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Forget Me Not: Victim vs. Survivor
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
—Mary Anne Radmacher
My thoughts are pacing the floor of my mind. Sometimes, even in the best of circumstances, I feel that I lack control of my emotions and perceptions. Learning to live with me and for me seems like a simple concept, and yet it is not always that way. Each year has brought me closer to finding my true self, but sometimes I still struggle with managing where I am versus where I believe I am supposed to be. Impatience takes over and I feel a sense of overwhelming urgency to move forward to a seemingly unreachable freedom. Even though I understanding that it is about the journey and not the destination, the concept gets lost in an abyss of fears, desires, and regrets.
It is on these days that I feel that life is fleeting. It is on these days that I put too much emphasis on the time lost; the time I spent with him losing myself instead of living my life. I find myself feeling like I have to make up for lost time and accomplish every dream right now. There is no more time to lose.
So I find myself, in front of my computer, trying to make sense of my thoughts through writing. Each thought that races through my mind is meticulously placed on paper and then rearranged into something potentially tangible. My goals are easily laid out. On a professional level I want to finish editing my book and get it to print, blog at least twice a week, make more contacts, schedule more speaking engagements, focus on developing forget me not into an agency that can bring change and hope to those in need, and start a peer-counseling group. On a personal level, I want a space to call my own, to travel more, to spend more time with family, and to live every second. I want to absorb all that life has to offer. I want to be free of someone else’s grasp.
But I struggle finding the balance. My day job pays the bills and requires my attention. The upcoming calendar shows less free time than the past several months. How can I make it all fit, the work life and the love of life? With every assignment for work, my mind’s voice spouts off bitterness. I start feeling controlled and held back.
And that is where the problem lies. It is a feeling that I do not own my life or control the outcomes. It all comes back to a gut reaction created by the feeling that my freedom is being stolen from me. It doesn’t have to be true, but it is a perceived notion that exists. In reality, no one owns me or controls me, yet my reactions are pulled from the past; a point in my life when I had little say over what I did from day to day. And it is from that belief that I begin a downward spiral.
I become a victim again; a person that struggles to reign in the out-of-control thoughts that wage war in my mind. I sense a feeling of loss and sadness. My body responds to a threat that is not there. Tears brim just under the surface, and I am very easily shaken. I am frustrated when others do not understand what I am trying to say. “Don’t tell me how to feel!” runs through my head, and sometimes out of my mouth, in defense to what I perceive as personal attacks.
It is easy to become trapped in this mentality, but I cannot allow it. When I find myself here, I have to make a conscious effort to make a change. Sometimes I have to walk, sometimes write, and sometimes just cry. In the end, no matter what I have to do to regroup, it serves to get me thinking in the right direction.
Right now, in this very instant, I am in control of my life. I am loved and cared for. I am strong and am no longer a victim. I will set goals for the freedom I crave, but in doing so I will remember that each step is my choice alone. My job is a means to make money, and one that will allow me to reach higher goals that are more aligned with my life’s purpose. It has provided me with experiences that made me stronger, it will be the source that will allow me to afford the space I want to grow in, and it will allow me to travel. It may take time to reach my goals but the journey involved will build the solid foundation I need to help others find success. Each struggle will help me understand others’ experiences better.
Each time I allow myself to fall to victim status, I will be better able to fight my way back to survivor status. I know it will happen again, as it is a battle I fight more than I wish to admit. But each time I spiral downward, I rise higher and stronger.