If you had asked me a couple months ago the question “What is the one thing or one person you could not live without,” I would have answered, without hesitation or doubt in my mind.
I would have told you it was him.
He was the one thing that meant the most to me in this world. I associated him with the source of my happiness. I established him as the protector of my heart. I fled to him when I could hardly bear the lingering darkness that I had drowned in so many times before. I connected him with every single good thing that happened in my life. From the moment we reconnected I knew that I may never be able to bear losing him again. I thought that if I lost him I would not be able to save myself from the pain, the asphyxiation, the drowning. I didn’t think I’d be able to return to my battle with Life’s suffocating grip that so violently strangles your body, mind, and soul until you have no more air left to even simply live. It throws you into the roaring waves; clawing, thrashing, teeming, awoken by a vengeful tempest, the undulating waves would imprison you, and writhing and squirming you’d attempt to reach the surface …fruitlessly. But most of all I thought that if I lost him I would not be able to save myself from the biggest adversary of them all:
I couldn’t bear the thought of not only losing my lighthouse in the raging storm, but losing the man I let break down my walls. The man I so reluctantly let myself love because of the intricate protection I wove around my heart. He gently snipped away at the entangled thorns and barbed wire I tightly and intentionally fixed around it. I fell in love with the way he smiled. His slow, careful breaths, his fiery eyes, the passionate song that resounded from his soul. The man I saw before me astounded me every day and I did not consciously believe that I would be able to live another day without this person by my side. He was my strength when I couldn’t be strong. He was my courage when I couldn’t be brave. He was my light when the darkness slowly seeped through the corners of my mind. It was that light that I thought brought me back to shore. I truly believed that if I lost him I would never be able to return to the sandy Promised Land. I feared that this time I would reach a distance or a depth that would be unable to be reconciled.
And then it happened. Without notice, he was torn from my meek grasp…and of his own volition.
To myself I thought, this is it…
This is where I fall back into the depths of my mind, the recesses of the gluttonous darkness.
I didn’t think I could be strong or brave or a luminescent presence.
I was going to be consumed.
To my own surprise it paradoxically took his agonizing departure to find out my inner strength, my inner courage, my inner life.
I learned that I was strong and I was brave and I was radiant. I was more than the darkness and I was more than the waves. I was more than I had ever imagined myself to be. More than I ever believed myself to be. I never believed in myself until he stopped believing in us…until he stopped believing in me.
So bitter and rigid was his retreat, but how powerful and reinvigorating was my emergence. I befriended a new state of mind and adopted its ideology. Without it, I would not be standing where I am today. I would not have been able to overcome the obstacles I’ve dealt with or the pain I’ve faced. I would not be the person I am today without my revitalized mindset.
So having asked that question now I know without a doubt that that is what I would I could not exist without.
I could not live without the belief in myself and acceptance of who I am…who I’ve become.
I know now I do not need a person to validate me. I do not need someone to be my strength or my courage or my light.
I just need…
And that’s all I would ever need.