Posted by: Heather Coleman | April 23, 2013

#HAWMC Day 21: In Your Face Adversity

Rose bud
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” ~ Mulan Do you believe this statement to be true or false? When do you bloom best?

Everyone is tested by adversity at some point in their life and to some degree. It is how you respond to that adversity that shows your true character, and ultimately determines whether you will succeed or fail.

I do believe that the flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. I think that our struggles provide us with the opportunity to soar higher and farther than we ever could have without them. But not everyone handles that opportunity the same way. It takes shear resilience, extreme strength of character, and a good amount of luck to overcome life’s greatest obstacles and challenges. Not everyone is equipped with all three of these things.

I feel as though I have faced my share of adversity. But I was never tested more than I was by postpartum psychosis. It shook me to my core, sent me back to the basics, tested my relationships, and made me have to learn to trust myself again. Coming out the other side of an illness like that has given me a greater sense of confidence in myself, my own strength, and my ability to overcome any challenge that comes my way. I think to myself, “if I survived that, I can survive anything!”

For a long time after my postpartum psychotic episode I would wear a bracelet I made, during my stay at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, as a visible reminder of how far I had come. I no longer need the bracelet, because I know in my heart just how strong I am, and how lucky I am to be here. That fact alone gives me a greater sense of urgency, to live life to the fullest, each and every day.

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