Have you ever had to admit defeat?
That’s more of a rhetorical question because most of us have had that experience at some point in our lives. We’ve been defeated by some kid who was better at running than we were in primary school, by some adolescent miracle who was more good-looking and took our love away from us, by tens of job candidates who were more confident, more experienced, or just better at lying than us.
Sounds familiar? And perhaps a bit too dryly reported, right? Because when it happened, it felt much more acute, like it was the end of the world, right?
The fact is, even if those defeats felt like the end of the world then, we all carried on and guess what, we’re here together in a world that hasn’t yet ended.
Which is nice because it enables me to write, and you to read – don’t you think it’s nice?
Another nice thing about it is that we can now sit and tell each other about how we’ve been defeated. And to be able to admit defeat before someone else, and talk it through with them, and give them the bricks of your experience so they can build them into their own Library of Human Defeats, or something – that’s actually huge. To listen with patience, and compassion, as someone tells you the story of their defeat – that’s huge, too.
I’m using the word “huge” not as in “Huge Hugh” here. The ability to admit defeat, and to talk about defeat, be it your own or someone else’s, is truly huge in the sense that it makes all of us – the defeated and the kind listeners as well – grow as wise, patient, loving human beings who know that there’s nothing wrong with defeat.
Because sometimes it just happens, and when it does, it’s never an actual end of the world; instead, it is an opportunity to learn and, as I’ve mentioned, to grow.
I’m writing this because I’ve recently had to admit that I can’t cope with the little depressive worm that’s eating me from the inside. It’s taken an awful lot of effort to stop pretending that I’m fine and admit that, mental-health-wise, I’m a mess. But it’s also taken a huge fucking load off my mind because I finally said openly what I felt, but hid, for a long time.
And I’m actually proud of that. No, not of the fact that I can’t cope. I’m proud to admit that I can admit defeat.