I was watching my binge series of choice, Grey’s Anatomy, and during an episode which I have watched at least ten times before, I heard for the first time this quote. It made me think of you. It made me think of us.
“Chin up. Put your shoulders back, walk proud, strut a little. Don’t lick your wounds: celebrate them. The scars you bear are the signs of a competitor. You’re in a lion fight, Stevens. Just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you don’t know how to roar”. Grey’s Anatomy Season 4, Ep 12
It made me think of all our wounds; of all the wounds that we could sit and lick if we chose to. There would be a lot of legitimate collective-wound-licking going on in our hypermobility community, that is for sure!
For all the physical wounds.
All the emotional wounds.
All the ways our souls have been wounded by not being heard, not being seen, being dismissed, told we’re making things up…
All of the wounds.
We could do a lot of licking, and rightly so. In many ways, I feel we have each earned the right to sit down and lick those wounds and soothe them. After all, they are our wounds; we can do with them what we like.
But how do we CELEBRATE these wounds?
How do we celebrate what has happened to us to have caused these wounds?
My first instinct is to say, “No way. I don’t want to celebrate what happened to me. I don’t want to celebrate my condition. It is not something to be celebrated“.
However, when I think about it a little more, I can see that there is something to be celebrated in all of this. We only got these wounds because we were in the fight in the first place.
There wouldn’t be any wounds without the fight that caused them, without the struggle. And THAT is something I think we need to celebrate.
The fact that we keep showing up, day after day and living this life.
The fact that we have not let our condition steal everything from us.
The fact that we can find some semblance of “normal” every now and then, even if it’s just taking a shower or drinking a cup of tea.
The scars we bear are the signs of a competitor; they are signs that we are living.
That is what I find so amazing about people with hypermobility!
Even in the midst of the lion fight that is life, we keep fighting. We keep roaring.
Even when we don’t win, even when we aren’t heard, or seen, or treated appropriately, we don’t lose our roar. We still have a voice.
And with that voice, that roar, we hold our chins up, we put our shoulders back, and we walk or roll proudly… strut a little maybe. Because we have a lion’s heart!
Many of us have unfortunately had to survey depths of our souls that we never knew existed, amidst this lion fight called life.
Many of us have been through more than we ever would have imagined possible, endured more pain, more sleepless nights; consumed more medications, seen more doctors & health professionals, cried more tears than we would wish on our worst enemy. Many of us have had to
Many of us have had to defend ourselves or our loved ones, to medical professionals, teachers, family, friends, who were hell-bent on believing that we were making things up, overreacting, or attention seeking.
Many of us have wished we were born into a different life, with a different body, with different problems… or hoped or prayed for a miracle or at least a magic wand.
We have been through one hell of a lion fight already; heaven knows it’s not going to end anytime soon. This is the MOST EPIC LION FIGHT of all time.
Unfortunately, it is for all of time; for all of our lives. And while that is daunting and intimidating, and we spend a lot of time wishing it wouldn’t be so…. The things we know for sure are these:
We were made from incredibly tough stock;
We are unbelievably strong, persistent and unwavering.
We are the kings and queens of endurance fighting.
And we have it in us to keep going.
We have everything we need, within us; it is available to us, and we have been using it all these years – and that’s turned out OK so far, right?
So keep fighting brave heart.
Keep showing up, day after day.
Keep roaring where roaring is necessary.
Look within to find the strength you need, because it’s there.
Now, the all-important question, what is your binge-series-of-choice that helps you regain your energy for all that roaring & fighting?
Michelle is a Senior Occupational Therapist working solely with adults with hypermobility and related conditions. Michelle is the owner of Hypermobility Connect, an online platform for people with hypermobility to connect with resources, health professionals & each other. Michelle practices OT in her private practice and provides education to health professionals relating to hypermobility conditions.