We’re all fighting battles; these wars within ourselves that threaten to consume us. Often, we fight these battles alongside our friends and family. We open ourselves to people whom we love and they help us. Other times, we go at it on our own. We don’t let people in and we make life difficult for ourselves.

I recently had a very enlightening conversation with my friend, who we’ll call Leonard. Leonard has abandonment issues. And I don’t know what that’s like. I didn’t even know he was going through this until he told me.

His issues started when his father left him when he was 6 months old. His mother raised him by herself. Throughout his childhood, he had a revolving door of father figures who entered his life and left just as he would get attached to them. That led to him having difficulty forming stable relationships with people. Instead of getting too attached to anyone, he would push them away to avoid that feeling of abandonment. He lost a lot of friends that way, to the point where he’s now afraid to make new friends because he feels as though he’ll just drive them away.

I can’t imagine what that’s like. I can’t imagine someone going through that alone. And even now, with me knowing his situation and knowing the root of it, I can’t say that I truly comprehend it. It’s not something I can relate to, but it’s something I’m glad he told me. It helps me understand some of his decisions better. It helps him as well because sharing your problems helps to lessen its load.

We all have demons that we fight. The monsters under our beds from when we were young manifest themselves in our heads as we grow up. When we were young, we would call out to our parents for help, but as we grow older, the prospect of asking for help becomes unappealing to us. Our pride gets in the way. We’d rather suffer alone than seem weak in front of our friends and family. And that’s absurd.

Asking for help does not make you weak. It makes you human.

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