I have never really thought hard about what vitality is or been familiar with the word. The first thing I thought of was the word “vital”, what does vital mean? We have vital organs in our body that keep us alive and allow us to survive, so I thought it must relate to importance or necessity.
Digging a little deeper, I can now see the word vitality has always been apart of my subconscious wants and needs. To exist in a way that isn’t just surviving, but at least surviving in contentment perhaps? Me being riddled with deep rooted anxiety, I am not yet to have known what its like to not be in survival mode or “fight or flight” 24/7. Growing up in a household with an unpredictable addict father for the first 5 years of my life, to which he then left one day and never came back, my young self was shattered and had to blindly pick up the pieces, not being aware the cracks were already filled with abandonment and attachment issues. However I don’t blame him, as I realize his addiction was his own form of vitality and what it meant for him to survive.
Fast forward a couple of years and my mother married a man with of course, his own issues. I’ve always loved her with all my heart, but she does know how to pick the wrong ones. Them getting married when I was 9, my own form of survival had evolved subconsciously. I’ve never known quite how to describe him, some would call him a bully, some would call him a regular man in his 40s, I would describe him as a man who can make my whole body tense up just by hearing his car pull onto the drive.
Why this is relevant, I’ve always chased the idea that one day surviving wont be the only option. To be able to not react to situations out of my control in a state of panic, to be able to sit back, reflect and not allow my thoughts to be controlled by my engrained trauma. Vitality to me is what I’m aspiring to as I become more self-aware, realizing that I can’t control or change what has happened to me or the hand I have been dealt, my life now is defined by my ability to respond to that.
Vitality is, I suppose, surviving in contentment, or maybe not living in a state of survival, but just getting by and allowing yourself to grow, adapt and finding wellness within illness.