How A Security Blanket Can Become An Insecurity Blanket

How A Security Blanket Can Become An Insecurity Blanket

The more we rely on a security blanket, the more insecure we become.
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For as long as I can remember, I have had long hair. I can only recall one phase from when I was around the age of four when Matilda, Dora and I all shared a similar hairstyle: straight, dark brown, cut to the shoulders and finished off with eyebrow-length bangs.

What a look.

Since then, my hair has gone from long, longer to longest. When you've had long hair for the majority of your existence, people begin associating this feature with you; it becomes part of your identity, both internally and externally.

The reality is that we as humans tend to attach ourselves and our identity to physical entities, a.k.a security blankets or comfort objects.

I have found that there is great irony in this because the more we rely on a security blanket, the more insecure we often become. The problem with this increasing reliance is that once the entity ceases to be or is taken away from us, we are left to push through a minor (and sometimes major) identity crisis.

This attachment can be to a teddy bear, a special blanket, a scarf, a piece of jewelry, you name it. If you have something tangible in your life that you feel you would be insecure, incomplete or unrecognizable without and you fully depend on it to make you feel a certain way (hidden, comforted, protected, confident, etc..) chances are that it has become a security blanket.

These objects provide us with the psychological comfort that we innately desire. Throughout childhood, we naturally attach ourselves to the blankets, toys or stuffed animals that we were given as infants.

While I do believe it is important to have a source of comfort or security, and I absolutely acknowledge that there are certain circumstances where these objects are necessary and immeasurably helpful, being able to seek comfort from within is a transformative skill that can catapult us into an unexplored realm of self-reliance.

One of the first steps in detaching from these objects is recognizing that we can experience the same security and strength without the comfort objects as we once experienced with them. The power to feel this comfort is within and we were the ones providing that solace all along; the tangible items were just there to help us hone this skill.

Last month, a friend asked me if I would ever cut my hair. I immediately replied by saying oh no, my long hair makes me who I am. I wouldn't recognize myself without it. It's an extension of my personality!

Red flag.

I kept rationalizing that I ought to keep my hair long and wild while I'm young because one day when I have an established career, I'll need a professional-looking hairstyle that's more manageable and tame.

None of these thoughts have any validity but for whatever reason, I felt it necessary to try and negate the truth of the matter which was that my hair had become my comfort object. It had become something that I felt I could not identify without.

I would constantly think to myself that long, wavy, messy hair is what defines me.

Another red flag.

Eventually, enough red flags went up that I decided to throw up a white flag.

The flag of surrender: I cut my hair.

To some, this may seem like a non-event and in reality, that's exactly what it ended up being.

Six inches are now missing from my hair but to nobody's surprise, my personality and identity are still intact no less than what they were pre-haircut.

If anything, decreasing the length of my hair only increased what I felt I was capable of and gave me a newfound pep in my step.

Detaching from our attachments frees us.

We can't let our dependence on these security blankets cause us to feel more insecure when we find ourselves without them.

Understand that we are infinitely capable beings with or without the help of a comfort object.


Cover Image Credit: Sophia Winter

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I Tried To Lose Weight All My Life But Couldn't Shed The Pounds Until I Turned To God

Now it's easier than ever and I'm never looking back.

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It's amazing how good it feels to get rid of something that has felt like such a tall barrier in your life for so long. For years, and years, honestly, as many years as I can remember, I have felt held back by my weight. It's something that never truly left my mind, whether it was how I looked in my school uniform skort compared to other girls, how I looked in pictures, the thoughts that raced through my head lying in bed that night, or if what I ordered off the menu would make me look fat. It was always something.

Now I have tried, or so I thought I had. I had tried giving up carbs for two weeks, doing workout videos, or eating healthy, occasionally running, or honestly, anything I thought might help a bit. But there I was after a full year of college, heavier than ever.

It was then that I found my secret ingredient, it was then that I found the ultimate weight-loss secret: Prayer.

I found myself amidst a challenge that I didn't know if I was mentally strong enough to handle, faced against temptations of my wildest food dreams. Canes, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, oh my!

I had never thought once about offering up my prayers to God when it came to my weight. I'm not sure why, honestly. It was something that I had struggled with for so long, that it almost felt normal.

Now, when I feel tempted I ask myself a lot if this is the "abundantly more" that God promises us. If it isn't, then I don't pick it. Strength is a process, just like endurance or habits.

I have learned that by offering up the comparisons I feel at the gym, listening to podcasts while running, or Jesus music while practically swimming in my sweat, I am motivated to keep going, not dragged down by the progress I haven't made. I have learned to thank God for the journey He has taken me on so far, and for giving me the capability to overcome these hurdles.

