Perseverance required

Photo by Maranatha Pizarras

It’s no secret that goals take time to reach and, because they take time, we’re often tempted to quit before reaching them.

When I was ill with an eating disorder my only goal was to get to university to study, to live a normal life. I was sick of missing sixth form to go to appointments and of all my time being taken up by my illness.

I worked so hard, day in and day out, to get the A-level results I needed and when I finally got into my first choice university I thought that was it… I’d finally done it. But I hadn’t. As part of my university acceptance I then had to undergo an occupational health assessment. I saw it as another hurdle along the road to my goal. I was told at the occupational health assessment that, despite being much better, my weight was still too low and it was probably best if I deferred a year to focus on my recovery until I was in a more secure place to study.

I was so upset, I felt everything I’d been working for had just been taken away from me. I felt underestimated. As I sat there I could hear the words echoing around in my head ‘It’s probably best if you’re deferred, it’s probably best if you’re deferred’. Tears were rolling down my face and in that moment I felt like giving up completely – on uni, on gaining weight, on it all.

After some discussion we finally came to a compromise, the assessor agreed to see me again in 9 weeks and if I wanted to go to university that year I’d have 9 weeks to put on weight before seeing him again for a review. So I went back home and I worked so hard in those 9 weeks. It was far from easy but perseverance got me through it as well as the support of professionals, and my family and friends around me. However those 9 weeks were only the beginning of my eating disorder recovery, I had to remind myself I wasn’t there yet but I was closer than I was yesterday. I knew I needed to take small steps, one day at a time.

It can take lots of hard work achieving our goals, and sometimes we feel discouraged and not in control. The journey can be difficult, it’s easy to feel disappointed, frustrated and tired, and this is when perseverance is required. If you can’t run then just start to walk… life isn’t a race, we can set our own pace. Step back and give yourself space. The strengthening of our character comes from obstacles along the way, the harder times are helping develop our strength for today.

So when your mind is racing and it all feel too much, remember, persevere! If that means failing 9 times and succeeding on the 10th, then keep moving forwards and believe in your strengths. Count on God’s promises to give you hope and let that hope sustain you through the harder times and help you to cope.

Despite all the odds against me I can now stand proud finally saying ‘I did it’. I am now finally in my first post as a children’s psychiatric nurse, only 3 and a half years after that occupational health appointment. If I didn’t have the perseverance to overcome those obstacles then I wouldn’t be where I am today. Take that leap of faith, and trust and have confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Written by Jessie Emms

Jessie |
21 year old children’s psychiatric nurse,
sensitive to social injustice & passionate
about raising hope for women.

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