Being a fighter is a double-edged sword

Being born as a fighter.

I believe that God gives us, either at birth or just at the right time, what we need to survive and thrive here on Earth.  This is in alignment, in my opinion, with my life verse of Philippians 4:13.

One of the talents or gifts that God gave me at my birth, possibly before was the gift of being a fighter.  If it was not for this gift I would not be where I am today, I would not even be here on earth today.

I was born with multiple disabilities which were caused by the rubella syndrome. 

I was born with a constricted aorta and had to undergo several surgeries during my first months/years of my life.  This birth defect could have killed me.  Fortunately, my parents didn’t give up on me.  My mom prayed and with the fighting spirit God had placed in me before my birth I survived the condition.

I was born with cataracts that have reduced my vision to 20/200 in my left eye and 20/300 in my right eye.  (side note: I have never been able to read out of my right eye, I do not see in 3D and I do not have depth perception.)

The fighter inside me did not allow my vision to define me.  Despite my limited vision, I have climbed trees, rode bikes and played neighborhood sports with my peers.  I have played on a youth soccer team, I have driven a car and even flown a private plane.

At the age of 2 or 3, when I began to speak, it was almost immediately obvious to my parents and anyone else who heard me speak, that I had a severe speech impediment.  For more than a decade I fought, with the help of several speech pathologists and therapists, to improve me speech to fulfill my dream of working in radio broadcasting.

Of course, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know that after I survived the ischemic stroke to my spinal cord that robbed me of so much, I was able to successfully fight to get my life back while continuing to recover today.

From childhood through college and beyond I have struggled with ADHD.  My ADHD got me into a lot of trouble as a kid.  At the end of second grade the Missouri School for the Blind kindly asked me and my parents to find a different school or me to attend in third grade.  During my freshman year of high school my behavior got me expelled on day ten of the school year.  If I was not going to be moving out of state after my first year at St. Louis Community College, I probably would have been kicked out.  I did get expelled (later overturned) by Modesto Junior College when I was within a few units of completing my education.

In every instance that my ADHD/behavior problems caused me to experience a stumble, setback or placed a challenge in my life, I fought back. 

I successfully fought back from my expulsion at Hazelwood Central High to earn  the right to return and graduate with my fellow classmates. 

I also fought my expulsion from Modesto Junior College.  Although I never returned to take a class at the college, I did return as an instructor of a successful eBay community education course.

Although being hard wired to fight has been a blessing, it can also be a curse.

That fighter inside of me not only come out when I face a challenge, obstacle or adversity in my life, unfortunately it also comes out when I feel cornered or challenged and when that happens it is not pretty.

For example, whenever I am called on the carpet for anything I have done, more often than not, instead of reacting as a calm, cool professional that may be able to de-escalate the situation, the fighter in me came out.  The fighter in me doesn’t back down.  He yells. He cusses.  He is generally pissed off!  When my fighter is in full blown active mode, the conversation usually ends with the issue not being resolved and no positive signs of it being resolved in my favor anytime soon.

During situations where I am called on the carpet for my actions, I wish that I could always be the calm, rational person who can normally negotiate a resolution that is both fair and acceptable to both parties.  Unfortunately, the blessing of being a fighter for yourself cans also be a curse.

Although the fighter in me has gotten me into many problems and have made many unnecessarily more difficult for me and for others, and not having the fighter in me may have made my life a bit easier over the years, I am glad that God did hard wire me for being a fighter.  For if it was not for my ability to fight, I would probably not be as successful as I am when it comes to overcoming the obstacles and adversities that have been placed in my life.