How Captain America Saved My Life For Real

How a superhero literally saved my life.

I find it hard sometimes to ignore the fact that a fictional character saved my life. It sounds pathetic, I admit, but this character has given me much more than you would think. He gave me hope when I had lost it all. He gave me strength when I thought about giving up. He gave me my life when I thought about taking it away. For these reasons, I believe in Captain America, the superhero that saved my life. 

how Captain America inspired me to live in real life
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Captain America really helped me during the summer of 2017, which I consider to be the worst year of my life. Two unfavorable relationships, one being a toxic boyfriend and the other a harmful addiction, managed to ruin my life completely. I found myself falling further and further into an ever-growing spiral of depression.

At the time, I'd been living with depression and anxiety for a little over four years, so I knew my way around a rough patch. I don't think of that summer as a rough patch, though; I think of it as a terrifying experience. It's genuinely frightening to have thoughts of suicide running through your head at least once a day for almost six months straight. 

It's a bit difficult to function when there's a little monster inside your head with a compelling sales pitch for death. How was I supposed to focus on life when this menace constantly tried to sell me death at 90% off?

Every day was just a constant stream of pop-up ads that blocked all the good things and replaced them with bad things. Though, there was something deep inside me that desperately wanted to find the good underneath the big ugly pile of bad. My love for movies was one such thing that managed to breach the surface. 

One movie that I could not wait to see was Avengers: Infinity War. It came out in the spring of 2018, which, at the time, meant that I had to wait a little less than a year to see it. I thought this might be a good opportunity to find some hope, so I used my love for Captain America to ground myself.

Sure, I was going through an awful time, but I could wait until I saw Infinity War, right? After all, Captain America's in it, so I had to see it. 'You can stick around until the spring,' I told myself. "After that, you can leave.'

With this in mind, throughout the summer, whenever I found myself slipping further into that growing spiral of depression, I reminded myself of this movie that I just had to see. I latched onto Captain America, and I didn't let go. Sometimes you have to force yourself to keep going.

Even when all the odds are against you and the only thing you want to do is curl up and hide, you have to find that something, something to convince yourself that it's worth it to fight. You search for hope in something, anything, that might just get you through one more week, one more day, one more hour.

When I thought I had lost all hope and was ready to let the darkness take over, Captain America was there to shine a light on one simple thing that managed to keep me going. I found that he was my hope. 

I continue to use this motive today, and I find that it genuinely helps. Though my depression may make me blind, deep down, I know there's a light somewhere that will bring me out of the darkness, but it's up to me to find it. I often find that light in places others might not consider to be important.

For me, Infinity War was much more than a brilliant film; it was a lifesaver. For me, Civil War was much more than the third movie to the Captain America trilogy; it was a lifesaver. For me, Far From Home was much more than the new spiderman movie I couldn't wait to see; it was a lifesaver. For me, Captain America is much more than a comic book superhero; he's my superhero.

Captain America gave me the strength I needed when I was ready to give up. I had to fight this evil inside my head, even if it meant searching for hope in the most desperate of places.

He showed me that I could fight for my life, that I didn't have to give it up to my illness. I learned from him that you have to fight for what you believe in, and I believe in Captain America because I believe that life is worth the fight.

Nonbinary creative writer who wants to change the world.

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