I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

Last year the world was met with unprecedented repercussions from women everywhere who finally found the courage to say #timesup.  Although International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over a century, this year felt different.  This year felt like a new beginning for women to be able to take center stage (and I don’t just mean celebrities at award shows!), yet women have been taking action against their injustices, their inequalities and their overall rights since the beginning of time so why then in 2018 do we still seem to have so far to go until we achieve these goals?

International Women’s Day for most women is a day to honour and recognize our achievements we have made, celebrate the women in our lives who have helped contribute to our achievements and it is also a day in which we acknowledge the challenges we still face today as women.  For me it became another day of feeling worthless, hopeless, guilty, angry and ashamed.

It’s fair to say that women in general experience much more adversity and tribulations throughout our lives than men do, I mean have you seriously ever imagined what the world would be like if men got their periods every month for an average of 40+ years, or if they had to carry a baby inside their bodies for 9 months and then give birth to it, multiple times for many.  We as women are also far more susceptible to discrimination in the workplace, sexual abuse and the inability to feel safe when walking alone.

Having two teenage daughters (and a soon to be adult son) who are now facing the responsibility to ensure that the next generation of women continue to find their voices, take the platform and become empowered is met with mixed emotions for me right now as my illness has left me feeling like a less than capable guiding force in their lives.

For me the definition of a woman is someone who is confident, hardworking, loving, smart, proud and as Helen Reddy said it best, strong & invincible.  I look at these words I have written down and can’t help but feel sadness, a sadness that runs deeper than my illness, a sadness that awakens it.  Am I doing my best to ensure that my daughters (and son) learn how wonderful and competent they are in order for them to feel self-empowered and conquer their dreams and goals?  Have I instilled enough strength in them in order for them to believe that they deserve to fulfill these dreams and goals?  Have I encouraged them and given them the proper tools to use in order for them to realize how truly powerful they can be?

My illness says otherwise.  The guilt and shame I bestow upon myself when it comes to raising my children and what lasting effects I may be causing them by lacking my own sense of self-empowerment.   I know that for one to feel self-empowered does not mean that you have all the answers, or that you are perfect by any means, but I do know that to feel empowered takes determination, courage and inner peace.  It’s learning to let go of your past criticisms and regrets in order to take on new challenges; It’s about trusting others as much as you trust yourself to not pass judgment upon you; It’s about creating a positive attitude and having control over your own thoughts and beliefs; It’s about being honest with yourself and having the confidence to show the world just how powerful you truly can be.

Depression has an influential way of taking away someone’s personal empowerment and although everyone feels a lack of confidence or insecurity from time to time, I need to remind myself that I am doing the best that I can right now to ensure that my children become empowered adults even if along the road they encounter a few bumps, a few imperfections and even a few scratches I believe they will get there and that maybe, just maybe my journey will have helped them find their way.

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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