Fighting Wounded

fighting wounded.jpg

I killed a giant today!

Not a metaphorical giant, but one that has threatened to kill me for over 6 years. Do you know what it’s like to live in fear? Do you know what it’s like to try to outrun, outlive, outmaneuver something chasing you? It’s tough, if you don’t know, and the mental unrest that accompanies your fight is even more unsettling.

I became a doctor today. YAY! While I am not a medical doctor, I did obtain a Ph.D. And, the road has been anything but pretty.

While on the outside, many saw me smiling today, what few understood was that I won wounded. There were numerous times within my program that caused me to absorb spiritual, mental, and emotional hits. These experiences, more times than not, threatened to harden me. They left small ticks on the canvas of my body that are only traceable through my moodiness. But, I made it, right? Of course, that’s all that should matter but it’s not.

When we get these degrees, we leave changed. And, while change can be seen as a good thing, we cannot overlook the negative impacts of certain experiences. More times than not, if you’re ever able to listen to graduate students talk, you will hear about the horrors of their experiences as they pass stories that are as common as initiation rituals.

But, that is not the point of this piece. Today I killed a giant, but I had to kill it wounded. I don’t know if you’ve ever fought wounded before, but it takes more energy to fight when your body is struggling to recover as opposed to if you were well.

For 10 days, I’ve been struggling to recover. Not from the fight with anxiety that I had a few years ago. Not from the emotional wounds that I acquired when I felt marginalized in a classroom. Not even from the consistent critiquing while in school, but from the wound made by my brother’s death.

In my previous post, I scratched the surface about how I felt about my brother’s death. While I didn’t go into detail at the time, I did express my unrest with the situation. But, for the last 10 days, I’ve been battling wounded.

See, I could not drop the weight of my responsibility because I was grieving. I could not set aside my commitments, deadlines, goals or dreams because the breath had been knocked out of me. I was already fighting to maintain my breathing.

The world kept going. People kept smiling. My phone kept ringing. People still needed me. I still had to defend my dissertation. I still have to graduate.

I know now what it means to fight wounded. I know how it feels to hold the wound with one hand, and fend off attackers with another. I know the feeling of helplessness and weakness. I also know what it is like to feel satisfaction.

I defended my dissertation wounded. Every 15 minutes I found myself checking the clock because I felt myself coming undone. Can you imagine coming undone in the last hour of your career as a student?

I was under a pressure that I’d never felt before. I was dealing (avoiding) grief, finishing a degree, and breaking the glass ceiling off of my family. I was under pressure and people were counting on me. I was counting on me. But, I was hurt deeply.

I killed the giant though. I killed the thing that was standing in the way of my promotion. I shattered the glass ceiling and created a new floor on the next level. I fought the good fight of faith, and I fought hard.

I write this post to let you know that it will never be a perfect time for you to live on purpose. It will never be the right time for you to overcome. But, you have to stay the course. You have to do it even when you don’t want to. You have to push even when you feel like wallowing in self-pity. You have to stand even when you don’t desire to.

…even if it means fighting wounded.

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2 Replies to “Fighting Wounded”

  1. Peace & Blessings Dr. Briana, I would like to Sincerely Congratulate you on receiving your PH.D…
    🎉CONGRATULATIONS DR. BRIANA WHITESIDE🎉
    I have JUST found you/your writings in/on Memoirs Of A Woman & let me tell you…it has been a breath of fresh air!! I felt as though you were speaking directly to me about me..about “being a better friend”. While I always thought I was a “good friend”, but like you, I am the one they can ALWAYS call when they need an ear or shoulder to cry on & I’m there..but..I don’t let them into my “stuff” when it’s going on. I feel like I can handle things on my own. You helped me see more clear, what I already knew.. I am..WRONG! I have a tendency to go into “hiding” when I’m going through. I’m going to do as you did, and call each of my dearest friends and ask them “what kind if friend am I”..I’m going to PRAY before I venture into this new season..because I know the truth hurts..but I also know I’m going to come out a better person & friend!
    This particular read, was AWESOME👏as well!! I’m taking care of my three Grandchildren ages, 16 months, 7 & 9 yrs old..& it’s not easy..but..I’m conquering the giant..I’m making it..LITERALLY!! It’s about getting a schedule in place, maintaining order & keeping my sanity😊. I am soooo Thankful to the Lord for allowing me to read your work..you now have a new & loyal follower..that will share your encouraging, uplifting & informative writings!!!
    May The Lord Continue To Bless & Shine His Light Of Love Upon You, As You Continue To Uplift, Encourage & Empower Women!
    Be Blessed, Stay Humble & Encouraged!!!

    Like

    1. Dear Wendy,
      First, let me thank you for reaching out to me and sharing your story. I truly believe that God has an amazing season ahead of you and I want to encourage you to keep the faith. You are truly a blessing and you will encourage MILLIONS with your testimony and faithfulness. I am so happy that my writings encouraged you. I truly believe that God lead you here for such a time as this.

      One more thing: I have a book club with about 40 members in it. It is a spiritual book club, but it is also a place where we can convene, pray, and encourage one another. Monday-Friday, I hold prayer at 5:30-5:45a CST in addition to the book of the month, giveaways, growth segments and book chat recordings. I would love for you to be apart of our community if you feel inclined. I am opening the club back up this week if you’re interested. You can email bookclub@brianawhiteside.com and give your name and email address and I’ll do the rest.

      I hope that you would consider my invitation. I’m praying for you.

      Bri

      Like

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