Resilience– (1) The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

I have to admit that I never feel particularly resilient, but when one looks at it’s antonyms such as delicate and weak I certainly am not either of those! This trouble I have with this first definition is the word quickly.

How do we determine what is quick?

Are we in a race to recover from an illness, a major life change, or a relationship loss?

10 years, that is how long I have have considered myself chronically ill. I have been recovering for 10 years. It might even be reasonable to say I’ve been recovering my whole life. Again, I was not a weak or delicate child but I was troubled with average childhood illnesses that often hung on weeks after my class mates recovered. My mother and I spent countless hours waiting on tests and their results to address issues from my stomach to my blood sugar.

There is a second definition of resilient however.

(2)The ability of a substance or an object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

Yes! This I can get behind. I may not recover in what some would consider a timely manner but I do spring back. I love the synonyms too; irrepressible, rebounding.

I could have given up a long time ago. There were times when my situation seemed pretty hopeless, after every doctor appointment with out an answer, after every week of being confined to the apartment, after yet another acute illness that took it’s toll on my immune system and my the fatigue and pain that much more severe.

There were some day when I wondered is this really worth it. What is the point of rebound, or not letting myself be weak or delicate, what do I have to show for this life of what can seem like abandoned dreams.

But for every conversation I get to have with a friend, for every smile an octopus beer cozy can generate, for every moment I laugh at silly kitchen dancing with my husband, that’s why I rebound, that’s why I won’t let chronic illness get my down for too long, because some days when the sun is shining and my body is cooperating I make a slam dunk. I have a great new crochet idea, I can give someone a hat that fits just right, I can provide a encouragement for a friend in need.

And that friends is why I’m open about my struggles. Because you are not alone. You have someone on your side. When feeling like getting back up again is impossible you have a friend who has been there, a friend who won’t judge you for questioning your resilience. And then I will be there with a high five when you are back on your feet again.

Can you think of a word that at first glance you would not use to describe yourself? Do the antonyms describe you any better? Could this word perhaps be your word for 2018, your mantra, a rallying cry for a year where we continue to bounce back, a year of being irrepressible.