Jesus Didn't die on the cross and tell us to get our butts out there and make disciples of all the nations just for us to sit and be upset with ourselves and compare ourselves to those tiny pictures on our screens. Let's go, we don't have time for that. We have work to do.

No, I'm not saying that if you pray for Jesus to make you lose 15 pounds, the weight will fall off, but I am saying that through Christ, all things are possible, and with Him by my side, the running doesn't feel as difficult.

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Why Being Diagnosed With PCOS Was Awesome For Me

I mean it. It is the BEST thing that has happened to me so far.

ManviU
ManviU
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Yes, you read it correctly. There are no typos.

I am extremely glad I have PCOS.

First, a little background on PCOS. It is known as Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS for short. It is a hormonal disorder that can occur in women of reproductive age. It can be due to excess of male hormone in females, excess insulin or genetic carryover from parents.

It causes irregular periods, obesity, facial hair, acne, male patterned baldness and enlarged ovaries that contains small, immature follicles that surround it.

To put it in simpler words, It makes your ovaries big, with tiny structures stuck to the outside of it that can become cysts and if untreated, it leads to infertility in women, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other metabolic syndromes. The trickiest part of this illness is that it has no definite diagnosis and no cure. It is a chronic illness one has to learn to live by making lifestyle changes and medication for it just trial an error as PCOS is different for everyone.

So how did I end up with it?

Well, for the better part, hell, for my entire life, I'd always struggled with my weight. To this day I don't have a constant weight as it always constantly increased no matter what I did. Diets cleanse, gym, aerobics, swimming, badminton, I have done it all. It's not because I wanted to fit in the mold that society created for women and how they are supposed to look but because I have an enormous amount of genetic disorders in my family which started with obesity.

So, as a result, my parents were always very critical about my weight, as they lived in fear that I might also get plagued with all the disease that my family has in its history. I would get yearly blood tests to check if I showed any early symptom of any diseases but it came back normal year after year.

I was thrilled but very frustrated as I could feel there was something wrong with me but I didn't know what.

The more normal my blood report was, the madder I was. Honestly, if I had low hemoglobin, I would have been happier but nothing. My blood reported I was healthy as a horse but I felt sicker as each day passed, Sick of my weight, sick of being blamed for eating a lot, sick of the society deeming me as unfit and unhealthy.

I WAS SICK OF EVERYTHING!

One day, after getting my yet another blood report, I went to my family physician. He was like 'Everything seems fine, what's the problem?' I sighed and said my weight gain in a small voice as I was embarrassed by it. He suggested me to go for an ultrasound as PCOS was getting extremely common in women and weight gain is a symptom and cause of this disease.

I agreed halfheartedly as I hate shooting arrows in the dark but it was the best option I had.

I went home and spent the entire night before my ultrasound on the internet, trying to educate myself on PCOS. Everything that was consistent among multiple articles was its symptoms, like acne, facial hair, masculine features, irregular periods and obesity. The only one that I could correlate to myself was obesity and no other symptoms.

Hence, I concluded that I can't have PCOS and went to bed frustrated as the mystery of my weight gain yet again became a mystery.

Fast forward to the end of my ultrasound, the technician goes like 'Yeah, you have PCOS'.

My brain was like what? how? where? when? seriously? and then finally it went to feeling doomed as I knew this had no cure. I was ready to bombard her with a question but before I could she told me to see a gynecologist, handed me the report and made me leave before I was ready to.

I went to see a gynecologist and she seemed so calm that it just made me madder. I was screaming inside my head like 'Women! I have PCOS! STOP SMILING! I AM DOOMED FOR LIFE'. I thought I would have to go through multiple rounds of hormone therapy that would fuck my body up and it would take me a year to recover and get better but she just gave me 2 oral medication to take for 3 months, scheduled a follow-up appointment and bid me adieu.

So, here I am writing this article 3 months later and funnily enough celebrating the fact that I have PCOS :)

It was extremely hard to get to this point where I was comfortable talking about it. I went through 7 stages of grief to accept that this is something I would have to live with for the rest of my life. But finally, I have an answer to my always echoing question 'What is wrong with me' which was the most comforting thing ever as I could stop blaming and demoralizing myself. And I didn't need to be helpless anymore towards my body.

As time passed, my medication worked miracles, I lost weight, my mental health became better, I felt healthier and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Gladly, I caught it early and I wouldn't need medication forever to maintain it.

The best thing this short journey has taught me is to love myself, in sickness or health. Also, I don't have to blame myself for something I couldn't control in the first place and I don't have to be ashamed about PCOS as it is naturally occurring and doesn't make me any less healthy, happy or human. Yes, it does make life a little complicated but going through the motions in life can get so boring.

You can't control everything in life, so you shouldn't blame yourself for everything as well. Love yourself unconditionally!

ManviU
ManviU

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