In 2020 I wrote a song called “Take Your Power Back.” It was included on Hurt, the 11th album in the “A Year of Music” series. Despite what anyone says, whether positive or negative, I will always regard this track as the best song I have ever written. Going a step further, I know that nothing I ever write will be better.
The reason I’m so sure of this has nothing to do with my rap skills. It has to do with the subject matter, why I wrote it, and the intended purpose.
If you’ve never heard the song, it is available on this site and linked at the bottom of this post. The hook I wrote goes as follows:
Stand up, fight back, no, don’t give in.
The second that you do is the moment that they win.
Don’t let them; you have to show these cowards that
nothing they do can remove you. Take your power back!
The hook spells out the exact purpose of the song. It also pushes hard to empower those who it speaks to. But the first line, that one is key to the whole thing, and that’s what I’m here to discuss today.
Why You Need To Stand Up
The way it can feel to be bullied can break a person. It can cause heavy mental depression with long-lasting effects, both psychologically and physically. Many will begin to believe what their bullies are saying about them. As the bullying continues, the victim will find it harder to dig back out of their feelings.
This is why you must stand up. Now.
It doesn’t matter how deep your depression is. If you are being bullied, you need to stand back up. And before you say that it’s too hard, believe me, I know how difficult it can be. I have been there and felt like I was as worthless as many people said I was. My mind was also really good at making things worse by acting like an amplifier. The things people would say or did just got echoed by my brain for the longest time.
Worse, my brain would then do the bully’s job for them and would tell me how much of a useless shit I was.
I have often described this by saying that my brain was trying to kill itself.
But as many times as I was knocked down, I kept getting back up. I could not stay on the ground. For me, the main reason was that I knew it would just make things worse. I knew that I had to try to keep moving forward. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have any chance of breaking free.
And I’ve been through a lot of very difficult moments that have worked hard to put me on my back. Those moments still come at me, but at this stage in my life, I’m more equipped to deal with them when they do. I still get depressed and feel stressed, but I’ve taught myself to get my ass back up, no matter the situation.
Always remember: It is never too late to get back up, and no matter how many times you are knocked down, you don’t have to stay there.
Why You Need To Fight Back
Getting knocked down is easy, and it will happen to you many times in your life. I’m 41 years old, and I still get knocked down. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get back up and keep trying.
And continuing to try is exactly what you need to focus on.
As I said, going down isn’t difficult, but moving forward afterward can be. You can feel demoralized, as if nothing is ever going to go right. And you may not see a path out of your troubles at all. Often, we let these feelings consume us until they eventually destroy our will to even try to press ahead.
But that does not mean you stop.
Your head may tell you that this is the worst moment in your life, and you can’t do anything about it. It may say that you have no hope, that nobody cares, and that you’re alone. But screw that noise. And yes, that’s precisely what it is: noise.
For a lot of us, our minds, for some stupid reason, like to dwell in defeat. I don’t get it, but that’s how a lot of us work. It reminds me of the idea of having a devil on your shoulder, whispering into your ear. In this case, the invisible douchebag is telling you a bunch of negative things about yourself. But you don’t have to listen. You can fight back.
Fighting back can be difficult, especially when the voice in your head is the one you’re fighting against. There are ways to deal with that, and you’ll find many of them as you read more of this site. If you need help getting through to your shit-talking brain, check out this page. On it, I discuss the things I’ve done that have helped me over the years.
When it comes to fighting back against the people who have been bullying you, each situation has to be treated differently. Not all bullies are the same, but they do tend to have one thing in common: they want you to hurt, either emotionally or physically. But you can’t let that happen.
No matter what these people say or what they do, you are the one who is ultimately in control of your life and who you choose to be. How you choose to deal with bullies will be up to you and the circumstances you are in.
For me, bullies who trash talk don’t get very far. A big reason for this is that I don’t generally care what people have to say. I wasn’t always like that, but over the years, I’ve come to realize that people are going to have whatever opinion they want. I’ve also found that many of the insults are just copy/paste responses like they bought a book of insults because they were too stupid to come up with their own.
I understand that not everyone has a quick whit or firewall built into them that stops the insults from getting through. Believe me, I wasn’t like that when I was younger. But all it takes is one moment to turn things around. Bullies usually aren’t good at containing their stupidity and instead try to hide it within the laughs they get from others.
But once you notice their mistakes, things can change. All it takes is one moment like this to turn the tables:
What about when things get physical?
When someone is physically bullying you, that’s when you enter a whole new level of harassment. Some bullies will push, hit, kick, or further assault their victims, especially those who can’t or won’t fight back. And there’s a reason they go for people who don’t fight back. If they went at someone who did, they risk getting their asshole kicked in sideways.
But just because you’re weaker or because you don’t think you can defeat them doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself. On the contrary, you NEED to defend yourself.
I’ve mentioned this often and will continue to do so because it has become my personal mantra, and I believe it should be yours as well:
This is your life. Not theirs. Do not let anyone take it from you.
These people who are hurting you can only win if you don’t fight back and stop them. And they’re only doing it because they know they can get away with it. Don’t let them.
Now, some people will read that and think I’m recommending violence. Let’s get something crystal clear:
If someone is assaulting you, you have a moral duty to YOU to protect yourself. Letting a bully physically assault you is not an option. This doesn’t mean to do something ridiculous as a response. You know, the kind of thing that gets you in the news. Don’t do that shit. Going to the extreme like that makes everyone sympathetic to your bully and makes you look insane.
As a gun owner, I am absolutely telling you that is NOT the answer to a bully.
What I am telling you is not to just let someone hurt you. Even if you suck at fighting, you have to stand up for yourself, especially if no one else will. If you get into a fight and the bully wins, fine. It happens. But at least you fought back and showed them that you’re not just going to take their bullshit.
If you take nothing else from this post, at least understand this: a bully does not own you. They do not get to decide who you are, what you become, or how you feel.
Bullies may tell you that you’re worthless, but you know that you aren’t.
Bullies may make fun of your looks, but your outside is way better than their inside.
Bullies may hit you, but you’ll hit them right back.
Bullies may tell you to kill yourself, but you won’t. You’ll still be here, showing them that they don’t matter. You’ll be right here, reminding them that no matter what they say or do, you will continue to stand up and fight back.
Because fuck bullies. They don’t get to control your life.