I Choose Resilience Not Pain

I’m going to be that girl…

The resilient one. The one that gets back up and bounces back. The one that’ll look back on all of this one day with a person that loves me no matter what and laugh about it.

There’s so much pain and hurt in the world. It’s sickening. There’s also a lot of unnecessary cruelty. I’ve stopped reading the news on a daily basis for this very reason!

I’ve discovered this pain and I’m sure everyone else has experienced it at some stage of their lives as well. If not, you’re incredibly lucky – I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy (and this is saying something…not that I have many).

Resilient – it’s a word that’s come up a lot in conversation, mostly at school. It’s one of our new buzz words – it’s what we’re aiming to do; build resilience amongst our students (and I’m all for it).

Out of the many lessons I’ve learned over the years, I’ve learned that resilience can conquer heartache and hurt amongst many other things.

It’s a bit of a funny word. I went many years without hearing it, and now it’s the topic of many-a-conversation. I do however think it’s often misunderstood…

Quite often people, who choose resilience, are wrongly labelled as ‘numb’ or ’emotionless’. There’s the common misconception that this resilience is because the person in question finds it impossible to really feel that intense pain that’s often served with life. I’ve heard people say – ‘She’s so resilient, she doesn’t cry!’

Oh how wrong they are!

Resilient people feel absolutely EVERYTHING, trust me! And they cry a lot!

I felt it so deeply, so deep it became a part of me. That sheer disappointment of the worst kind of betrayal is something I carried around on my shoulders with me. Had my brother not been in the same country at that very moment when shit really went down, I probably would’ve fallen wounded with a heavy heart with the rest of them…

Many people didn’t even realise what was going on, because this is where I chose resilience. I chose to face my friends like normal, drink coffee, go out for wine (albeit way too much of it at the time), go shopping, stand in front of my class and teach…I didn’t let those struggles knock me down for too long…I jumped up and started fighting, showing what can only be described as resilience. I come from a strong line of women, however I never thought I had it in me (I was always the sensitive one) until I had to fight; I even surprised myself at the time (now I’d have it no other way)!

Resilience isn’t a breed, it’s not a trait, it’s not innate, and it certainly isn’t an advantage that you have over others. Now, after everything that’s happened I’d say that we’re all very much capable of showing some kind of resilience, and this is what I’ll tell my students and my own kids one day! It’s a choice and it’s not a one-off thing – for the rest of my life I’m going to have to show it in different scenarios…that’s life!

I think being betrayed by someone who was supposed to have loved you is one of the worst forms of betrayal. The pain is fucking unreal. There was a period (a very brief period might I add) that I wasn’t interested in putting myself in a position where that could happen to me again. I spent a number of months trying to piece it all together in my head, only to realise I’ll never get the real truth…

Anger, disappointment, and vengefulness were all feelings I experienced before I discovered resilience. I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone, especially any potential partner.

But thankfully this didn’t last long…I’m not going to run away from the opportunity to love and be loved again, because I choose resilience.

I’m not going to turn my back on pain altogether either – I think it needs to be felt, as part of the process. But what I will not do is let define who I am – I’m not giving it or any person that kind of power. The only person and thing that can define me is me; end of!


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