As a child, I often sought support or reassurance from the adults around me. As I got older the people I trusted shrank and became a handful of people. Over my life, it has been made abundantly clear to me that as adults we have to be self-sufficient. To need assurance is not to be self-sufficient - insert an disapproving wagging finger.
But, this self-sufficiency is multifaceted.
It is never just one thing. I need to know how to buy car insurance. I need to know how to get myself home from London when every single train has been cancelled. I need to know that the contracts that I am signing are not going to harm me.
There is so much asked of adults.
I think that this is a lot for any one person to bear. In fact, I will openly admit, that this is too much for me to bear. I constantly look for reassurance. I need it. I can’t quiet the anxiety in my brain unless I can run something past my mum, my sister, my partner, and my friends.
I require reassurance.
I have internalised to some degree that needing reassurance is a weakness. However, I do think that this is a feeling that is perpetuated in our society. We are sold narratives of singular figures who have triumphantly courted success, rising through the ranks to become a boss, needing no one but themselves, and they wake up at 5 a.m. to boot.
Sometimes, metaphorically, I need my hand held.
I don’t see this as a weakness, but it has taken me a while to realise this. You see, in knowing that sometimes I need advice, guidance, or counsel I am aware of my own needs. I do this to help me navigate an atypical world as an untypical person. It is no weakness to know yourself well enough to help yourself get through situations that would leave you decimated mentally if left unchecked.
I find it reassuring that I have a strategy to help myself cope.
Coping, to some sounds like a stress response. I don’t disagree, because I think that life is very stressful. In order to manage this stress we all have to find ways to cope. That makes us stronger than if we went through life collapsing at every stressor.
Needing reassurance as an adult is a reassuring thing - so please never stop yourself from getting what you need to cope in this stressful world.