Maybe it's about survival before it is about success. And maybe survival is to be celebrated rather than dismissed as the bare minimum. It is a step, not condemnation to the bottom. The guilt of not being as successful as we want is so strong when we forget that surviving has been an immense and impressive achievement in and of itself.
I survived shame. I survived neglect. I survived resentment, anger, envy, and alienation. I survived grooming and abuse, overwhelming pressure, and my siblings' pain which I melded into my own. Dismissal, abandonment, and caustic manipulation.... Loss, struggle and a fight for my life both figuratively and literally... Heartbreak, broken trust, sacrifice, and loneliness. Betrayal... Confusion... I survived circumstance and fear. I survived the lies.
And I survived finding the truth. The truth can be the single most terrifying thing you will ever make it through, but coming out on the other side of that is a success in immeasurable ways.
I no longer fear and I no longer let the things that I dealt with decide my perception of my life. I can make a choice to smile and to grow. I can make a choice to take back and hold onto the real estate of my happiness; no squatters and no stopping to focus on the occasional thunderstorm. This is the beginning of my success, but first I had to survive... and surviving is a beautiful thing.