Monday, 25 June 2012

Word of the Day Challenge: Day Twenty One

‘Fight’ doesn’t have to be a negative word. It doesn’t always  have to mean fists and violence and bruises.

‘Fight’ can mean arguing against those spiteful, unhelpful voices that tell you that you’re not good enough, that you don’t look right, that you don’t weigh as little as you should (which is to say, the same as a feather, a whisper, a breath).

‘Fight’ can mean overriding your own instincts. You may not want to eat, there are a million reasons why you ‘shouldn’t’…but you do it anyway, even though it’s difficult. You know that it’s necessary for health and wellness.

‘Fight’, when things are especially dark, can mean nothing more than grimly hanging in there.  Using every ounce of energy to not give up.

It isn’t always obvious when people are fighting.  There is a quote I love that says, be kind to everyone you meet, for they are each fighting a hard battle. Like many others, I have gotten good at pasting on a smile, at laughing brightly, seeming fine. When I was ill, it seemed ludicrous to me that I was getting away with it: surely people could see past my disguise to the obvious bones beneath, the scars under my sleeves?

I was very underweight and not at all well…but because I put up that front and smiled, went to work and paid my bills on time, people believed I was fine. Even when there are physical symptoms as well as emotional problems, people can be fooled into thinking everything’s alright, really, as long as they have that surface calm to distract them.

In a way, having been through such a desperate time has been an invaluable experience. I think it has made me a much more compassionate and sympathetic person. When you have been so terribly low and yet been able to hide that so effectively, it makes you more conscious of what could be going on for other people behind their public smiles, more tuned in to other possibilities.

I always try to keep that quote in mind, now. To remember that everyone I meet is fighting  something, no matter how happy go lucky they may seem. 

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