What is it to truly struggle?

Is it the internal fight you just can’t let go?
An internal surrender you just can’t find?
Is the getting up every morning, or going to bed every night?

The dictionary says struggle is:

1) to contend with an adversary or opposing force.

2)to contend resolutely with a task, problem, etc.; strive: to struggle for existence

3) to advance with violent effort: to struggle through the snow.

4) to bring, put, etc., by struggling: She struggled the heavy box into a corner.

5) to make (one’s way) with violent effort.

6) the process or an act or instance of struggling.

7) a war, fight, conflict, or contest of any kind.

8) task or goal requiring much effort to accomplish or achieve

Over the course of my life I have met struggle with violence, anger, sadness, strength, and dignity. In most cases, in this exact order. I struggled with acceptance of the life I was born into. I struggled with addiction and letting substances rule my life. I struggled with finding a way out of the holes I dug and the walls I places around me. I have struggled with finding my internal compass and the path it leads me down. Most of my life has felt like an uphill battle, one I am fighting against myself.

At this point in my life, I am struggling. Struggling with finding my place, where I belong, in my own skin and in the world around me. I am struggling against myself and the pre-conceived notions I exhibit, the cookie cutter I think I should fit into.

There are lots of things in life which I am realizing take much more effort than I imagined or maybe even designate for the task. I Keep thinking, If I would only stop planning or making predictions(creating expectations) and just do as the next right thing, than less energy would feel “wasted” once I reach our end result, and therefore less feeling of struggle would emerge.

I feel as though I struggle every day. I fight myself, because the chaos is familiar and the struggle to emerge has always been there. I have always shone through the darkness.

Like definition 2 says: to contend with a problem or task (to struggle for existence). I am struggling to find where I exist and what purpose I meant to have. This continues questioning leaves me exhausted.

When I finally give up the struggle at the end of the day I ask myself, do you really take into account how blessed you are everyday? Do you tell those you love, that you really love them and often enough? Do you extend a hand shake or a dollar to a stranger? Did you help someone, anyone besides yourself today? My truth is, not nearly as often as I used to.

There are so many things in this world we watch go by, what difference do we really make in each others lives?

What can you do different every day, to ease another’s struggle to help some one else feel less pain.

When I was a teen, I would take the hamburger lunch my mom bought me on Friday’s and go sit in St. James Park, in San Jose. I would pick a bench where someone else was sitting. Usually a one of the local hang-arounds and offer him or her half my food. I would start a conversation and hope for just a moment to connect with someone. Someone who other people never stopped to look at or even ask their name. I did this, because I felt just like them. Broken, scarred, homeless.

In looking back at these fond memories, I am remembering the struggle of the child I was. I am realizing now the one thing my recovery has taught me is that life is not always easy, it shows up and sometimes there may be a struggle to stay at my best, there may be a time when I struggle to pay my bills but there are more people struggling for more worthy things.

I feel as though I watch faces struggle to live, to eat, to find a warm place when it rains. Especially here in Portland.

I watch people struggle to heal, to accept and to love themselves or find love in a place where these are foreign concepts.

My recovery has shown me, you can struggle with almost any task in this world but you can find a point where your struggle meets another’s and you join forces to let one struggle be fought by 2 people instead. Only then the task seems less impossible than before.

Today, I am trying to ease my struggle by helping others. I share my experience, my strength, my hope. I share little pieces of myself, so maybe they make it into the heart of another where they manifest and make sense.

Today I share my struggle, so I am not so alone.

2 thoughts on “What is it to truly struggle?

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