You Are The Victor, Even If You Can’t See It Yet
By: Erica Sun
This month, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and the end of school for some, we also celebrate Mental Health Awareness month. Limiting this important topic — one of HealthCorps’ three pillars to making students stronger — to just one month neglects the importance of the issue. However, now is as fitting time as any to discuss mental health.
“Hello, my name is Erica, and I am a victor.” Before I lose part of my audience, let me stop and say I’ve had the privilege of volunteering with a 12-step recovery program, in addition to my placement as a program coordinator for HealthCorps, over the past few years. I, in no way, want to discredit the healing that happens as a result of these programs or disrespect their customs; however, that sentence would never be spoke in a 12-step meeting. I’m not sure that it should, but would you entertain me in choosing to take a closer look?
A phrase that has gained popularity in recent years concerning healing most often, if not entirely, referring to emotional healing is “You can’t be a victim and a victor.” The cheerleader in me loves this phrase exclaiming, “Yeah! Claim your victory! Move forward; you’ve got this!” The realist in me sings another song. You see, the phrase paints healing as black and white; it depicts that one must choose one OR the other. What about the rest of us who are still in the process of healing? The phrase doesn’t acknowledge that process, the in between of the two extremes. It neglects half the story; the half of the story the person healing needs to hear. The half of the story you made need to hear.
Healing is a process.
You get to write your story.
You, also, get to pick your audience …
And, your cheering section …
And, put up walls …
And, take them down.
And, you get to begin again.
We’ve had the pleasure as coordinators to have HealthCorps’ alum, Rob Roberts, be a part of our training sessions this semester. Rob is a health coach and has spoke with us over these past few months about how we are doing in various areas of wellness. After identifying an area we wanted to work on, he’s asked us how we’ve progressed, what changes to our original goal we’ve made, and what we see us doing in the future surrounding our goal. He’s actually encouraged us to start asking ourselves these questions, further passing ownership of our story, and our health, to us.
What has made this experience unique is that he’s coached a team of over 20 staff, working on a variety of health goals, through just two monthly emails and one monthly hour long virtual call. His approach has been innovative, just like we are witnessing in other areas of health with the ability to have a doctor’s appointment over a webcam or access to counseling services via text message.
He followed up our last communications by quoting Theodore Roosevelt, “It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.”
To those victims who want to be victors, I see you; to those victims trying to be victors, you’ve got this! Take your time, but promise me you’ll dare greatly. Broken crayons still color.