OWLS Blog Tour: Finding The Strength to Move Forward

Hello my lovely Grimms ❤

I also hope you have a chance to read Crimson’s OWLS article on strength that she posted on the 10th and in the future look forward to Hazelyn’s post featuring Kuroko no Basket on the 15th.

It’s that magical time once again where I grace this blog with some OWLS love. This month’s tour topic is “Strength” and the talented Lyn from LynLynSays once again wrote the prompt.

“Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength.”

In anime, characters struggle with inner demons or physical weaknesses that make them feel insecure and prevent them from achieving goals. Yet when these characters overcome their adversity, they can finally be able to express who they are or in other words, “Free to be Me.”

For this tour, we will be exploring anime characters that have overcome adversity due to a personal insecurity or physical weakness. It is these types of characters that many anime fans may identify as role models because fans are able to feel empathetic towards these characters’ struggles and insecurities. –LynLynSays

Today I will be viewing this prompt through the eyes of Clannad and Clannad: After Story. If you are unaware of this anime you might want to skip this post because in order to do it justice I will be revealing some serious spoilers. So if spoilers aren’t you thing I will catch you after you have watched the show!

Clannad quote2
Okazaki Tomoya 

“You shouldn’t stop like that. If you can move forward, then you should.” – Nagisa Furukawa

I have mentioned before that during high school I struggled with depression and anxiety. It was very serious. In February during my junior year of high school after my Mom was able to stop my suicide attempt I was hospitalized in the Psych Ward on a 72 hour hold.

Like Tomoya I felt very hopeless.

Tomoya meets Nagisa and this has a profound effect on how he sees the world. I was fortunate enough to find someone like that in my life as well, Adam Daniel Luing.

Much like Nagisa did for Tomoya in Clannad he provided me with hope. It was scary at times to be around someone who was so good. Who thought I was worthy of anything when I felt so unworthy of everything.

Adam was there for me everyday no questions asked. When I came back from the hospital he didn’t make me feel guilty or ashamed about it. He hugged me and told me, “I love you and I’m glad you are here today.”

That’s it.

From that point on he would tell me he loved me everyday and I would say it back. No matter what there he was waiting. I feel like Tomoya and Nagisa formed a very similar bond. Tomoya was directionless before he met Nagisa much like myself. I had no idea what I was going to do after high school to be honest because I wasn’t sure I would live to see graduation.

Adam did so much for me just by existing. I wanted to be there for him to. I wanted to help his dreams to become successful even if I wasn’t really sure what mine were.

Clannad quote4
We will all face times of joy and pain. This life requires that we push forward through both.

Tomoya develops similar feelings for Nagisa. It begins with him doing all that he can for her play to be a success but develops further after they get married and she decides she wants a child.

He wants to make those things happen for her because he loves her. The sense of strength Nagisa provides Tomoya may seem insignificant on the outside but it means everything to Tomoya. I feel very similar when I think of Adam. As I began my road to recovery I felt this ember inside of me. I wanted to be there for Adam in the same way he was there for me.

Just knowing Nagisa was waiting to greet him gave Tomoya the strength to walk out of the front door. I can relate to that in my relationship to Adam. No we never dated but he was my friend and we meant the world to each other, that I have always been sure of.

In After Story the unthinkable happens.

Nagisa dies during childbirth and no matter how much Tomoya wants to help her he can’t. After her death we watch Tomoya try to find the strength to move forward after the loss of Nagisa. Just facing each day is a struggle and I can relate to that.

On top of that Tomoya feels and added sense of guilt. Nagisa dies trying to give birth to their child. If he had never agreed to have a child with her maybe Nagisa would still be alive. Survivor’s guilt is a terrible thing. On the outside we can understand that death is natural. If it was Nagisa’s time then it was Nagisa’s time. If it wasn’t childbirth it would be something else.


Like Tomoya the unthinkable happened to me.

On April 17, 2007 Adam died during our track practice. He had an undetected enlarged heart and on that day it finally stopped. His heart was literally too big.

I too felt a sense of guilt. Adam did sports year round but he only did track because of me. He had played baseball throughout childhood but I talked him into running track. I thought it would be something fun we could do together. It’s not rational but like I said before Survivor’s Guilt is a terrible thing. I couldn’t help but think if he had been playing baseball this wouldn’t have happened.

On that day I saw a look on his face that I had never seen before. For the first time in all of the years we had know each other he looked at me for help and even though I wanted nothing more than to help him I couldn’t.

He wanted life and I couldn’t give that to him.

