Bravery is Optimism

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Barely an adult myself, its difficult to see the effects of great economic downturns like the current recession. I absently see families across the border sleeping in tents outside of their former homes. I fail to really listen to news casters as I hear them speak of the atrocious amount of job losses across North America, and I blankly read the countless columns in newspapers and magazines nation wide reporting on the most devastating economic shock since the Great Depression. It's almost as if in times of hardship, I gain a sense of disassociation. It is blatantly clear that even the small towns in Dufferin County are becoming financially overwhelmed. There are an innumerable amounts of innocent people found jobless and unable to support themselves, let alone their families.
I know close friends and family members who are directly affected by this devastation and how distressed, frustrated and ultimately helpless they're feeling.
It seems as though everyone in my life right now is in a state of change. There are people struggling to cope with the past, and those who are fighting for the present, friends who have lost more before the age of eighteen than most people lose in a lifetime, and family members whose relentless walls have inevitably fallen to the fragility of stress. It's the obvious shift between what was and what will be, and now, we're all attempting to find stability in the chaos.
There is no time limit for grieving, and nor should there be for a number of other things in life. Loss, in any way, shape or form, is going to mold a new perspective, a new way of living. Some people, whether a conscious choice or not, deal with negativity in the same way it intends them to- pessimistically, letting the emotions grab hold of them, surrendering to darkness and defeat. Yet, I firmly believe that even at times when you feel as though you're being held captive by any number of stresses like, grief, loss, finances, or even responsibility, there is always a way to set yourself free. Bravery is optimism. It's about choices, its about your willingness and confidence in your own ability to conquer it all if only in the smallest way.
I have had anxiety since I was 12 years old, and initially it consumed me. I allowed it to control my actions, to dictate each day from the time I woke up, until the time I fell asleep. Phone calls home from school, weekly visits to the doctors, and unnecessary asthma treatments for a feeling I'd conjured up all on my own. With the persistent support of my family, and the courage to overcome this constant obstacle, I've been able to identify and consistently attempt to eliminate its power over my life. To try to explain the depths of anxiety to anyone who has never experienced it is almost impossible, but it is truly a barrier attempting to become impenetrable and takes all of my power and might to control. It's a struggle, every single day, but, I do it - I do not let it control me, I do the things I know will trigger the familiar feelings, I silently suffer through panic attacks as I learn each time better than the last that I can and will eliminate them.
That is how I show bravery, that is how I remind myself that all things are possible if you do not let negativity consume your will. I honestly believe that everything does happen for a reason, and you are never given an obstacle that you are not strong enough to conquer.





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