The journey to being accepted and feeling comfortable was a long one, the reason being that I did not understand what I was looking for. I fit in, but I did not fit in. I did not understand why my challenges were different from others… why I felt and went through struggles that they did not. Things for everyone else seemed easier, less complicated. And because of this, I felt as though I had to be someone I was not. I had to try and fight for something I did not know how to fight for.
I was happy with my life, but I was also confused. I felt like I was playing catch-up at things, and I was tired. Someone had put me on a battlefield with lots of armor, weighing me down, to fight an unknown enemy. I could not figure out why I was there.
When I finally came to a realization about the brain injury and learning disability I had acquired, I came to a realization about acceptance, finding comfort, and fitting in. And that is, I have all of these things. Though it took me some time, I am glad I found this path. And while I may not find acceptance and comfort everywhere, I know now that I have enough. I have always had enough, I was just having trouble seeing past the smoke.
I was blinded and tricked into thinking I carried the weight of challenge on my own. My difficulties and hardships may be unique, but unique to me. Not unique in the way that I was the only one… and that understanding has given me a new outlook. The ability to really start breathing and being honest. I was beginning to see my true identity.
Stepping off of that battlefield though, it not so easy. Regardless of the fulfillment and happiness I find in life, I am still mentally caught in this challenging dilemma. The battlefield is unseen and in my head. It can be emotionally draining and too many continuous unknowns prevent me from truly coming home.
Knowing though, that there are others on their own fields in their own fight, people that are by my side and willing to listen, this is what keeps me going. To know that I am not alone; that I don’t need to succumb myself to isolation. I have endured many struggles, but I have also seen so many helping hands.
My strength, motivation and inspiration, it all comes from so many avenues. From myself, from others. I just need to see and listen, to open up to support and love. Those victory moments can be found. And I can move forward, because I believe we all can. We can dig deep within, but we can also look to others around us.