SPOILER WARNING! By reading further, you take full responsibility for what you may or may not discover about the current happenings in the world of The Walking Dead. If you are not caught up with the TV series and do not wish to find out information that will, you know, SPOIL it for you, don’t read on. For real. We’re all accountable for ourselves here.
Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead (Season 7, Episode 5: “Go Getters”) was one of those rare episodes that felt hopeful and heartwarming and happy to me…and that’s saying something since it’s the zombie apocalypse and all.
So can we just talk about Maggie?
You know, Maggie Rhee? The full name that I will use to refer to that character from now on, forever and forever. I am so excited to see her moving in the direction that she is moving!
Even before the rise of the dead, Maggie Rhee had been through some things…the death of her mother, Josephine, as well as the fact that she’s an Adult Child of an Alcoholic father. If you really want to get into it, she’s the Granddaughter of an Alcoholic as well (Hershel’s father was an Alcoholic too) and we all know that dysfunction and alcoholic behaviors get passed down through family generations whether someone is an Alcoholic themselves or they have just learned the behaviors of alcoholics from being raised by them.
Add the facts that she’s lost her stepmother, her brother, her father, her sister, and very recently her husband since the beginning of the end of the world- not to mention countless friends and all the additional trauma she’s endured – and it is safe to say that Maggie Rhee has been through hell and back. And that’s exactly why she is as amazing as she is now.
Have you ever heard any of these phrases?
- Your pain leads to your purpose
- Your wounds bring you wisdom
- Your message is hidden in your mess
If you haven’t heard any of those, how about this one?
- Dolor hic tibi proderit olim (Someday this pain will be useful to you)
Does anyone remember a certain ballsy little woman named Deanna scribbling that exact phrase on a blueprint outlining her dream for the future of her town, Alexandria? Yeah, you remember!
And this is exactly what has happened to Maggie at this point in the series. Maggie has been through so many difficult experiences but instead of letting them make her bitter, she’s allowed them to make her better. She’s allowed herself to feel and heal and she hasn’t given her pain permission to shut her down emotionally. She’s done her work. Way to be, Maggie Rhee!
Maggie is now stronger, wiser, kinder, smarter, and more capable than she most likely ever could have been without experiencing the pain she has and coming out the other side of it. And that’s a key point to make – she’s come out the other side of it. Many people just stay stuck in the pain. They don’t want to feel. They refuse to acknowledge their feelings or process them at all so it keeps them sad and sick. Many times it’s because they’re fearful of the intense emotions and sometimes they just don’t know how or where to begin. Because of this, they end up roaming around life like a bunch of walkers themselves…the difference being that Walking Dead walkers are falling apart physically and the people walking around stuck in their trauma are falling apart emotionally. It’s true that one looks way grosser but they’re both terrible states to be in…
In Sunday’s episode, Enid asks Maggie if she’s okay and, standing next to her husband’s freshly dug grave, she says “No, I’m not. But I will be.” And she will. She knows it. Because once you’ve been through a devastating loss and have come through it – alive, broken, pieced back together, and actually making it work – there’s a fortitudinous spark in you that knows you can do it again. The wind-weathered trees have the strongest roots, right? And those of us who have experienced pain (there’s plenty of pain as an Adult Child of Alcoholics) have a great opportunity to become strong because of it.
As fans of the show, we’re lucky enough not to have the reanimated dead to contend with but we have other things that can gnaw at us. All of the pains and struggles and memories so terrifying to touch that we feel like we may die from the wounds. Whatever you personally may have gone through or are going through, there is hope. And I truly believe that there is no limitation to how good it can get for you in the future. If you have something in your past that you’re stuffing down inside of you and you’re afraid to deal with it, it’s your lucky day (Yay! You have issues!) because pain and wounds and mess can bring so much love and light and joy into our lives if we surrender, feel our feelings, and accept the blessings that are given to us in the process. (And I’m not in any way trying to take away from the fact that this process can be HARD…because it can be – I just know that we can heal.)
Did I happen to mention that, during all of this, Maggie is pregnant?!? You go, Maggie Rhee! I believe that her journey has brought her to exactly where she needs to be and has molded her into exactly the person that the Hilltop needs at the moment. I would so love to see her take down Negan and the Saviors and their whole creepy complex (can we get an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting up in there?!?) as the uber pregnant Leader of the Hilltop. And while I don’t think that is how it will necessarily play out, a Walking Dead fan can certainly dream, can’t I?