I Am NOT a Survivor 2

I am not a survivor.

Not in the sense that I’m not still among the living.  I just hate that word.


Sounds like I was up against something completely insurmountable that most people never make it through. That I’ve been victimized.

I am not a victim.

The word “survivor” also comes with an implication that my life is somehow less than it was before. I haven’t been through anything so tragic that thousands of people aren’t doing it every day. I made my choices, I do not regret.  I accept and move on.

I’m not a “survivor” of divorce.

I’m not “surviving” having two kids to raise with a an ex who suffers from a variety of mental illnesses.

I did not “survive” a tragic car accident.

I did not “survive” PTSD.

I do not accept the title “survivor”. Period.

I didn’t just survive my divorce.  I have thrived.  I make my own happiness now, and I’m teaching my children how to make theirs.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@LiveBySurprise”]I didn’t just survive my divorce. I have thrived. [/tweetthis]

I’m not just surviving co-parenting with my ex. I am succeeding.  My children are growing up to be thoughtful, resilient, independent, intelligent members of society. With or without his help.

I didn’t just survive a tragic car accident. I am not defined by my limitations—I am inspired by my abilities.

No, I can’t play the piano now. I can’t climb the Tower again.  Yes, I’m a heck of a lot more vigilant in the car now. Yes, if I see a car accident, I have flashbacks.

BUT—I couldn’t play the piano before.  And I already proved to myself that I could climb that tower anyway.  Being vigilant is an asset, not a liability.  The flashbacks aren’t great, but each one is less vivid.

On to the next challenge.  BRING IT!

I lived damn it. And I’m going to keep on living. My life isn’t done yet.  There is more. I am more. I will be more. I have goals. I challenge myself. My husband challenges me. My children challenge me.

Life challenges me.

I will come out on top.

Carl Jung said “I am not what has happened to me.  I am what I choose to become.”

I choose not to be a survivor.

I choose to be a challenger.

This post originally appeared on the Live By Surprise blog on January 23, 2014. 

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  1. That’s really an awestruck thought. Yes, it is not by accident but by choice, so it is more of a success than just survivor.

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE! This perspective is SO EMPOWERING! You are indeed a THRIVER, not a SURVIVOR… keep marching through those challenges and keep creating your OWN happiness! Thank you for being an example and inspiration to ALL women. You’re amazing. <3

  3. Not keen on the term survivor either, let alone victim.

    Fantastic, inspiring attitude to have and so positive for others to see.

    Good on you!

  4. I so love this post. Truly we are surviving, not survivors, not victims. It is amazing how strong you realize you’ve been the entire time. Keep it strong lady.

  5. Yes! I love this and I love your “bring-it-on” attitude. Life kicked and you kicked back harder, woo hoo! The piano line was great, by the way! 🙂

  6. I like your perspective on this. Some of my biggest personal growth spurts have come from challenges, and I try to see them as positives in my life. Difficult to do when you are going through the worst of it, but I don’t abide by the victim role either. Great post.

  7. Hell yes! No better feeling than getting through a divorce and realizing you are suddenly better off! Wish I could relate with the coparenting, but this post just made my day!

  8. Challenger! What a great alternative to survivor. That word brings forward motion, questioning, and living to mind.

  9. You ARE a challenger – that’s the perfect way to describe it! Being a survivor implies that you have survived something that happened to you, while being a challenger implies that YOU are driving the reactions to events in your life. Love it!

  10. I’m with you on this. Life is about so much more than just surviving. Another quote I like: Life is not about finding oneself, it is about creating oneself.

  11. Loved every word of this! I think we choose how we view our lives and an attitude of positivity helps us tackle the tough time and come out on top – good on you for winning at every one of those challenges you faced!

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