Welcome to day #25 of our superpower celebration! Throughout this series, I have reached out to a few key people in my life and have asked them to share their own superpowers. Each of them have writing as a superpower, so I knew they would be great candidates to guest post. But more than that, each of them have a different view of life than I do. They have been through different things, and have developed different strengths.
Today, I am so proud to introduce to you my niece, Shaina Kellogg. She is 28 years old and one of the kindest and spunkiest souls I know. Sometimes I think that sarcasm is her superpower – she rivals the best! But then other times I think it may be generosity and acceptance. And in our family, she is a technology wiz, so that is surely one of her superpowers too. But amidst all of her amazing qualities, what I most admire her for is her power of resilience.
At 16 years old, she began showing initial symptoms and was later diagnosed with a complicated disease called MEN 1 that affects her endocrine system. She has endured tough health battles throughout the last 12 years, and as if she wasn’t already dealing with enough, about a year ago was diagnosed with cancer. Despite her struggles, or maybe because of them, she is strong and is determined to beat it all!
With her unique perspective on overcoming challenges, I thought she was the perfect person to highlight and celebrate resilience. Because resilience is most certainly her superpower!
My Resilient Power
by Shaina Kellogg
Have you ever just felt like you can’t take one more thing? Like your whole body is going to explode into a million tiny pieces if one more bad thing happens to you?
You slept through your alarm and were late for work or school and your favorite shirt is still soaking wet because you forgot to put it in the dryer last night. You’re out of coffee. You locked your keys in your car while it was warming up, forgot your wallet at home so lunch is off the menu today, the school calls you at work because your child decided it was okay to use his lab partner as a test dummy. You get all the way across campus for class and there is a note on the door saying it’s cancelled after you just about killed yourself getting there on time with a result of a sprained ankle and bruised elbows from tripping over a random skateboard. You get home and the pup you love so much has turned your living room into a scene from the movie Twister, AND when you finally sit down to relax with a warm cup of tea and after that day – most likely a couple shots of something stronger – your TV won’t turn on because you are late on your cable bill.
YEAH! Been there. Done that.
In my case however, the bad days look a little different. Being diagnosed with “the big C word” was of course difficult and stressful, as expected. I had already been quite challenged over my short life with many different health complications prior though, and it wasn’t a very big SHOCKER to me. More of a “figures” moment really. Sounds lightly put I know, but it truly is how I felt about it.
The disease I have leads right toward developing something such as this and if anybody was gonna get it, I was. Surgeries, infections, hospitals, home care, insurances, recovery periods, tons of medications, multiple doctors and visits, and that has been since I was 16 years old. I am 28 now and am well-adjusted to the routine. Not to mention, always prepared for just about ANYTHING at all to be thrown my way. I have to be.
It took many years for me to get the emotional and physical stability I have today and it was not an easy road getting here. Depression and anxiety will indeed over-take your mind, body, and soul if you choose to let it. And sometimes, if you aren’t careful and become consumed in your troubles, it will creep in anyway, without any control on your end.
I have been there. I have fought those demons and have been to the bottomless pit of nothingness and hatred. Once you find yourself there, I promise you, you will not wake up tomorrow and be “all better”. The good news is though, it is ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE to get well and escape your madness. No matter how extreme it is!
Patience and time are never easy to accept when you are full of misery, but they will be your helping hand along the way. With the right tools and resources you can be the best version of yourself, anytime and anywhere!
Boy O’ Boy! I do not know where I would be today if I didn’t have the family that I do. I am so very blessed with an extremely loving and supportive family and each one of them has played a significant part in my struggle and my life in general. Having them to lean on in times of need and the comfort they provide unconditionally is extraordinary. I was always taught to give and receive love respectfully and I have some of the most amazing influences that I share a last name with, and share my blood with. Best part about my family is you don’t have to be blood to be considered one of us either! My heart truly goes out to those that are not so lucky. THEY MAKE ME RESILIENT.
All my life I have only had a handful of true friends at a time. I never really understood that about myself when I was younger, as I watched the girls at school and their “cliques” and all the jocks that hung together and cowboys and stoners and drama kids and musicians, etc. I liked everyone. I talked to everyone. As I got older and looked back on this I realized I just wasn’t the type to really get close with a lot of people and didn’t trust just anyone. I wasn’t completely guarded by any means. I was open-minded and friendly, but I wasn’t going to be your best friend.
I never had a best friend. Still don’t. However the friends I do have – the ones that are still here – are the closest thing to best friends I will ever have. And the best part is they are all so diverse. Those that sat in the hospital with me all those times, even slept over. Came to see me at home while I recovered. The millions of calls, texts, and messages to check on me and make sure I am doing alright even to this day. The brothers I have gained. The sisters I never had. The extra parents who love me as their own. THEY MAKE ME RESILIENT.
I used to think that all my life was ever going to be was hospitals, doctors, and illness. I was never going to escape that fate. I was never going to be anything but a test dummy and a sickly person. I wallowed in my own self pity. I look back on that person now and think, GROW UP… You’re so much more than that!
I am strong. I am weak. I am a fighter. I am a winner. I lose, but I win the next round. I can. I will. I do. I don’t need to cut corners and make excuses because I am just as capable of doing anything the guy standing next to me with a clean bill of health does. I fall and I break down, but I stand back up and I put myself back together, better than I was before. It’s not about who you were or what ails you. It’s who you ARE and what you BELIEVE you can do.
I AM RESILIENT.
I am honored to share my sweet niece’s perspective on being resilient. She is such a gift to me, and to everyone she touches, and is the picture of determination, strength, and resilience. You can catch more of her story on her personal blog.
We are all resilient in our own ways. No matter what path your life has taken you down, resilience has played a key role in your ability to carry on despite the challenges – or maybe because of them. Resilience is our superpower!
Today, I encourage you to contemplate what resilience looks like in your life…
What challenges have you faced that you have successfully overcome?
What struggles are you dealing with now, where your resilience is being called into action?
How can you celebrate this amazing power within yourself?
How can you celebrate this amazing power within others?
Thank you for joining me in surfacing and celebrating our superpowers!
*This is the 25th post in a 31 day series called “Celebrating your Superpowers”. Catch the series from the beginning by clicking here and you will be directed to an introductory post containing links to each day’s topic. Join me in celebrating your superpowers this month!