In my head, I’m imagining this song. It’s a fantastic one – very empowering. Especially when you’re doing something mundane, like washing dishes. You scrub those pots like “heck yeah I’m a freaking warrior,” and you feel a little bit better about yourself than you did before.
Seriously, look it up. Warriors by Imagine Dragons. You may or may not regret it. And I say that because maybe you’re just someone with a bad taste in music who can’t appreciate a good song.
But no judgement.
Anyways, I’ve talked a lot about anxiety on this blog. About my experiences with it, how it’s conquered me and how I’ve conquered it – and you know, all that stuff. And, in case you didn’t notice or haven’t taken the time to ready my previous posts, as I’m sure most of you haven’t, one of my biggest fears was losing Justen – my now ex-boyfriend. And again, I did talk about this in a previous post if you feel the need to get caught up on the situation.
Let me paint a picture for you. My dad’s great, I love him to pieces and he’s one of my favorite people ever, but I grew up without him. He left me all alone, time and time again, to go through life. I’ve been abandoned by him more times I can count. So yeah, I’ve got daddy issues. Who doesn’t?
So then there’s me, this little girl who just wants a dad, or some kind of man in her life, to pick her up and to love her and protect her from all the dangers life has to bring instead of being the cause of most of them. Very feminist, I know, but I wanted, needed a father who would defend me. Who would teach me how to fight and protect myself, but to be there to back me up when I was too young to handle things alone. Instead, what I had was a fierce sense of independence. I did it all myself.
And that was fine, but I still wanted someone.
The first boy that really came along after that – who was someone exceptionally special to me – was my step-cousin. We weren’t related by blood, but rather, as a result of our mutually screwed up family. I met him when I was twelve. By thirteen, we were best friends.
I mean best friends. I was stuck in an abusive situation with my step-mom, and yet here he was, with me every step of the way. He took care of me, he loved me, he not only protected and supported me, but he taught me how to defend myself. He opened up to me, we sat under the stars every night for hours, talking about things we had never told anyone else before then.
Can you guess where this story’s going? He lived rather far away from me. So the summer ends, he goes back to his life and I go back to mine. By this point, my whole identity’s based on him. He defines my worth. Everything sucks, but it’s okay because he likes me. That sort of thing.
He stopped talking to me. At this point, I don’t think I’ve spoken to him since I was fourteen. Now I think he got his girlfriend pregnant and they’re having a kid together. I really have no idea.
The point is, I was abandoned again. So I’d find someone else. And then they left. And on and on and on, until all the significant male relationships in my life were tainted by abandonment and pain.
Flash forward to Justen, and it’s the same thing. Suddenly this is a boy I’ve given my heart to, whom I’m absolutely in love with, but he’s going to leave me, right? Just like everyone else? So I spent the majority of our relationship stressing out to the point of absolute absurdity because I was so afraid that he, just like everyone else before him, would leave too.
And you know what happened? He broke up with me.
Now, of course, if you read my previous post, you’ll know that he didn’t abandon me at all. That he was doing the whole thing out of love, it’s exactly what we both needed, and we have every intention of continuing our relationship, even if that means we just need to back off and be friends right now.
None of that is my point.
My point, is that I’m suddenly forced to face my greatest fear. My whole world up until this point was based around my abandonment issues. I would do anything, and I mean literally anything, to keep someone from leaving me. And I tried that with Justen. It didn’t work.
The thing I had been scared of for so long ended up happening. And you know what? Despite the hours I spent worrying about it, despite how hard I tried to keep it from happening, and how I would send myself into panic attacks thinking about it – I’m okay. I’m doing amazing, actually, considering the circumstances. I’m facing it head on and dealing with it. It’s not destroying me, I’m not breaking down and threatening suicide over this, I’m not going completely insane to the point my mom has me locked up in some hospital – I’m okay. And that’s amazing.
Here I am, facing one of my greatest fears, and I’m conquering it. I’m a freaking warrior, and I’m not letting something like this – something that was so huge to me – hold me back. I’m using it as motivation to move forward.
Because of this, I can start to deal with my abandonment issues. I can find myself within me, instead of feeling the need to look to someone else to create an identity. And, more than that, I can be the person I know I am. I can stop worrying so much about what’s going to happen, whether Justen’s going to hate me or not, whether people are going to leave me of I’m going to be hurt, because I’ve already been through the worst of it. I’ve felt worse in this past month than I believed humans were even capable of feeling. I’m depressed, I just got dumped, I don’t have a ‘real’ job or a steady income right now. But I’m not just surviving, I’m thriving. I’m facing my greatest fears head on, and not only is that insanely empowering, but how can I possibly be afraid when I’ve already been through hell? I’ve already been through the worst I could possibly go through. I’ve felt so much pain and misery that I can’t imagine there can be a feeling worse than all that.
And yet, I’m conquering it all. I’m fighting.
I guess, the thing is guys, you’re stronger than you think you are. Always.
There’s this one scene in Lord of the Rings, where Aragorn is talking to Arwen. If you’re at all familiar with the movies, he’s sitting there worried about the fact he’s of Isildor’s bloodline, and therefor, has a natural weakness towards evil and the one ring and blah blah blah. Arwen turns to him and says, “the time will come when you face the same evil, and you will defeat it.” He doesn’t really believe her, but low and behold, end of the movie comes, and he faces his greatest fear and beats it.
Guys, the time will probably come when you face your greatest fears, but you can and you will defeat them. Be an Aragorn. Be a warrior. Fight and conquer and be empowered. Because we’re freaking fighters, guys, and we don’t give up for nothing.