Never Too Late for Belonging Rebekah's inspirational story of choosing vulnerability and discovering resiliency.

“True belonging is not passive. It's not the belonging that comes with just joining a group. It's not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it's safer. It's a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who we are. We want true belonging, but it takes tremendous courage to knowingly walk into hard moments.”

~ Brene Brown

Like many of us, if I could go back in time, I would have done things differently. I have no idea why I thought a “stiff upper lip” or a “chin up” would ever help me with living with someone with PTSD. Sometimes you think its easier to pretend things are alright than trying to fix something complicated.

At an important point in my journey, I realized I needed help. For a long time, I had been afraid to ask. I needed other people to lean on, to listen and to walk with me. Its not easy to be vulnerable, to open up for that potential for pain and hurt.  When I finally chose to take that step, it was surprising (almost shocking at times) the community that I found. More empathetic people were willing to help and offer encouragement than I realized.

I joined a group of cyclists through Wounded Warriors Canada, (I’m not a cyclist!) but they cheered me on and encouraged me relentlessly. I joined a family peer support group through OSISS, and found a community of spouses who got it. I empowered myself with education on the disease and regularly surround myself with a safety net of dependable, trustworthy people.

It hasn’t been easy. Its actually been really hard. There still are tribulations and bad days. There are still mistakes made. But I have found perseverance and hope in those struggles, instead of defeat. I have the ability to carry on despite the challenges and setbacks. I sought out a group of cheerleaders and friends who want me to persevere and succeed, and I’m so glad I did.

Never once did I think I would be doing what I’m doing now, writing a post on resilience. But here I am. And I am forever grateful for friends. #inthistogether

Rebekah Mitchell