When have you been stronger than you thought?

I was reading a blog post today, by one of my favourite coaches and bloggers, Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach. Every Tuesday on her blog, is Tough (Question) Tuesday, and today’s question was “When have you been stronger than you thought?”.

You see, Michelle has been fighting boob cancer for these last few months. She’s endured 4 chemo treatments, hair loss, exhaustion, putting business and family dreams on hold and next month, she’ll undergo a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.  She is in her early 30′s. And today is her last day of chemo.  And she asked this question of her amazing readers so that she could have something to read from the chemo chair.

I went to her website to see what comments people had added.  So many people had posted amazing comments about how they had been strong through fighting a disease, the loss of a loved one, a miscarriage, running a marathon. Truly fabulous feats of strength.

And I started to feel a little unsettled.  I hadn’t gone through anything like this. Ever. I had nothing to say.  I haven’t lost anyone close to me.  I haven’t battled cancer.  I’ve never been pregnant.  I’ve never run 1 mile, let alone a marathon.

But something tugged at the back of my brain, begging to be remembered.  I knew that I had felt, at some point, stronger than I ever thought I could be.  And it wasn’t from resisting the last piece of chocolate mocha cheesecake at Christmas dinner.  And then I remembered – I have beaten vaginismus.

And I was suddenly sad.

Because I wasn’t comfortable adding that as a comment to Michelle’s blog.  Because I’m still embarrassed by it.  Because I still feel like no one would really get it.

So, I’m writing it here, where I can feel proud, and know that someone out there reading this will understand.

Beating vaginismus was the hardest battle I have fought so far.  It was emotionally taxing, physically painful, mentally defeating.

But I did it.  And I continue to do it, every day.

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