I saw a quote a while ago that I can’t seem to find anywhere. I think I even shared it on Facebook. It’s something that says something along the lines of
Superman is not a true hero, he is invincible, literally indestructible, he can’t be broken or conquered, he doesn’t have the ability to be overcome. The true heroes are people like you and me who can be broken, defeated, hurt everyday but we choose to take risks, carry on, share our stories anyway. We choose to live knowing we can and probably will be broken again and again.
I love this concept and it’s true. I was thinking about it recently when I was thinking about depression and my physical pain disorder that comes and goes. I’m generally very happy, positive, and joyful but I still experience random episodes of severe depression which I feel violate and contradict my true happy personality I had since I was a little girl. Sometimes I wonder if experiencing episodes of depression is an indication that I’m weak. When all of a sudden I don’t want to get out of bed or take pictures or go out or put makeup on or even go on living sometimes. This is not always true when I am depressed! Sometimes I do still want to get out of bed, see people, socialize, take pictures, read..depending upon the kind I have then. Usually it is not the numbing or worst kind.
Especially when the episode isn’t triggered by any environmental factor that I know of, or is triggered by a memory/thought, I think of the people with “real” problems, the tragedies they experience but they still want to live and post pictures online and go on social media pages and do everything they always did. This is a great strength they have. To suffer but still carry on. I can’t believe some of the horrors people experience and they share their stories, wisdom, and life lessons on social media outlets with pictures of themselves smiling brightly and sharing their joy and pain and I can’t believe the strength they find in themselves.
But it doesn’t mean that someone with depression or anxiety or bipolar disorder or addiction of any sort or any other mental health condition is weak. Even when we have a flare up or relapse. It’s just a different kind of problem. Mental heath disorders are some of the worst things because they crush our spirit. Even with physical problems, grief and loss, and other things it’s possible to still be ultimately happy while enduring it along with the sadness as long as the person doesn’t becomes clinically depressed. That uplifted spirit can remain.
But with mental disorders like depression even when everything is going well for the person, it’s a disease or condition of the “mind.” We can sometimes succeed in keeping a kind of positive attitude even with it but unlike with physical pain and even grief, it’s literally a thing of the mind or brain so it’s nearly impossible to separate the depression and a happy outlook. Depression consumes all so there’s seemingly no happiness or positive feelings or joy or pleasure.
I’m not weak when I’m depressed. I still go on even when it seems I don’t want to. I still laugh. I practice techniques that help me and I still try to help others. This is actually a strength.
And when I’m in so much physical agony because of my facial pain disorder that, like depression, comes & goes completely, that I don’t sleep for days and scream til my throat is raw, punching and slapping myself over and over for hours because I don’t know what else to do when the severe aching, burning, stabbing, throbbing, pounding in the one side of my face, eye, ear, head, won’t let up for a split second, I’m not weak. I still carry on. I still grasp and hold onto any slither of hope I can find in me that it will end or I will learn to cope and live with it.
I can choose to completely give up hope, to stop living, to let it make me bitter, to succumb completely and not get back up, to let it take over my life. But I don’t. I choose to pro-act. To ultimately get back up, to move forward, to smile and learn and share my stories and lessons learned in the hope of inspiring others.
Screaming in pain doesn’t make me weak. Collapsing with my face in my hands, banging my head against walls doesn’t make me weak, sinking into despair doesn’t because I get back up. Just like I always have. Just like I always will.
If you ever think you are weak because you have a sickness either physical or mental/emotional/psychological or a relapse of some sort, because you fall or fail or break or succumb to your bed or to the floor in utter despair, when you’re tired and worn out and ragged, when you’re exhausted and uninspired and shattered, remember you always get back up and move forward and learn and teach and carry on. You’re still here!
You choose to seek help or to handle it on your own if you can and keep moving. That’s a strength.
When you experience something traumatic or painful or devastating and live to tell about it, sharing your story with others, reach out, learn lessons, and carry on, that is a strength, not a weakness!
Never getting sad, never getting angry, being fearless, not having the ability to hurt or kill, being invincible….those aren’t strengths.
Strength is being sad and afraid and angry and crushed but still going on, finding a way to still be happy eventually, seeing beauty through the tears, finding joy in the sorrow, finding pieces of perfection in the flaws.
Strength is having the ability to break but putting yourself together more whole than ever. With all the cracks and scars and flaws but being even more beautiful for them.
Strength is being able to hurt someone but choosing not to or saying sorry in a genuine way when you do.
Strength is how we react positively to our unpleasant situations. It’s our hopeful attitude, it’s the love and life we choose instead of choosing to become constantly bitter and give up.
It’s you and me, not a fantastical superhero who literally can’t be destroyed. He literally has nothing to fear.
Physical strength and other power doesn’t make someone strong or a hero. It’s how people use their power and strength. How they choose not to abuse it to overpower others when it would be so easy and so tempting.
We all have some sort of power to hurt others in some way. And sometimes it’s so tempting when someone makes us angry. But we can summon the wisdom and love in us and not abuse our power to hurt and destroy. Sometimes that’s the more difficult choice. And choosing the harder but more loving option is an even greater sign of strength.
“What makes Superman a hero is not that he has power, but that he has the wisdom and the maturity to use the power wisely. From an acting point of view, that’s how I approached the part.” ~
Wishing you much love, hope, strength, wisdom, and courage today.