How true is that statement?
I remember a conversation that occurred shortly after our miscarriage with someone who didn’t know it had happened. It was the end of my work day and I was up at the front desk chatting with a co-worker, when a parent on their way out stopped at the desk to chat. She had begun asking my co-worker how her pregnancy was going, and when their conversation ended she turned to me and asked the same question. I admit, I hesitated for a bit. To me it seemed like minutes. I looked at my co-worker, hoping she might say something. It was at most a week that I had been back at work, but I still wasn’t ready to answer this question. My response was simple, we lost the baby at 17 weeks. She asked me how I was doing with it all and my co-worker jumped in saying that I was handling it like a champ.
A champ? I don’t want to be a champ at this. It makes me sound like I am a winner. I understand she meant well by it and not in that context. It also meant that on the outside at first glance it looked like I was handling it all well, even though on the inside I was falling apart and people didn’t really know the hell I was going through. But a champ? Not quite.
Just a few weeks ago, I heard another perspective on this. Instead of the word champ being used, it was the word strong. I have been told I am strong and I will make it through this. Someone else I know was asked “you are so strong though all of this, how do you do it?” My perspective on this statement, as well as her’s was simple. I don’t really have a choice. Life is moving forward with or without me. It would be easier to just stay in bed, shut the world out, in a way give up, and let the world move forward without me. Or, I could begin to walk this new path one small step at a time, one foot in front of the other.
Am I going to stumble? Am I going to take steps backwards? You bet, but I am going to do my best to move forward. I am going to have bad days, it is going to be tough, but I am going to do it. Notice I said, move forward, not move on. I will never move on from what happened. It will always be a part of me and my baby girl will always be with me. Right now she is in good hands and some day I will see her again. This is what allows me to move forward.
Am I strong? Maybe, maybe not. That’s for you to say, not me. Am I a champ? No, I wouldn’t describe myself that way. What I do know, is that this had made me realize a few things. 1) Life is short, I need to fill it with the things that truly mean the most to me. 2) I need to stand up for myself more and let my voice be heard. 3) I am more comfortable now with who I am then I have ever been. I am not afraid to truly be me.
“We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have” – Small Bird Studios