Sunday, February 23, 2014

Struggle, Pain, Perseverance, Coping and Love

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It's frustrating when people look at the lives of others and assume it was all just handed to them, or that it has all come effortlessly. It's frustrating when people watch others overcome obstacles or work through hard times in silence and say how envious they are that it was "so easy for them". I too have done this, but it's something we all need to work on. We've all heard the quote, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about" and it's absolutely true. All of us at any given time are trying to deal with some kind of stressor in our lives whether it's money, our job, family, relationships, health, etc. and we all have different ways of coping. 

People often imply that they don't think I have feelings or say that I'm "heartless" or "don't care". For those of you who think that, I'm truly sorry because I don't want any person that I cross paths with in my life to think that I'm emotionless or that I don't care about others. I'm sorry that I try to not show a lot of emotion, that's how my dad raised me. He didn't like it when my siblings or I got emotional or "over dramatic", he didn't like it when we cried. I'm sorry I don't play the victim card whenever something less than favorable happens in my life, that's how my mum raised me. And I'm sorry that I choose to force myself to climb my way out of the graves that have been dug for me, even if I dug them myself, when obviously there are times I'd rather just lay there and die in them. That's what I have trained myself to do.

My advice for those of you who think "life" and hardships are magically easier for some people, maybe you're looking at it the wrong way. Maybe it's no easier for other people, maybe it's even harder. Maybe the way they attack their problems and conquer them just makes it appear easier. And hey, maybe it really is easier for some people, but I promise I'm not one of those people. I wish I was! I'm actually a very emotional person (those who know me well might even say that I'm too emotional at times), very vulnerable, very quick to anger, and very easily put in a slump. Which brings me to what most often gets to me emotionally. I, like most of you, have plenty of stressors. I get overwhelmed with work easily, I'm broke as shit, I come from a fairly recently "broken" family, I'm 21 years old and live at home with my mum and her husband (which is clearly less than ideal), I'm currently not attending school due to money and only have my AA while my peers are graduating with their Bachelor's Degrees, etc. But, none of those things are my main stressors in life. I'm a very passionate and loving person. For the most part I'm an independent person, but my happiness depends largely on my relationships with those that I love. Love and relationships are what stress me out the most! Whether it's with my family, friends or boyfriend. These two things stress me out the most because they are the things that I hold at the highest value in life. Jobs come and go, money is earned and spent, situations change, life is a roller coaster, but I believe that everything will be okay as long as you have love and good people in your life...and I wish more people truly valued their relationships.

Loving people doesn't mean walking on eggshells around them, lying to them because you're afraid of hurting them, hiding things from them to "protect them". That's all easy, and real love isn't easy. Loving someone is always being honest with them even if it kills you both, even if it rips you both to shreds. I think that's why I get myself into so much trouble sometimes. Not only because I'm a passionate, opinionated, outspoken person...but because I also wear my sins on my sleeves. I don't hide who I am, I don't put up a front, and I don't bow down to anyone. I think that is why I have the most incredible relationships with the people in my life; be it family, friends, or my boyfriend. Because my relationships are based off of real love, not some fantasy. And they grow through that suffering and hurt that most people try to avoid. The people who can put up with me are truly some of the strongest people out there. They are the people who are willing to do what it takes to keep our relationships going. And maybe that's what gives me the extra strength that I need to fight certain battles...the faith that others have in me and the strength that they provide. So, I'm sorry if any of you have ever thought I was careless or emotionless. I have more emotions than you know, I'm just not always comfortable sharing them with the world. Privacy is one of my methods of coping. Yes, I'll confide in my close friends or my mum. But other than that, I like to figure my life out in the peace and quiet of my own mind. I've found that the less people you tell about your problems, the less opinions, the less advice, and the less outside influence you have in your head. And that allows you to just focus on what your head and your heart are telling you.

I've come to learn over the past year that I've been neglecting myself and mistreating myself as a person. I've been bending over backwards to please others, even when it kills me, just to see if maybe that would bring me more happiness...making them happy no matter what the cost. Unfortunately, it has only brought me and those around me pain. I've learned that the true happiness you give to people in your life won't necessarily mean mandatory suffering on your part. It's all about balance. You can't just give, give, give when all anybody does is take from you. The second you realize that and start to respect yourself and your needs, the ones you love will take notice and they'll start to respect your needs more as well.

That being said, my loved ones mean the absolute world to me. Without them I don't know where I would be. And after everything I have endured with each of them, I can honestly say that I will never purposefully do anything to hurt them or to sacrifice my relationships with them. "Life" isn't easier for me, I'm not "stronger" than anybody else, I'm just determined to live a life filled with love and positivity, and I will do everything in my power to build that life for myself and the ones I love.

Dig your heels into the ground and take whatever comes at you head on with full force. Prioritize, figure out what means the most to you, refocus, and constantly strive to better those things. If you're constantly stressed and realize that it's often over the same things, acknowledge that it's most likely because those things are important to you. And if that's the case, give them your full attention and do something about it. 

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