The Inner Warrior

The rest of the world sees her outer shell. She sees the battles she fights daily. She puts on a brave face as the world revolves to its own rhythmic beat. Fighting back the tears, no one sees her scars. Her battles are real. Her demons getting harder and harder to slay. No one can take away her spirit. The Lord may take her home at some point, but she fights with a tenacity that won’t be squashed.

He watches from the nearest window. How can two souls be so connected and so far apart? This is not a romance. This is not a war with one another. This is a fight that they both were unprepared for. This battle will be one of the toughest they ever fought and yet they both know the outcomes will either be the same or they can emerge as the victorious defenders that they are.

Mental illness, diseases, cancer, no matter what the name, the fight can be excruciating. It takes an inner warrior to mentally engage for the battle ahead. No one can understand the war because no one really knows how the illnesses and diseases attack. If we understood how they start, we could prevent them. Unfortunately, all we have is speculation at this point.

My family on my mother’s side has battled mental illness for a very long time. There were a couple of members of my mom’s side that I truly believe were bipolar. They were never diagnosed. Alcoholism runs on my dad’s side. Heart disease runs on both sides. Cancer was never really an issue until my dad acquired the disease. I learned more about cancer than I ever wanted to know.

How many of you know the signs of mental illness? Well there’s a bunch. A lot really depends on what you are fighting. There are various symptoms for Bipolar Disorder. Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety, etc.. There’s also a lot of different symptoms for different types of other illnesses and cancer. Sometimes you will feel absolutely fine and your blood work will come back with some abnormalities. This is one of the best descriptors for problems and things that need to alert you that you need to start researching and take action.

Many of us fight Depression and Anxiety for a lot of different reasons. Life may have been a treacherous journey to this point or things have escalated to the point where we are facing depression. Our bodies are not like they were when we were younger. We had the immunity to ward off all kinds of issues whereas with time, our bodies wear down. Emotional baggage can become the one thing with can’t get rid of. Physically, our bodies ache from the day to day vigors of activities in which we inflict upon ourselves.

Sometimes the strongest of us use our weaknesses to gain the most strength. There is a pride in healing ourselves. #NeverQuit

Some of us have families that depend on us for everything and we push on. We can be having the worst day with our health, yet it’s irrelevant when it comes to those we love. We want them to know how much we love them and are willing to sacrifice our health for them.

Others may feel alone in their journey. They may not want the world to see them in the pain that lingers. They have an emotional pride that can not be silenced because their stubbornness and strength is something they won’t let others learn from. They hide their scars by not letting others in. They are not necessarily ashamed but rather don’t want to place a burden on those around them. What they don’t realize is that they do not have to slay these things alone. There is no burden too great when love is in the equation. Unless you walk in the shoes of someone who gets stuck with needles for treatment, day in and day out, monitored with medications, exposed their body to all kinds of machines for tests and then more tests, then you won’t be able to fully comprehend the constant aching and emotional and physical distress.

Diseases such as these that linger are tough. They don’t just destroy bodies and minds. They eat away at the soul. Our Spirits eventually get tested. The question is how do you stay positive when the whole world appears to be weighing heavily upon our shoulders? There are no right or wrong answers. It’s imperative to surround yourself with positivity even when it feels there is none. There’s a lot to be said for keeping the positive vibes. Mind over matter becomes more of an accurate statement. When we truly believe that we can beat something, we are more conditioned to make that statement a reality.

Not everything can be beaten but I’ve seen miracles. I’ve seen folks who should have been dead, live. I’ve seen places that should have been destroyed but left to stand. Victims of tornadoes, natural disasters, and other tragedies have been shown to have survived in conditions that many have not. And when folks have perished, there has always been things in place that secured their legacies so that others could grow and learn from them.

No one truly knows the real reasons some folks are stricken with various illnesses. I don’t think there’s a true rhyme or reason why some folks exposed to various elements are not dealing with the same issues, while others are. I do think that we are in control of how we handle those circumstances. Our mindset is one of the biggest weapons we have in the war of disease, illness, and other pesky variances that plague us with pain and suffering.

What do you do when the illnesses begin to take over? How do you conquer the constant negativity surrounding doctor’s diagnoses? For starters, get a second opinion. It sounds cliche’ but it’s true. Tests are not always conclusive. A variety of factors can weigh in. The machines could be faulty, things in the body may not have shown up, there will always be any number of reasons but knowledge really is power.

When you are diagnosed, research everything. Don’t just do internet researches. Check with your doctor for a referral. Ask everyone you know through your social media venues if they have recommendations for specialists, especially if you don’t know anything about the specialists that you were referred to. Ask questions constantly. You more than likely don’t know all the treatment types available. Surround yourself with positive people. Do things to keep you busy so that you don’t have time to dwell on the diseases. When the pain hits, push through. It’s easier said than done. The bottom line is that we are all inner warriors.

I’ve watched many loved ones battle various diseases. I battle a few myself. Through it all, I know that the journey is long but the miles that are trecked are not diminished by memories. Just as the women I’ve seen embark on a courageous journey and fought with such vigor that they have left a lasting impression, the men also come to mind. Those who have fallen with heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and mental anguish live on with legacies that the battle is never over. As long as we all keep a fighting spirit to keep our lives surrounded with love and positivity, there is nothing that can keep us all down. I pray that each of you finds strength with one another and has the support needed in order to beat the giants of disease and illness that strike without warning. Sometimes the inner warriors in each of us needs to be reminded that not every battle can be won, but it’s in the battles lost that help us fight and win the war in the long run. I wish all of you good health and if you are fighting any of these types of diseases you aren’t alone. There are many who are fighting alongside of you.

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