Grace Under Pressure
I just left the R D and E hospital in Exeter with a spring in my step and a lightness of being.
As fantastic as my surgeon was, leaving barely any visible trace of the injuries I sustained less than three months ago, I was ecstatic to get the news I didn’t need to see him again.
I feel free, not just physically but mentally.
This year taught me a lot of things but most of all how to have courage in the face of adversity, and that sometimes the bravest thing we can do is surrender.
There was so much I could have said, yet chose not to. There were times I wanted to fight back, to seek revenge, but I chose to do nothing. Except get on with my life.
I found a purpose. That purpose was my own healing journey and by fully immersing myself in it, I have found I had no time, energy or inclination to deal with the attacks that were still coming my way.
For those that had no compassion but still found pleasure in beating someone when they were down, I did not need that in my life. I chose to walk away from the drama and it was like taking a heavy rucksack off my back after carrying it around for far too long.
In this process, of letting it wash over me, I found the true meaning of courage – as Hemingway put it, “grace under pressure”.
Luckily I’ve got a strong backbone, and I’ve learned that I’ve got a thicker skin than I realised. It’s so liberating to let go of the opinions of others and just get on with what you’re meant to be doing.
“And still I rise”.
These words from Maya Angelou kept me going in the toughest times and when I was faced with some pretty dark forces trying to keep me scared.
My courage is quiet, it’s from a place of non-violence – no matter what you throw at me, I will not hurt you back. But I will stand strong in knowing who I am. I think that’s what Gandhi would have done, so I’m fairly pleased with how I’ve responded. There’s no doubt in my mind that this has helped me heal.
Sometimes life sends us tests in order for us to grow. I feel taller, stronger, and even with a titanium plate in my face now, I can look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what I’ve achieved.
There are enough people trying to pull us down in the world, and I’m not going to let myself be one of them.