Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm A Warrior, Fighting For Survival

girl fighterImage by A23H via Flickr

Don't you know we got to stand up and fight. So onward Christian soldiers, onward Christian warriors. Onward Christian soldiers, onward Christian warriors. Fighting for survival, your fighting against this ya rival. Fighting for survival, starting a revival!
~Christafari Warriors
After writing my post Health: My Life-Long StruggleMonday, I picked up my copy of Life on the Other Side:: A Psychic's Tour of the Afterlife and started reviewing the appendix with the 49 life themes. After further review I feel I have identified the primary and secondary themes of my life which are respectively warrior and survival. Allow me to explain:

warrior is described as a person who anonymously steps up and goes where they are needed to face the challenge at hand. Examples of warriors include firefighters, paramedics, police officers, explorers, teachers, researchers, soldiers and social workers. Sinply stated, my mission as a clinical social worker embodied bringing hope, resources and healing to disenfranchised members of the community.

I identified with this theme because since I was small, I wanted to help other people. For many years I thought that a career as a doctor was the best fit for this purpose. However, after my cancer experience, I discovered the field of social work and realized it was a better fit for me. As a social worker, I was able to spend time getting to know clients and developing a working relationship with them that allowed me to personalize and customize the services I provided them. Initially, I was drawn to working with people living with HIV/AIDS; from there I branched out to working with people who were homeless, severely and persistently mentally ill and drug addicted.

Though I am no longer able to pursue my career as a clinical social worker at this time, I continue to hear the call of the warrior. It has opened my eyes to the needs of other people who need whatever small help I can provide. Now I am focused on being an advocate for long-term cancer survivors experiencing late and long term effects from their cancer treatments. I strive to do the same for people living with invisible chronic illnesses, like I do, through this blog. I hope that using some of my precious yet sparse energy to create, maintain and promote this blog serves to shed light on the day-to-day struggles experienced by people living with chronic illnesses.

As I explained in my post on Monday, the secondary theme provides a conflict that must be overcome in order for one to fulfill their primary theme. The theme that best describe my conflict is the theme of
survival, in which a person views their lifetime as one long endurance test. While it is true that my health problems contribute to the survival theme of my life, they are not the only crises, challenges and threats I have faced in my life. I credit learning to overcome this source of conflict with fostering my good sense of humor in the face of adversity as well as helping to redirect my energy into living my life instead of just trying to make it to tomorrow. I'd like to think that if God paid me a visit today, just to check in and see how I was doing, I'd hear the remark, "Yes, Selena, life is a series of tests and you my dear are doing remarkably well."

As to whether I have indeed identified the major themes of my life, I guess I'll have to wait for my answer until I'm back on The Other Side.

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