The Power of Resilience

While I realise that ones financial situation is always temporary, the temporary nature of our financial standing has been a long period of significant financial duress. It has often felt anything but temporary, and more like a long winding and suffering snake of stress and anxiety, about whether we will make it or not this month, or next, not to mention anything further down the line! This is how it has felt a lot of the time in the last 5 years or so, ever since my marketing business went belly up in very stressful circumstances!

It has been a period of personal f-ups and personal traumas, a period where no matter what I try to do things have remained in a financially dire state! Throughout these periods I have become irascible and depressed, sometimes I have even become utterly petrified and close to a breakdown by the immense stress of maintaining against all odds. It has caused interpersonal problems and a lot of shouting too, and it has strained a range of relationships in my life, some almost to breaking point!

While this has been going on month by gruelling month we have also had to deal with a range of other traumatic events dotted across this financial wasteland, some of which have been so utterly devastating to bear that the combination has threatened to truly derail the bus all together, plunging us into the raging inferno of hopelessness below! There have been deaths, illnesses, relapses, and premature arrivals! We have been completely swamped with every conceivable challenge that life can throw at us, and still we carry on somehow, and then just as I start to think we couldn’t possibly handle another feather of weight on our already sagging shoulders, a new hell boulder would roll into place, atop an already wobbling weight of strain!

I started to feel like I was damned and destined to fail, and that I was never going to see the other side of this! But still we lurched and lumbered forward somehow, not without a lot of financial and emotional support from our families, as and where it could be given. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt deep stabbing pains of utter astonishment, and disbelief, at out seemingly unending barrage of bad luck! But still we carry on. The sun rises and we wake up and start again, never losing sight of the possibility for a new day to bring with it new hope!

There were many days and months when I simply couldn’t see a hope in the world, and had it not been for my children, and my wife, and some family and friends, I think I might have just imploded quietly in the corner and ceased to exist! But this hasn’t happened, and instead we have carried on, against the odds of all my worst fears, to get to the next bend in the road, the next hill to climb, or the next valley to cross, we have kept moving forward, sometimes almost imperceptibly so. While we have had to tighten our belts like never before, while we have had to go without a lot we are used to, while we have had to do anything and everything to get some money in, we have done it, bit by bit, day by day, month by month, year by year; we have done it!

Things are gradually coming right for us now, and while we are still in debt, and certainly not out of the woods yet, the markers and indicators are there that show us we are going to be okay! And what a feeling that is! The past 5 years have shown me that life can get so unbelievable shit and that even in the face of all that we can still carry on and stand up to face the day no matter what! This has been the making of us, it has been the evidence of our resilience and our fortitude, as individuals and as a family, even when we have been at our weakest and least glorious, and this evidence has built a fortress around us, reminding me and those close to me, that we can climb any hill, and fall through any trap, and still prevail!

This is the evidence of the human spirit, and of love, and of commitment to family, and to life so precious! We are unbreakable if we keep trying, if we keep standing up, if we ask for help in the process….Before all this started happening I had no idea what I/we could face, but now I know that we can face the hard knocks that life brings, sometimes in spades, and without mercy! Now I know it deep within my heart of hearts!

James Lewis

May 2018