Your coping skills are NOT to be taken lightly.
What I'm about to say is going to resonate with you...
You've been through the storm and earned the t-shirt. By the grace of God, not only did you survive what was meant to kill you, but you also blossomed into someone pretty amazing.
But there's a bit of a catch to your transformation: As a result of that struggle, you're not like everyone else, and honestly, people just don't seem to get you. You may feel alone or become quiet while engaged in simple-minded conversation. This is usually because what you might have to say is too deep, too real, or too hardcore for the average ear.
You've been through some stuff and I'm right there with you.
See, you've already experienced what some people won't experience in a lifetime. Put it like this: in your mind, your personal story is so complicated and crazy that no one would ever believe it was true, nor could they relate; so you save your story for the victors and conquerors of this world.
Here are five things you might recognize:
1. You root for the underdog.
It's kind of like that feeling you have as you watch Rocky Balboa jog to the top of those stone steps. You see all the people yelling with such joy and happiness, and you just can't help but grin or shed a happy tear. Yes, when you've been through some stuff, you love seeing the next guy make it, too.
2. Your path in life seems insanely different.
Sure, you realize that we all experience struggles and life-changing events. However, it's rare for you to meet others who can relate to YOUR story. You often feel isolated and unique, so when you ARE fortunate enough to meet someone who gets you, it's like you've found a kindred spirit.
3. You don't lie, but you limit the truth to keep conversations from becoming awkward.
It seems as if the average person assumes you had an upbringing similar to their own. They may ask you questions about your childhood or your life in general. You give them the PG version because, hell, do they truly want the REAL answer? You've tried being brutally honest, but the inevitable blank stares and awkward silences you usually get are NOT worth it.
4. Your coping skills are not to be taken lightly.
You know the saying, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Well, you should have muscles like the Hulk right? You've been through it, over it AND under it. As a result, your drive to keep pressing is unmatched. You've learned to wipe your own tears, pick yourself up, and run for the victory. You USED to have pity parties; now, you are fueled by blind faith.
5. "Everything happens for a reason" has a special meaning for you.
There are moments where you sit in utter amazement of everything that you've faced, conquered and survived. The added plus? When you finally meet those kindred spirits, you're able to offer something valuable to them.
You are now a counselor, a listening ear and a compassionate heart. Although rare, the connection you have with others who are on their own difficult journey is, well... absolutely beautiful. This experience alone is confirmation that your struggle was not in vain.
This article was originally published at Coffee Break Talk. Reprinted with permission from the author.