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...