My youngest daughter inspires me. She is a 16 year old young woman attempting to carve her own path. She has a grocery list of things that are “wrong” with her and another list of things she hates about herself, yet she makes the effort every day to keep trying.
She inspires me. From a small child suffering from undiagnosed anxiety she has lived to her best and fullest self most of the time. Imagine being 3 years old sitting in preschool without your security blanket or your favorite stuffed doggie. Imagine staying all day, everyday at preschool through play time, lunch time and learning activities and NEVER speaking a word to one single person, child or adult. Imagine making do with what you got in any situation because you could NOT vocalize your needs or wants. Imagine riding the bus from preschool wondering if they would remember to drop you off at the right place because you couldn’t use words to tell them when they drove by your house. Imagine not speaking a word in 2 and a half years to any adult in a school setting, yet everyday you still go because your mom says you need to go and try, so you go and you try.
She inspires me. The anxiety is a nicely managed animal now. She has traveled to California on a Girl Scout Destination to attend a wilderness photography event. She had very limited chances to talk to me while she was gone and it took her almost 24 hours to make friends with anyone close to her age yet she didn’t give up. She navigated two larger airports and found ways to cope with her severe feelings of being homesick. She pushed her anxiety aside and dug deep within herself to find the courage to keep trying and moved forward.
She inspires me. I live each day to provide her with an example that it is a personal choice to fight or give up. Anxiety and depression do not just go away because you wish it, or because you take a pill and sometimes no matter what you do nothing works 100%. You make the choice to pull yourself out of bed and face your reality or you choose to stay in bed and hide. I strive to encourage her everyday and support her in everything she does. I remind her daily that she is loved and important. I redirect her negativity when it comes up, and it often does. I remind her to take her pills. Mostly I encourage her to be herself, not her brother or her sister, but herself.
Her photos I used for day 19 Zero to Hero challenge are from her trip in 2012 to California as part of a Girl Scout Destination. She inspires me because she learned something new, taught me something and had the courage to go on an adventure away from home and without knowing a single person on her trip.