“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on. It is going on when you don’t have strength.” –Napoleon Bonaparte

It’s not often when asked to describe ourselves, we say that we’re courageous. We talk about our personality, describe activities we enjoy, and share what we do for a living. Only superheroes are courageous. They save people from burning buildings and take the infinity stones back from Thanos.

Have you ever thought of yourself as being courageous when life is the hardest? I talk about the word “courage” a lot when I describe recovery and providing services to those in recovery. It takes courage to advocate for what we need. It takes courage to stand up to a system that is (sometimes) broken and cannot fulfill everything a person requires to recover. It takes courage to look our challenges in the face and push through the pain and struggle. It takes courage for a service provider to go against the grain of “acceptable” services and do or create something bigger and better that hasn’t been tried.

So what’s stopping you? Take a breath, find those courage muscles, and go on in your journey. Your strength is and will be admired.

Kristen Ellis

Kristen has worked in the mental health field since 2013, with a focus on crisis work, substance use services, and bringing a voice to lived experience. Her ambition is to change the way mental health care and recovery is seen and achieved, so to redefine what it means to defeat adversity.