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#6 The Mentally Strong Don't Victimize Themselves

Continued from 10 Things the Mentally Strong Don't Do.

Do you spend time feeling sorry for yourself? Do you recruit others to do the same? We've all found ourselves stuck in the muck and the mire of "Why me?" I'm not referring to self empathy or the grieving process after a setback or loss. I'm specifically singling out the times when we become a victim and it becomes us, when it becomes part of our identity.

It's an excruciating fight to break free once the mind is allowed to focus on all the ways life has kicked us around. This state of mind is the fast track to a state of hopelessness. Our body quickly responds mentally and physically as we become still, stagnant and sad. When we take on the identity of a victim, we are in agreement that circumstances and other people control our quality of life.

I went through a disorienting and painful period of feeling sorry for myself after leaving an abusive relationship. Depression took over as I thought about all the ways I failed as a woman, a mother, and a spouse. I constantly reminded myself that I was not worthy of love and that I was eternally broken. I would live my life alone. My apathetic attitude and self absorbed conversation topics didn't exactly make me the life of the party.

Part of what perpetual victims do is isolate and set themselves apart from all others. Because I chose to be with an abuser who enjoyed keeping me from those who could help and loved ones who cared about me, it was easy to feel like I was the only one suffering in the stranglehold of domestic violence. Bitterness took hold as I spent time resenting anyone whom I thought had a better life and those that refused the invitation to my pity party. The pain became so intense that I had to break free. My rock bottom was the sweet spot that forced me to reach out and seek help. It was only then that I discovered there were others out there who were JUST LIKE ME.

I found strength in listening to the life stories of strong women who faced circumstances much worse than mine. It was impossible to focus on myself while being surrounded by others courageously fighting (and winning) the same bloody battle. A community of people holding me accountable to change and to meet higher standards was the all the inspiration I needed to take my life back. Over time, my mental and physical health improved. The small life changes and tweaks to my thinking patterns eventually led to a complete transformation. I found the gritty, hard working, farm girl from decades ago. The one who believed she could do anything. It been over fifteen years of life trials and triumphs since I started that journey. With God's help, my mindset remains the same today. I AM NOT A VICTIM.

It could be the loss of a loved one, health conditions or any painful life circumstance that throws us into the pit of helplessness. Whatever the situation, it's a space in time that is ripe for reinvention. Don't allow it to pass you by. Reach out. Find a community of people who can relate to your struggle. I promise you are not the only one.

You stand at a crossroads. Which path will you take? Will you walk through life as a victim or use the pain to move forward in a brand new direction?

Take care,

Jamie Lynn

Need help moving forward in a new direction? Contact me for help.

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