Yeah, I’d rather be a lover than a fighter
‘Cause all my life, I’ve been fighting
Never felt a feeling of comfort
All this time, I’ve been hiding….

…I’m in need of a savior, but I’m not asking for favors
My whole life, I’ve felt like a burden
I think too much and I hate it…..

….I’ve been quiet for too long
Can’t tell me there’s no point in trying
I’m at one, and I’ve been quiet for so long                                                  

(Marshmello ft. Khalid – Silence)


This song hits so many sore spots on the skin of my life. The fighting, the hiding, the absence of love and the feeling of being a burden.

When I was younger there only was silence for my true and complete self. Because I was fighting a loud and violent war. At first you think you are fighting the world and everything in it, but slowly you discover that the main fight is raging inside of yourself. You have a silent killer in you: your own brain and chemistry. It is fighting everything you are or want to become. Slowly spreading darkness.

I used to have so much anger, pain and fear. Fighting seemed the only thing to keep me alive. But it is not. It had nothing to do with living or being alive. It is survival. So many people fight their way through life. It seems something we are programmed to do. To fight adversity and pain. And, honestly, I don’t know if I made it up to here if I had not fought. It was the only way I knew. But you cannot fight forever. It wears you out and exhausts you. Till there is nothing but a hollow shell.  

I was in need of a savior. And there was only one. Me.

The moment I realized this, I stopped to just assess the situation (I had too, because I could literally sleep for 3 years), I started my transformation from fighter to lover. That was three years ago.

Looking back on this period, I can distinguish 4 important phases.

  1. Diagnosis and acceptance
    I went to a psychologist of my choosing and was as open as I could be. I got my diagnosis and the process of acceptance of being ill started.
  2. Action and commitment – therapy and medication
    Together we chose an 18 months’ treatment to start a healing and coping process. I also got medication to stabilize my moods and thoughts a little. It took commitment to finish what I started. Commitment to myself. I floated somewhere in between fighting and loving.
  3. The whole picture – seeing myself and loving her
    After therapy I traveled the world, alone. To get to know myself better. The whole me. Not only the fighter of a disease, but also the other silent one. The process of love started. I gave myself a chance to start over.
  4. Changing my life
    During my travels I learned so much about myself. Who I was, but also what I needed. I am trying to organize and life my life in a way that fits me. That is the most loving thing you can give yourself. And eventually others. Because when the fighting stops or lessens, you have a lot of true loving energy left-over.

Having named these four phases, I want you to know that transformation and change are not easy, as love and life are not. Not now and, even, not ever. And that transformation and life are circles. You will encounter situations or events that will force you to make a transformation, again, and again. Just aging alone will trigger those. There will always be bumps, large and small. We need to see and live these ‘ugly’ and painful sides of life too. But that does not mean that you can’t love life. It’s the whole experience that will hopefully end up to be beautiful.

For me, right now, life is difficult. I can say I feel lost in phase 4. I have gained knowledge, but to organize this knowledge into a new state of being is proving to be very hard.
All I can do, I think, is try to see the good in this too. To look back and see that chaos always gave me a new balance, eventually. I should have faith in that.
If you want to transform, promise yourself work and commitment. Look at yourself and others with love, forgiveness and kindness. And please give yourself time. Your feelings, pace, and journey are valid and only yours to discover. Do not compare yourself to others to fight yourself, compare to love or learn from the differences.

If you are currently fighting something or everything, try to transform fighting into loving. I know it will give you your life back and help you get through everything life will throw at you.
Like Mahatma Ghandi said, “where there is love, there is life”. And I belief it to be true. You will always find more strength in love than in fight.
Have a loving journey!


Share this post! If this post was insightful for you, share it with your loved ones so that they can better understand what you are going through.
Deel dit artikel! Als dit artikel voor jou inzichtelijk was, deel het dan met je omgeving - laten we het samen hebben over mentale gezondheid.


NiceDay Writer. Organizational and work psychologist. I love nature, traveling and photography. I like to move and exercise, especially tennis, pilates / yoga and walking. With my story I am committed to more openness about mental health and I want to reduce stigmas around these topics. You can find me on Instagram: I am one Movement and backpackingbouwke and on Twitter: @iambouwke

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