Stubbornness: A much loved family trait

Stubbornness. It’s a trait that has definitely carried through our family and one that I can thank for getting me to where I am now.

Yesterday I had my third session with my counsellor. For the bulk of the session she had me talking about my family background including my parents’ childhoods. It was then that I realised I have a stubborn and determined gene running through my family. 

EXHIBIT A: In recent months my grandpa has been quite sick (he is 90 so he’s doing well). But each time he takes a turn and things are looking bad, a day or 2 later he’s fine again. By “fine” I don’t mean all better…but as good as he’ll get I suppose. Essentially he’s not ready to go. Whilst he’s physically weakened, he still holds enough strength to push through and keep going. 

EXHIBIT B: Since high school (sorry Mum if that’s wrong), my mother has had chronic back pain after an accident in PE class. Over time the disks in her lower back have ground away leaving her in constant pain. I think(?) it stems back to her accident at school meaning she’s spent the most part of her life in some sort of pain. Despite this pain she’s run a household, worked in a job that requires a fair amount of lifting, played sport and travelled. Even when she’s in obvious pain, she keeps going. 

EXHIBIT C: Me. 
I’ve never been one to take any notice of pain. When I was 8 I broke my elbow and simply said “my arm hurts”. When I was about 10-11 my kneecap was broken. It wasn’t until I’d spent a year dancing and running around on it that I even found out it was broken. A few years ago I broke my big toe whilst on stage. They always say that “the show must go on” so I gave it no thought and continued on with the show. There was no way a broken toe was going to stop me from performing!

I can now see that it’s this stubborn determination that has gotten me though the past 10 years of my illness. Without it I could very well be bedridden right now. I refuse to let this illness take me. Yes, I do have limitations and can’t live my life to the extent I’d have liked – but where I have the power, I take control.

I will use every last drop of my limited energy to see through each day and I hope that I can follow in the footsteps of my mum and grandpa and retain that stubborness that gets them through life.

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