If you’re a survivor,
If you offer any kind of support to a survivor,
LION was created for you.
The name “Like It Or Not” came while we were visiting extended family this summer. Emily came up with it.
(SIDE NOTE: Emily has aphasia, which means it can be really difficult for her to communicate. Since her words don't come easily, I find it gives what she does say poignancy and weight. But I'm also her big sister, so probably biased and she'll roll her eyes at this.)
Then while discussing the feasibility of this crazy idea in a swimming pool we realized the acronym-- LION. It was the perfect name and metaphor for what we wanted to do: create items that reflect the reality of being a survivor and carve out space for survivors & supporters to find solidarity, raise awareness, or at least be reminded on a hard day that you aren’t alone.
Because after all, survivors have a lot in common with the animal lions***:
Scrappy and/or courageous.
Despite heroic appearances, life isn’t exactly glamorous.
Not immune to external threats.
Best chance of survival = be part of a pack.
***We are not experts on lions, nor do we claim that all survivors have the same experience. But Emily’s recovery revealed to us some underlying truths that can connect those who identify as survivors, chiefly that rebuilding a life is hard and can be lonely. Our society likes neat, tidy survivor stories with a happy ending, but that’s not how life works.
This isn’t to say that you can’t have a happy ending or be hopeful, but rather that it’s not over yet. And it’s OK if it gets messy along the way.