He died and I couldn’t bring him back.

Even if I tried I could never explain to you how this lost felt. It was awful. Everything just seemed… pointless.

Tomoya finds strength though and so did I.


This life is what Adam wanted. Ushio was what Nagisa wanted. How could I throw away this life that Adam wanted so desperately? How could Tomoya ignore the daughter that brought Nagisa so much happiness? In the end both Tomoya and I only had only one choice to repay the kindness that our loved ones had brought to us.

To live.

Clannad quote
Nagisa wanted Tomoya to live and move forward. I know that this is what Adam wants for me as well.

Even in my darkest and most illogical moments I am able to remember that Adam wanted this life. He wanted it and I couldn’t give it to him. The only thing I can do is live. So everyday I experience things that Adam hoped for but will never have. He wasn’t able to graduate, go to college, get married, have children, or anything like this but I can.

This has given me strength and propelled me forward. Like Tomoya it is the love of the people in our lives whether alive or passed that gives us the ability to take that next step, even if it is painful. We look up to the stars and know that we can continue. They are our greatest source of strength.

I hope you all found meaning in this post. I would like to take this moment to say that if you have ever felt suicidal please speak to someone about it. In death there are no second chances so please talk to someone about what you are going through.

Lots of Love ❤


I do not own these images 

34 thoughts on “OWLS Blog Tour: Finding The Strength to Move Forward

    1. Thank you for saying this ❤ I admit this post was a little harder to write but I really wanted to do it. One bc I think mental health should be discussed more and two bc I wanted to tell a little bit of Adam's story. He was such an amazing person. I think that's why I've always related to this anime.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh my gosh this was a great post. I am sorry you went through a lot and I happy to see you made it this far to tell us your experience. Clannad is one of those anime where you have to watch it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Matt! It was a lot of struggling but jut have me perspective on how lucky we are to experience life. I think Clannad is such a beautiful anime. I always recommend it to people. It really resonated with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think what makes these posts great is how we use our experience and anime to support a main topic. Your post was awesome. Clannad was so good that I bought the anime and OP songs.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dam….Kat
    I felt on the verge of tears reading this had no idea you went through what you did. Your friend Adam sounds amazing and I’m sorry at the Same time to hear. Your post for those that will read it will move
    Mountains not just hearts.
    The connection you expressed through clannad relaying back to yourself…just well done. You truly have inspired me more for
    My upcoming post. Of how I will convey the strength I wish to speak of. A very powerful post I’m proud
    Of you Kat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lita 💜 Adam was amazing. I loved him so much, still do. Depression isn’t easy to live through but no matter how dark it is I always remember him and that he wanted life. It gives me strength.


  3. Oh my God. I cried reading your post, Kat. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. That alone is strength. As for Clannad, it makes me teary-eyed whenever I remember it. I bawled my eyes out when I watched it the first time. As someone who went through depression before, I know the sense of hopelessness and tragedy it brings. It literally feels like your living your life through jello, making it hard to do the simplest things. Overcoming depression is complicated and does not have a single solution for everyone. For one, it needs inner strength but most of the time, that inner strength alone is not enough. Strength coming from supportive people around you is also needed, and I think that’s the point of your post, both in Clannad and from your own experience. You are strong, Kat. We are glad we have you as president of OWLS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly if I think of Clannad I’ll cry. It’s such a heartfelt story. Depression is such a layered subject and it effects so many people so I hope in the future we can be more open about it. I do feel like working through depression is so much easier to handle when you have people in your life that support you and give you inner strength. I would not have made it through without the people in my life that I have ❤ Thanks for reading my post Arria and sharing your experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, and I agree with you very much. It’s so unfortunate that there’s a strong stigma around depression. Many people that when someone is diagnosed with depression that he/she is crazy and should be avoided or removed from normal society. It’s ridiculous! Even the most normal person can get depression. Anyway, excellent post. Stay strong.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Even though we’re just friends over the net, I feel I know you so much better now. Thank you for sharing, Kat—It’s very brave of you to accept your friend’s life and death as a way of moving forward, as you say. Sometimes it seems as if we can’t do anything in the face of horrific events like this. But if we can understand why people care for another, then maybe we can live for them, and do all the things that they would’ve wanted us to do (and possibly do with us). This post was awesome. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Taku! This means alot to me because I really enjoy your writing still so hearing that you like this post has really made my day! This was def a hard post to write but I think necessary. Like you said sometimes we need to be able to live for others in order to honor their lives and memories. I feel like that gives me perspective when I need it most.

      Liked by 1 person

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