Couldn't we have an easy one like failure, uselessness or cowardice? I could write a tome on these. But bravery...I'm a bit lost on where to start with this one.
But I hate sooking - so before this rapidly descends into a 'pity party for PJ', maybe I should start with what I think bravery is...
Bravery is the name given to actions that display courage. And that to me is the crux of the word
Bravery requires action.
This is where I find my block with this word. The reality is I'm not out there *doing*. I'm sitting at home hiding behind this pseudonym. I'm not taking any hits. I could just stop blogging, turn off my computer and pretend like none of this ever happened. That's hardly bravery in my eyes.
The really brave ones are the ones that come out in the face of stigma to raise awareness. Writers like June Alexander, Carrie Arnold, Dana Udall-Weiner, Lynn Haraldson, Kendra Sebelius, Margarita Tartakovsky, Arielle Bair, and so many many more...
I so admire them - and I wish I could be like them.
But I'm ashamed. And afraid.
Those who have spoken out and made the commitment to change their lives forever in order to change people's minds, they are truely brave. They have fought and won their battles and then candidly shared their stories so that I might learn. And I am so grateful.
Without them I wouldn't know I am not alone.
But typing that last line has made me realise that this knowledge does so much more than relieve the shame; it gives me just a little bit of courage I didn't have before. In fact maybe it makes me just brave enough.
Okay, brave enough is not too bad! I can live with brave enough. After all, when I think about it, I've done quite a lot with brave enough:
asked my gp for help
gone to the dietician
gone to the councellor
told my husband I have an eating disorder
taken my husband to the gp with me
told some close friends I have an eating disorder
told my brother I have an eating disorder
stopped weighing myself!!
admitted when I'm hungry and eaten
learned to see slips coming and ask for help
I have my moments of bravery, fleeting though they might be (and often followed immediately by a stint of hiding under my favourite coffee table) - but it's enough to make a difference in my life. And maybe for now that's what I need to aim for.
Be brave enough to fix my life now.
So as much as I would love to stop hiding behind PJ, share with you my real name and fight the good fight to raise ED awareness (especially for those of us who are just a teensy bit older than average) - I can't yet. I'm just not ready.
Bravery will just have to wait for another day - but it doesn't mean it will never happen.
And maybe brave enough will one day have knock-on effects that I can't possibly forsee today...I certainly hope so :)
...but first I have to be brave enough to press 'publish post'!!