: the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening : the quality or state of being brave.
I've had three years to think about this word and what it means, in general and to me; After the initial shock of the stroke wore off and I was in a more stable state of mind, I signed onto Facebook, what I found there was completely unexpected; So many messages of hope, support and motivation with lots of words in them like inspiring, brave and strong.
What?! Now, let me be clear, while I was in rehab, I still couldn't turn over in bed on my own, I had to call someone in to do that for me, I had to have someone help me get out of bed into my wheel chair, roll me into the bathroom and help me out of the chair onto the toilet and to top things off, I could't wipe myself when I was done in there. So, brave, strong and inspiring were not words that I would have used for myself, in fact, scared shitless, lost, confused, defeated and over-anxious would have been the perfect words for me at the time.
So what does brave mean? At the time, when I thought about it, brave was something people label someone as when they are facing something the general public wouldn't want to face.
I have waged many a battle with my bravery over the course of three years, the world can be a scary place when your body suddenly doesn't work the way it used to, staircases, curbs,and bathtubs were fearsome things for me for a long time, then I thought I had those fears beat...until about two weeks ago. Due to a couple of falls, one of which happened while I was holding Charlotte, my worst fear realized, the other due to me not paying attention where my stupid left foot was, my old anxieties crept up again, at least I think the falls are what sparked a relapse of Stair Fear, as I call it, suddenly, after a year of doing the stairs in my home confidently, dealing with them and knowing I was safe and knew what I was doing, this old, stupid terror crept back into my life, practically paralyzing me yet again.( not to mention pissing me off). I've been battling this fear for a good two weeks now, but I dug deep and found that bravery everyone kept saying I had and barreled through as best I could, now the stairs, whatever, they're not going to bite me. I know how my body works now and I can handle any weird obstacle that comes my way. It is only through this journey that I have discovered my bravery, and what being brave actually means.