The Struggle is Real

Written by: Shenise Gatson

Calm Ocean and Pastel Sky Good Morning Quotes (1)

I came across this quote while surfing online one day. It hit home for me. I can’t tell you how many times this year I’ve thought to myself, “When am I going to get out of this obstacle?”

Have you ever had a moment like that? When you wanted to fall down on your knees and yell to the sky, “Okay, enough is enough. I am not built for this!”

Or maybe your cry or prayer was, “When are things going to change for me? Are things ever going to get better?” It seemed like I was going through this phase of hitting my head against the same brick wall over and over again. I told myself, “I am thirty-two years old! Why am I still dealing with this?”

For every one of us, our struggle may be different. For someone, the struggle may be finding a stable career path. For another, it may be recovering from a failed marriage. For yet another, it may be trying to get on track financially. For some, it might be trying to lose weight, get healthy and combat illness. For many others, it might be trying to find their soul mate in the dating world. For another woman, it may be rebuilding emotionally after infidelity in a relationship.

When it seems like your life is going around in circles, don’t give up.

woman in red suit jacket sitting near brown surface

Photo by Godisable Jacob on

That’s exactly what I did.

I gave up.

The struggle is real because, sometimes, I give up and have to pick myself up daily.

I even went through a period where I was being sabotaged on the job and being passed up in my career due to favoritism. In addition to dealing with that, my financial reality and goals were not lining up. On top of that, my parents fell ill. I fell ill right behind them.When they passed away and life was in shambles, all my hope was gone. I even went through a stage of comparison. I compared myself to others, jealous of what they had. Although I was happy for their blessings, I wanted to receive my own.

When life was not going the way I hoped, I checked out emotionally and mentally. I fell into hopelessness, depression and anxiety. I began to isolate myself from people who cared about me. Because I was not happy about where I was in life, I began to deal with my dissatisfaction in the following ways:

  • Overeating (especially desserts and comfort foods)
  • Lack of personal self-care
  • Weight gain
  • Isolation
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Crying/ Anger

All of this played a toll on my life. I eventually ended up with several illnesses that were largely hereditary, but could have been prevented had I attempted to live a healthier life.

So… when I came across this quote it all hit home for me.“Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there”. I realized that, just because life wasn’t going the way I hoped, didn’t mean that I was failing. It was only failing if I didn’t take steps to recognize the problem areas and then work on changing them. If you are out there and you are feeling like you are failing at life, first realize that you are not alone. Although I still struggle in various avenues, there are several things that are helping me daily. I hope these declarations help you as well. REALIZE THAT…..

 1. You are not a failure.  

woman in white button up shirt sitting against wall

Photo by ambar simpang on

If it seems like it is taking you awhile to get to where you want to go in life, remember there is no specific time frame. Everyone reaches milestones at different times. Someone out there may be feeling poorly because they failed an exam required to get a job. Another may be feeling defeated about a job opportunity they believe they should have gotten. One individual may be feeling at odds because they feel it is taking too long to finish their degree and financial aid is running out. Another woman may be feeling frustrated with the type of men she is meeting in the dating world. You have not failed just because you are not there yet. Just remember, getting there is the goal!

  1. Be patient with yourself. Success takes time.  

    woman sitting on chair while using laptop computer

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For example, in order to graduate you have to take the classes first. In order to buy the house, you have to make sure your credit score is on point. I remember one time during my single period I decided that I wanted to buy a house. I was tired of waiting so I decided, “I’m going to go and look at houses anyway”. I reached out to a friend who referred me to a realtor. I made some phone calls. Fast forward, my goals were put on hold when the realtor looked at my application and realized there were several factors that I needed to improve before I would be ready to with buy a house. Just because you receive a “no” right now, doesn’t mean the answer will always be no. Your “no” may turn into a “yes” one day. It is okay to work on building yourself and resources while you prepare for the blessing. Write down your vision. Discuss your dreams. Take action and plan. Pray. Then be productive. With time, success is on the horizon for you!

3. You need a support system.  

I went through a period in life where I was determined to do things on my own. I told myself, “I can do this alone. I don’t want to let people know what I am dealing with”. Don’t be like me. While it is completely okay to maintain a sense of privacy, everyone needs someone to lean on and have a venting session with. If you do not have one, find a support system.

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Photo by Christina Morillo on

Find a trusted person or confidante who you can depend on. Whether it is a spouse, family member, friend, co-worker, church member, spiritual friend, a neighbor, a counselor, etc.….most people need a trustworthy, supportive, encouraging, non-judgmental, non-critical support system. They can even be an accountability partner, helping you stay on track during your low days.  Make sure this is someone who can provide two-sided support, meaning they are willing to listen to your dilemmas/support you just like you are willing to support them. No one wants to call someone for support, then get off the phone and ask themselves, “Wow, did that person even ask how my day was? Nope they just talked about themselves the whole time”. Everyone once in a while call someone and ask them how their day was. Maybe that person will end up being a part of your support system!

The struggle is real, but you can overcome the struggle! 

Copyright @ 2018 Shenise Gatson

Photos provided by Pexels.

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