Updated: Aug 23, 2021
"BE BRAVE. BE BRAVE. BE BRAVE"
This is the mantra I repeated to myself this morning when I decided to take a new route on my run.
Ever since I can remember I have been afraid of being alone in an unfamiliar place.
When I got to the root cause of this, (by reflecting and asking myself why I feel that way, where that came from, and when the first time I experienced that feeling was) I realised it was from the sexual abuse I survived as a child. Because I believed when I was alone, bad things happened to me.
It had then been reinforced when I was a teenager, by the guy who shoved me up against a wall in a maze when I got separated from my group. And the partner who put his hands around my neck while we were alone - I was in my twenties. Then finally, when I thought I had fought those demons, and a member of the community started stalking me in my adult years, I went right back there. It was bad to be alone.
Part of me still wanted to live a good full life again. Part of me didn't want to believe that being alone was bad. Other people seemed to manage it and they were ok.
So I braved it.
I reached out for support again.
And I went for a run.
My confidence was briefly knocked by a group of adolescents who leaned out of their car and yelled lewd remarks at me. I don't know if they will ever know how much that scared me. But I was not going to give up.
I was a bit nervous when I went out for my next run. Ok, understatement of the century. I was a ball of anxious freaking out energy. But I still went out for a run. I love running, it brings me peace. I didn't want that to be taken away from me by the people who had hurt me.
And when I kept getting back up, when I kept fighting my own demons, I realised something profound.
No matter what happens to me. No one can ever break my spirit.
I will always be BRAVE.
I will always reach out for help if I need it.
I will always lead a full life.
And I hope you will too. Because you are stronger than you think.
You don't have to start by doing something that really scares you. You can start small. Give it a go. Be brave today. I can honestly say, that feeling of conquering your nerves is definitely worth it.
P.s the new track I took being brave this morning was well worth the view!