This post was originally shared on November 27, 2012. I continue to tell others that they are stronger than they ever could imagine. When faced with struggles, we can lie down and give up or we can choose to fight. I have been a fighter from the beginning with this illness. I fought through the depression and loneliness it caused, I fought for the courage to continue on when I wanted to give up and die, I fought for what was right in the workers’ compensation case, and I continue to advocate for others by sharing my experiences. I wrote “Allergic to Life” to share my journey and let others know not to give up hope.
I discovered Pinterest about a year ago and began collecting quotations. I think this quote goes well with this post. We never know how strong someone is unless we can walk in their shoes.
A friend recently posted this quote on her Facebook page. “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” — unknown.
Isn’t this the truth. I don’t know about the rest of you but I have been told so many times things like: “I don’t know how you do it.” “I don’t think I could deal with all that you deal with.”
Being strong is ultimately the only choice. We push forward and do what is necessary despite discomfort, pain, lack of food choices, sleeping on cots, severe reactions, surgeries, grieving for our former lives, etc. I believe that those who have said I don’t think I could deal with all that you deal with would find an inner strength that they didn’t know they had. Sure there is depression (I have and do deal with it) but the strength to fight and the will to live has kept me pushing forward in the battle for survival, hope and courage. I have written in my book about these types of comments. In my book I quote from a journal entry of September 26, 2004.
“What makes them think I am coping? What makes them think I am handling this? They should just read from my journals and they will soon discover what life is like for me….I feel like a caged animal at the zoo, on display for the morbid curiosity of others. Look at the crazy woman. She can’t come around us. She wears a funny mask! Why did God keep me alive? What purpose am I serving?”
I have decided that I have to stand strong. I have to deal with this. I have to make others aware of what mold does. I have to offer whatever I have learned and share whatever I have done that helps me. God kept me alive during reactions that I thought I surely would die from to be a spokesperson for others.
When you don’t feel that you are strong enough, dig deep within. That strength is there despite your fears and pain. God kept me alive for a reason and I believe he gave me the strength I didn’t know I had.