When I think about the word warrior movies like braveheart and the samurai come to mind. Men with incredible virtues, willing to lose their life for their country. Or Veterans of our own wars. Our countries warriors, going overseas to fight for our freedom and liberties, and to protect our way of life. And our heroes that could not come home.
After I get through the traditional use of the word I think of the men and women who have fought for rights common to me now. How they have done the battle for rights I deserve. I am able to work, I am able to vote, I am able to question my religion and sexuality because of the work these people have done. I'm grateful to them as well.
I peel back another layer and get to my own life. My personal heroes. There's the 8th grade English teacher who became a mentor, a safe place in a tumultuous time and, later, a friend. Or the friend I've had since I was 9, who has stood by my side through struggles and good times. And my sister-if I'm honest-who helped me move from a very difficult situation and has always been there. And my treatment team. How often have they gone above and beyond their job description in order to help me when I needed it and might not have deserved it?
At the core there is me. My life. I've realized recently I truly do not like looking too closely to myself and run from the opportunity until I'm stuck and have to see who I am. Yea, there's the things I don't like and am deeply struggling with. But there's also the survivor. The won who has been through battles and is still here. A part of me is a warrior too.
I think about the eating disorder community. Full of men and women with different disorders but common themes. Their disorders stem from trauma and stable places, hard times and difficult families, high incomes and low, but situations do not matter. Each of us is fighting an important battle; the one for our life. Even if it's not something one doesn't want to hear, they are also our warriors, and I couldn't be more proud to stand along side them on the path to healing.