You probably have heard the title of this article many times before. Or how about “That which Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger.” I’m sure you’ve heard that. What a load of crap. If that was true I’d be stronger than Hercules.
Well, don’t I sound bitchy this morning? I normally don’t like starting things off with such a negative tone, but I’ve been reflecting on some of my most difficult times and thinking about people’s reaction to them and it’s put a bee in my bonnet.
I’ve been thinking about when I got sober 10 years ago. Times were tough in the early days of sobriety. As I’ve said many times before, I had no job, no permanent place to stay, a weakened relationship with my daughter, and never sure where or what I was going to eat. I went to a lot of A.A. meetings, A Lot. There are over 2,000 A.A. meetings a week in Los Angeles and I frequently went to 3 meetings a day because I had nowhere else to go. One day, after a meeting, an older man pulled me aside. He had been sober for over 30 years. He reached out to me and told me he was sure I’d stayed sober because it was obvious I wanted it and I was a “fighter.” It was good to hear, but he didn’t know the truth. I envied the dirty, homeless people sleeping at bus stops and in parks. Their scraggly beards and cracked sunburned skin was a sign to me that they weren’t fighting anymore-they’d given up, which is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want to kill myself, I just wanted to just curl up and fade away. I didn’t want to be a “fighter” anymore.
I came out of the closet, which made me “brave.”
Lost my job…I was “tenacious.” and rebounded.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I showed “strength” and courage.”
My parents were living proof that two people should not stay together for the kids.” I persevered.”
I walked away from an unloving and abusive relationship, which made me “tenacious.”
I was “determined” in getting myself off the streets and into a stable environment.
One thing that rubs me wrong is when I hear people say, “That’s not fair” it makes me want to shake them and scream, “Get over it. Life isn’t fair.” Now I realize I should go easy on those people because I am now one of them. I’ve been thinking a lot lately on how ‘unfair” my life has been. Has it really been that unfair? I think so. Sure, everyone has their own demons, but come on, this is ridiculous. I’m tired of it all. Exhausted, actually. I don’t want to be a fighter, or brave, or strong, or tenacious, or persistent, or courageous, or determined. I don’t want to be any of those things. I simply want to be.
On a lighter note, I’m looking forward to my Weight Watchers weigh in tomorrow. This is the first time in a long time I’ve actually wanted to get on that scale. This week, not only have I not gone over my food allowance each day, but I came significantly under. This isn’t a normal part of the Weight Watchers plan. There’s no expectation that you starve yourself to lose weight. In fact, it’s strongly discouraged. But, I didn’t ignore my hunger pains…I didn’t have any. I ate healthy foods that kept me feeling satisfied. There was no desire to eat more. So, tomorrow I’ll get weighed and hopefully my actions will be reflected in my results. I’ve been “tenacious” about staying on my plan and I hope it pays off on that scale.
12 comments on God Does Not Give Us More Than We Can Handle
Great post. I like the site revamp. You were dead on when you talk about life not being fair, life is not fair. Whomever believes it is fair is living in the wrong fairytale. True, life hands us crap every day that we have to make a choice how to deal with it. Most people like to blame their problems on others and think their God has failed them in some way. A better statement would be “sh** happens” because then we could easily just move on.
“Most people like to blame their problems on others” is want I think people do most.
You’ve been through a lot, Bradley, and you’ve survived. So that’s a tribute to your own resilience and courage. I think giving up is often the best way to recoup one’s strength. It’s like going into hibernation. I’ve given up lots of times. I found it very rejuvenating to stop hoping and fighting.
I like the term you use about ” It’s like going into hibernation” Very good way of looking at it.
I think that each person has a different amount of strength and/or resilience. Two people can go through the exact same situation but one person may become defiant and fight for their life whilst the other may just cower and give in.
Sometimes after you have gone through a very tough situation, you begin to realise that you do have balls, and it does make you stronger in the long run.
Love the new site Bradley and the name you chose.
I agree about the two people overcoming adversity differently, but what is it that makes them have different responses and are there warning signs in advance?
Thank you for the compliment re: the blog. It’s becoming apparent that people either love it or hate.
I love this rant, you forgot one thing though, you are loved. Good luck with your weigh in, let us know how it went.
The weigh in went well, but you’ll have to wait until later today before I post it.
“I can’t tell if it’s killing me or it’s making me stronger.” That’s a hell of a quote! A new way of looking at things I guess. Good luck to you in 2014.
Same to you, zobop. I expect 2014 to be an amazing year.
BRADLEY I think you sound like one hell of a strong man and that bear is just like you. 😀
I look forward to your next post to see how it went at WW.
You won’t have to wait long, Angie, I’ll be posting the results very shortly.