Circle of Strength
When I was reflecting on strength and what that looked like in my own life, I was immediately drawn to thinking about my life post-cancer. I found myself thinking about how strong I must’ve been to get through that time. But, that, obviously, wasn’t true. I could never have gotten through that time by myself. I needed those loving, supportive people around me who dedicated themselves to taking care of me and showering me with love when I most needed it. They reminded me that this was just a new part of my life that would take some getting used to and I would rebound, back and better, in no time. And I did, with their help, of course.
I was also reminded of when I first left for college and I was trying to adjust and find my place. I was having a hard time establishing myself with a group of people; the first group I tried left me feeling lonely and uninvited. Without a support system at school, I was left feeling run-down, unable to be there for other people who needed me, and, clearly, not as strong. For a few months, I stopped trying with that group and I gave up on trying to find a new group. Instead, I just kept hanging out with the people that were familiar to me. It was nice, but it wasn’t what I needed. Throughout this time, another group of people I had met at a church earlier in the year were constantly reaching out, reminding me that they were thinking of me, hoping my semester was going well. They didn’t know my circumstances but they were the ones who were giving me what I needed: love, support, and friendship. Without those people supporting me, I never would’ve been willing to try and find what I was longing for. Without them, I wouldn’t have found my strength that semester. Once again, because of the people around me, I was able to rebound back and better than ever.
Now, all these different groups have come together to form what I refer to as my framily (my friends and family) or, simply, “my people”. They have given me their strength so that I can find my own and, in turn, be strong for others who can’t support themselves alone. My support system’s strength has, over the years, become my own, pushing me forward and catching me when I fall backwards. Finding strength seems to be a constant circle, and one that I’ll probably never perfect, but, with the help of my people, I’ll be able to find the strength I need faster, causing that circle to become smaller and smaller each time I go around it.