“And if I fight, then for what?”

“For nothing easy or sweet…For your own challenge, for your own mistakes and the punishment for them, for your own definition of love and of sanity – a good strong self with which to begin to live.”

  • Joanne Greenberg, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

For so long, I’ve been fighting. Fighting to be heard. Fighting to be understood. Fighting my body and fighting my mind. Every day, I fight. With doctors, employers, strangers, and more. I fight against a world that was never designed for people like me. I fight towards a better future that I must believe in if I’m ever to make it through.

Lately, though, the fight has seemed for naught. Each day brings more pain and more struggles. Each day, I fight my way through only to do it all again the next day. I fight and fight and fight, and for what?

Why do I fight? What is the point of it all? If I am to continue the battle, if I am to make it through, I need to know, deep in my core, what it is I’m fighting for.

I fight for love.

Oh, my love, my darling love. You are the spark that leads me through darkness, a light that shines through the densest fog and the deepest nights. You are my constant in an ever-changing world. You are my refuge, my shelter from the storms of life. When all seems lost, you are the anchor that holds me to this life.

I fight for you. I fight for us.

I fight for a future we will journey through together. When the load is too great to carry alone, you carry the weight with me. For, together, we are stronger than we ever could be alone. Like a fusion, our strength together is greater than the sum of the parts.

I fight to be heard.

I fight for my voice, so that I may enact change in the hearts and minds of others. I use my voice to talk about my experiences; to talk about getting raped, about abuse, about the discrimination I’ve faced, to talk about mental illness, about chronic illness, about living a world that was never made for me, to talk about sexism, about bullying, about all this and so much more so that I can help make things better for those who come after me, so that they mustn’t suffer as I have.

“I’ve got my mouth. It’s a bombshell. It’s a weapon. It’s a canon. I’ve got my words. I won’t give them mercy. I’ve got my words. I hope they hurt you. I hope they scar you. I hope they heal you. I hope they cut you open, make you see you’ve been warring for all the wrong reasons. Make you see that some things are worth bruising for. Make you see that your name is your honor code. Make you see that your hands you’re accounted for. Pick and choose where your sweat and your blood will go. Make you see your life’s not to be lived alone…Make sure you’re not fighting for nothing.”

I fight for answers.

Since my mouth could form words into sounds that convey meaning, I’ve been asking questions. My curiosity has led me investigate and dig deeper, always seeking to know more, understand better.

Who am I? What is my purpose? How can I help the most?

Will the pain ever subside? How long until I can no longer work? How many years until I can no longer walk? How much time do I have left with my beloved? What is this disease that is ravaging his body? Why must we fight day in and day out to simply survive? Will we ever be able to thrive?

The questions are unending. Each answer bringing a myriad of questions in its place.

I will fight for the answers I so desperately need. I will make my voice heard. I will keep pushing forward until I understand. Until my dying breath, I will fight to understand, always with another question falling off my tongue.

“I am a question to the world, not an answer to be heard”

I fight for change.

When I look upon the younger generation, I am filled with hope. I see these young people who are so much more aware, so much more empathetic, so much more caring than my generation was at that age. I see teenagers who accept people regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, or dis/ability.

In my time on this planet, I’ve seen so much change. Technology has raced ahead, evolving faster than us humans can keep up with. Yet, far more impressive, has been the changes within society. While we still have a long way to go, we are making progress.

I fight for a future I want to be a part of.

In my old age, when I look out at the world I will soon depart, I hope that I can find peace and joy in what I see. I want to see a world without poverty. I want to see a world where are people are truly equal. I want to see a world where love and acceptance abound such that those who differ most from the norm are still safe and cared for and accepted as they are.

I fight for this world. Though we may not achieve this in my lifetime, I hope to get us as close as possible. I hope to look back upon my life and know that I have helped changed the world for good.

I fight for a good, strong self with which to begin to live.

Though I often lose myself to the darkness, though I struggle to like, let alone love, myself, though I feel like a failure more often than I would like to admit, though at times it seems pointless, I will fight for myself.

I will fight to define myself. I will take the cruel words I so often hurl at myself and transform them into kindness. For I deserve some of the kindness I so readily give to others. I will shed the words that fell from mouths of those who hurt me and wrap myself in new words, better words, words of truth, words of love. I will redefine myself through new eyes.

I will fight to be someone I can be proud of.

I will fight the demons that plague my mind.

I will fight that diseases that attack my body.

I will fight prejudice and discrimination.

I will fight hatred and bigotry.

I will fight a world that was never meant for me.

I will fight to not only survive, but thrive.


“And if I fight, then for what?”

“For nothing easy or sweet…For your own challenge, for your own mistakes and the punishment for them, for your own definition of love and of sanity – a good strong self with which to begin to live.”

  • Joanne Greenberg, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden