Bravery, Strength, and Intelligence

For maximum effect, please read this post while listening to Coldplay’s “The Scientist.”
“To my lovelies:
If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…
there is something you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
But the most important thing is even if we’re apart…
I’ll always be with you.”
My Nanna, my mom and I all having these matching bracelets. On the surface, they express some pleasant thoughts, but as with most Winnie the Pooh quotes, they reveal profound truths in their simplicity.
While curled up in bed evening, I looked over at my bedside table and saw this bracelet. It would be easy to dismiss its words. I don’t feel particularly brave, strong, or smart right now. I feel awful. But maybe that is the bipolar talking. Maybe I need to readjust my perspective and think about the mental illness context of these words.
For me, bravery is not fighting a lion or starting a revolution. Bravery is fighting to end my cycle of codependency, trying to make new friends, and going to class even when I feel like hiding in my bed.
For me, strength is not running a marathon or lifting great weights. Strength is taking my medicine even when it makes me feel a little sick, getting rid of items I used to hurt myself, and writing instead of cutting.
For me, intelligence is not acing every test or always having the right answer. Intelligence is communicating my strengths and weaknesses with others, sharing my feelings, and adjusting my study schedule to accommodate my mood swings.
I am braver than I believe, stronger than I seem, and smarter than I think.
You are, too.

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