Adversity: Does it Strengthen or Destroy?


           Adversity, a word with a meaning I and mine understand all too well.   This post will explore my thoughts and feelings on how it affects the lives it touches, how it has affected mine and those I love, and what I feel it has brought to us, and taken away.  This post is also not a scorecard if you will, of who has endured more, overcome more, or whose hurdles were higher to jump.   First line Adversity Warriors face serious obstacles: illness, high end stress occurrences, deep felt family struggles, personal demons and daily fights for survival in many forms.   Second line Warriors face minor daily stresses, small family quarrels, passing work problems, low end stress events.  We all know which level we stand on, though not all will admit it.  

          My adversity started pretty much out of the womb, born into what would become a smorgasbord of just about every family struggle invented.  We are all tossed into the ring of life to land in a certain spot, be it by God, the Universe, whatever entity we each chose to believe has flung us there, we are there, nonetheless. through no fault or doing of our own.  

         Through my life I endured and fought through, as did my siblings and half-siblings, though all to different degrees: many family dysfunctions.  Alcoholism, domestic violence, neglect in many forms.  I do not blame my parents totally, as they were, as we were, a part of what I call ” the victim upon victim syndrome”.  Rather self explanatory, but for the layman, I simply mean, many are victims of what came before them, and they in turn place it upon those in their care, and so forth and so on.   Victims of abuse, neglect, hurtful actions and habits, often unknowingly foster and act out on those same impulses that they so distained when they were the recipients.   It takes a very strong individual to completely stop this “circle of victims”, I myself will not claim to be that person, as in some ways I am, but in many I am not.   So, for my first look at adversity, no blame is placed, it just was.  A place my soul landed, a place I was meant to be, my place, the beginning of my journey.


          My life as it unfolded had bright spots, and dark clouds, as most of us do, some more than others.   I fought to keep depression at bay, always more prone to anxiety and worry, depression was more of an easy fix for me, the other two were not.   Though depression would visit me in later years, requiring more of a frontal attack to chase it back behind its walls.  For those of us that fight these parts of our personalities, sometimes it seems normal, they are so ingrained in our beings, ourselves.  To those that are lucky enough to never see the dark faces of those traits, I sometimes wish they could step inside one who does, and see the true face of real adversity, and understand.  I believe the world would improve immensely,  if this occasional  “changing of the guard” could take place.

        I have noticed as the years have gone by, every adversity shapes you.  Some may strengthen a part of you, your resolve, your stubbornness, give you new insights into yourself and how to fight against lifes curveballs.  But there also are those that actually are only there to weaken, to cripple, to make you stumble and ultimately fall.   You only notice the latter when you have faced many of the former.  Most of us will face some adversity, many will face it all their lives. I do believe there are some that though they live many years, face very little.  I do not know why it sometimes seems lopsided.  No person I see living an easier life is no better than a person living a hard one. I have questioned God on this many times,  maybe that’s why he throws so much of it at me.  I will say, much of mine has ended up with the sun shining, the hurdle cleared, and I give thanks for that.  But it did not come easily, and never came without a price, heartache, pain, days that I just wanted to end, and nightmares I just wanted to wake from, the costs were usually high.

         In conclusion, I see adversity as both a friend and a foe.  A friend: one who makes your arm stronger by throwing you many fast balls, building muscle and style.   A foe: one who tries to trip you with ice under your feet, and if you happen to slip, laughs and certainly does not reach to help you up.  We have to decide what persona each adversity we face will be.   Sometimes the choice is not ours, and all we can do is slip on our Warriors T Shirt, and let the game begin realizing:  Adversity always both builds and destroys, no matter how you play, in the end its always a tie.

A poem about Obstacles from many years back.

My Unexpected Obstacle

You were a warm blast

Of swirling air

The force of which

Brought me to my knees

Somewhat to my delight.

For what is life without



People whose only purpose

Is to fall across your path

and insist that you armwrestle them

For your dreams

your desires

Your sanity?

I always did my best

to hold my own

Against my distinct and may I say

some quite lofty, obstacles to happiness.

As each one appeared

Descending sometimes slowly

Blocking my way

Sometimes subtle as a freight train

With as much steam and noise as such.

I sometimes had no problem

pushing them aside

I sometimes barely made it past

Feeling their cold touch

Losing grip upon my ankles.

The strongest one of all

Of course,

Came not with a cold grip or stare

But with a warming smile

a soothing voice

As velvet feels to skin.

I was caught off guard

I felt no need or urge to fight

The dreams and images

so long sought after

but never found

So I lay where I have fallen

Defeated at last I fear

Not by the cold and numbing Wind

But by the melting warmth of the sun.


Copyright 2018 (C) Shelley Ann Klukiewicz  All Rights Reserved

Images :

Author: shelleyanne56

Copyrighted 2018 Thoughts from Outside the Box. Shelley Ann Klukiewicz. All rights reserved.

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