“Every man at some point is going to lose a battle. He is going to fight, and he is going to lose. But what makes him a man is that midst that battle, he does not lose himself.”

You cringe at the gender exclusiveness, yet you know these words ring a bell of sorts.

You have always thought of yourself as strong. You always achieve everything you set yourself to, you hold on to everything as if your life depended on it, and you care so much it sometimes hurts. But when you hear that sentence, when Coach Taylor whisper-yells it at the Panthers during half-time, you realize your definition of strength is far from being right.

You know what? Forget all of that. Scratch all of it. I tried to write in second person, sticking to that writing style that allows me to connect with the readers but it is not working, not this time. Everything racing through my mind right now is too personal for me to be so detached from it in such a way.

You know when you hear something and everything just clicks? It happened to me with that sentence. I spent days trying to figure out why is it so easy to relate to? Why does it hit home in such a way?

It was at 4 a.m. As I was racing through my studying session before birds start chirping and the sun rising. It hit me. Just like that.

I fought, and midst the battle, I lost myself.

Going back on the events of that battle, I can see how in denial I was. I was naive, lost, broken, and holding on with all my might to something that I never had. I thought I was as true to myself as I possibly could, while in reality, it was the most Out of Character chapter of my life. It almost is as bad as some poorly written fanfiction that you decide to read just to kill time. I had failed myself in ways I did not even know possible. The worst part is I kept denying it. I did such a good job with the denial that it took me a whole freaking year to actually accept it. I was simply infatuated with a person, in love with an idea.

My inability to even fathom the raging storm inside me into coherent sentences only adds up to the emptiness eating up on me. I have been so terrified of losing my battles and failing at everything I do that I did not think I was losing myself slowly.

I have fought and lost, and I have not forgiven myself for that yet.

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