Be your own hero
How one SpunOut contributor learned to count on herself
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the last few years of my life, I’ve come to realise that the only person that can save you, is you. Maybe I’ve just been a victim of circumstance and my life’s pathway has been a bit warped, or maybe most people are lucky enough to never feel the loneliness that I’ve felt. Either way, I know that we all need to be comfortable with being alone in this world. As negative as this might sound, no one else is going to save you in this world. The only person who can make you feel as though everything will be okay, is you.
As we grow up, we aren’t really ever alone. As children, our minds are so imaginative and positive, we even make our own imaginary friends. Our parents protect us and kiss us goodnight, and we know as we fall asleep they will be there to wake us for school in the morning. I’ve learnt that this isn’t always the case, and people are going to leave whether they want to or not.
I lost my mam suddenly in my early teens, and I have to say, I wasn’t lonely at first, even though I had lost my whole world. I had all my friends, and my family and even a boyfriend, and I actually thought life was going good. But as we reach our late teens, a lot changes in our lives and there is no denying that these changes are stressful and demanding. Between the stress of the leaving cert and the CAO and just being a teenage girl, everything seemed to start to go wrong for me. My father began to see another woman, my boyfriend broke up with me, and I didn’t get the points I needed in my leaving cert. I had a quiet a few panic attacks and breakdowns that nobody really knew about except my doctor. I went to counselling and started medication to ease the effects of my circumstances.
I’m sure nearly everyone goes through similar things in their lifetimes. We all have the moments where we lay in our beds crying to ourselves begging for someone or something to save us. I cried because my dad wouldn’t stop seeing this woman and devote all his time to me. I cried because I thought that I’d never find an amazing new boyfriend who would know the perfect things to say to me when I was upset. I cried when my friends couldn’t understand why I was sad and paranoid one day and then happy the next. I cried because I’d never see my mam again and that if she was here, everything would be so much easier. Moving to college would be easier, studying would be easier, and life would be easier. I pitied myself and I was furious that no one was fixing my problems and acting as my saviour.
One day I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across a video of Mathew McConaughey’s speech from the Oscars after he won best actor. In his speech, he says that his hero is himself 10 years from now, and every day he strives to chase his hero. I realised that nobody else was going to be able to glue my broken pieces back together. We don’t need to depend on others to be our heroes. Nobody can understand what is going on in your mind only you. A new boyfriend or 625 points in my leaving cert wasn’t going to fix my problems, and I’m positive they won’t fix yours either. My mam couldn’t even fix me, no matter how much I begged her.
Every time I felt lonely, I told myself I was empowered and strong to like my own company. I told myself the pain, jealousy and pity would all stop if I stopped expecting other people to save me. You will learn that loneliness and isolation will be your marvel, and it will give you unimaginable strength. My problems haven’t been ‘fixed’ but I’ve learnt that, to be happy in this world, you need to be comfortable with solitude, or else you will spend your whole life wondering why your knight in shining armour still hasn’t rescued you from your hardship and misery. You are your own hero and if you start chasing that hero today, you won’t ever let yourself down.