We all know the stories about the mighty warrior who sets off to battle the deadliest beast in the land. This warrior is brave, heroic and strong, but the duel they are to face will test them in ways they never thought imaginable. They encounter challenges, adversities, suffering, and sorrow along the way, all leading up to the greatest fight of their life. We all know these stories and we all know how they end, the warrior triumphs over the beast and come away victorious.
These stories are just that, stories. We do not face dragons in real life or slay three-headed beasts. However, we do all encounter battles and for a lot of us, these battles may be just as bad, if not worse than the monsters of fairy tales. Often times our inner demons can be our greatest downfalls and overcoming them can be one of the biggest battles of our lives. They will put us through tremendous challenges and we face adversities, suffering, and sorrow like never before. I am talking about Mental Health.
In my own life, I have faced many inner demons and been crippled by them. I have lost battle after battle, receding back wounded and hiding away from the world. How could I hold my head high when I couldn’t even defeat what was going on in my head? But there is one thing I always forgot about these stories and I think it is an important lesson that we often forget, it was also one I was reminded of on a recent trip to visit my mom. Every single hero in these stories had training and weapons.
How can we ever be expected to defeat our personal dragons and monsters if we are just using our bare hands? I have always said to my friends that no one ever expected the dragon slayer to kill the dragon without a sword, why should it be any different for us? It is nearly impossible to do it alone and to do it without any help or training.
I realized after many years of struggling that asking for help was not being defeated and did not mean I was giving up. No, instead it meant that I was asking for the sword to kill the beast in my head once and for all. I realized that talking to others about what I was going through and seeking help was training and preparing me to fight this battle and finally win. But most importantly, I realized that the heroes in all the stories seldom did it alone and never did it without a weapon, and neither should I.
So, let’s talk.