Every morning I wake up and go to war.
As I wash, I wonder what strategy my enemy is going to use on me today. Will she pounce on me as I prepare myself first thing this morning, or will she slowly poison me every hour throughout the day?
Either way, if she wins, it will darken the entire day. My open wounds will bleed into every encounter, every situation. I’ll find adversaries in friends, ill-wishers in loved ones. Every ray of sunshine will have a cloud, and if there’s no cloud I’ll find one in the far, far distance and stare it into being.
If she wins (and she’s a very worthy opponent–skilled and experienced and trained in the art of uncovering vulnerabilities), she will wreak havoc on every aspect of my life.
She’s won battle after battle. Preying on a thoughtful little girl with big daydreams. Unrelenting, not letting go, not even for a minute. Not ever.
Pinning down a sensitive, searching teenager and breathing hatred into the lungs. Coiling around the heart and sinking in her venomous teeth, poison carousing through the body until choking and sputtering, the white flag was raised.
I give up.
Take my body and my heart too.
Take my soul.
I’m too weak to fight.
While the battle is now less bloody, the enemy lingers, more of a silent assassin than a barbarian warrior–a dark spectre at the periphery, brushing her wings ever-so-lightly here and there, so as to let her presence remain a constant. Slowly sucking up joy like an invisible vampire, casting a shadow on the loveliest days.
I’m here, she reminds me. I’m here in case you get too comfortable, too strong. Too loving.
I’m here. You’ve been mine for so long that we’re almost friends, you and I.
No need to focus your attention on anything else. No need to try to forget me. I’ll always be here for you, your constant companion. Together, we can continue to live a half-life.
Keep your enemies close …
She’ll continue to win. She’ll continue to keep her stranglehold on me and life will ramble on as before, a little bit darker, a little bit emptier.
Unless I rise up and fight back with every ounce of power and strategy she’s used against me.
Unless I decide that I want a full life, a rich life, and I can’t with her so close.
Unless I laugh in her face and see her for what she is she is. Not ignore her or minimize her presence, but fully acknowledge her special assignment on my life and fight back fire with fire.
Not to forget the scars she’s left, the battles she’s won in the past and the post-war ruin. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, they say, so then my strength must be immeasurable. I can crush serpents beneath my feet, a twenty-first century Eve. I can hold my sword high and ask for Help, and know that I have it.
I can rise from the ashes of a lifetime of destruction and come back as the fierce beauty bent on reclaiming that which was stolen. The diamond dazzling from years of fire.
I can wake every morning with the song of victory on my lips, aware that this is a battle of the flesh, the mind, and the spirit. This is a war greater than just me and her, and good will triumph over evil.
So I’ll be vigilant, mindful, intentional. I’ll fight back with gentleness, love, care. I’ll show my scars to a broken world and my words will be a healing balm on millions of warrior brides blind to their own weapons. I’ll sing a new song of joy–a battle cry to drown out the world’s deafening clatter.
I’ll wake up and not forget my armour.
I’ll lock eyes with my enemy in the mirror and declare that the war’s not over.
It’s only just begun.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel — Genesis 3:15