love.

    I believe prayer is very powerful for those of us here on earth, but I think those that are actually with God are able to help me even more on my journey.

    May God and your loved ones bless you along your way!
    212 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    Wow! I think you've nailed it. We are definitely all a bit of both . . . . the survivor and the fighter. I must say, you have lots on your plate fighting type 2 and lupus. Those 2 things alone can cause some people to just be the survivor. But you are the fighter . . . .. looking for ways to handle these situations. Applause!

    I understand what a mixed bag it is dealing with the loss of your Mom. I lost both my parents (Dad on 12 August and Mom on 02 November, 2017). Both of them were utterly important in my life. Definitely a situation where we have to moderate our reactions because we can't change the situation.

    Dad always told me to fill that hole in your heart w/memories of your loved ones (he told me that a few days before he passed. ) I try. Some days are more successful than others, but eventually the successful days will outnumber the less than successful ones.

    HUGS to you. Thanks for this powerful blog.


    212 days ago
  • CHERIRIDDELL
    You are indeed both survivor and fighter.Thankfully.Many people throw in the towel when facing lesser challenges. You are an amazing person with much to offer the world. I look forward to your blogs.They always contain something that speaks to me.
    212 days ago
  • DAIZYSTARLITE
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    212 days ago
  • CTYONIT
    Powerful blog! I too am both--lately the survivor!

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    212 days ago
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