December 28, 2016

Not Winning doesn’t mean We’ve Lost.

What do you do when your whole life seems wrong?

And how do you fix the feeling that you don’t fit into the space you’ve made for yourself?

Stories of overcoming the tragedies of childhood and fairytale-like happy endings fill the internet and Instagram. My Facebook newsfeed is riddled with inspirational quotes about how “everything happens for a reason” and “just remember how amazing life is.”

Book after book reads the tale of a horrible life come full circle, lights found at the end of darkened tunnels, white knights and endless love.

How about the ones who didn’t make it?

The people who spend their whole lives fighting their demons only to die beside them. Talk to the men and women like me who were just too wounded to heal and too scarred to forget. Look at us, marred with permanence, trapped in what we’ve been through, seeking the freedom they speak of, the escape that we can’t find.

We are not weak.

Far from it.

Our stories are not yet wrapped in beautiful ribbon, gifted as trophies to “empower” the ones who are now living the lives we once led. We might not have defeated the enemy, we might not have the words of a victor to engrave upon the plaques hung on the walls, and we can’t write the autobiographies that the warriors who’ve won it all do. The smiles that scream “We have overcome!” are not displayed on our faces.

But we are not weak.

We battle every day.

God knows I spend every second of my life at war with my memories; I am on a constant crusade to rid my mind of the evil that engulfs it.

Our success stories aren’t the only ones worth mentioning.

We may not be whole yet. We may not be whole ever again. But our words still have value and our pieces, though scattered around us, are not ashes of the fallen.

We might not be survivors yet, but we are still surviving.

We have survived another day. And that’s something worth writing about.


Author: Rebecca Conroy

Image: Chaoskitteh/Deviantart 

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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Rebecca Conroy