WHEN BEING STRONG IS YOUR ONLY OPTION

"Some days, she doesn't know how she'll do it, but every single day she gets it done."

- Anonymous

Photo by Michael Podger on Unsplash



I'm not one to hide my feelings whenever I'm overwhelmed. Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed, somebody's going to know about it.


After I had my son, juggling work, home, raising a child, and everyday life was a bit of a struggle, emotionally and mentally, 17 years later, and it still is not as bad, but it's still there.


Every time I hit a bump in the road or felt like unravelling, and I'd share my feelings of being completely overwhelmed and hitting a brick wall over and over again, someone would always tell me, "You're a strong person, and if there's anyone who can get through this, it's you!" or "You're tough, you've got this!" or "Smile, everything will be okay!"


Though I know, it's meant to uplift me and send some extra courage my way to get me through whatever I was facing. It really doesn't help. I can't help but feel as if my feelings are brushed aside like it wasn't real and just all in my head and that I had to just suck it up and get through it.


Sometimes, I feel like my feelings are often taken for granted just because I am perceived as strong. Strong, because I decided to have a child on my own, strong because I don't let things get in my way, strong, because I always find a way out, strong, because of whatever else the reason is.


The thing is, there isn't much of a choice really, and you dig deep to find your own strength just to get through the day, no matter what kind of day you're having.


I am strong. I know that - emotionally and mentally strong. I have had to be. I wouldn't have come this far if I wasn't. And I know many people are because life demands it. To sink or swim - anybody would choose swim. No matter how hard it was, you swim. It's never a choice, really, especially when you have children.


I'd have had to be strong, not just for myself, but for my son, my family and everyone that I work with as well.


But just because I'm strong, does that mean that my feelings are unjustified? Of course it's not.


When you make it look easy it’s hard for people to see. When you make it look easy, everyone thinks you can handle stuff. It might look easy but we all know it isn't easy.


I've always struggled with finding the balance between my son and work. Work was a big part of my life before my son and I thoroughly enjoyed my job even though it was stressful. Not having any commitments at that time, I poured my heart and soul into it. Then my son came along, and I basically struggled to find a balance.


Mom guilt was, and still is, real and quite frankly, leaving-the-office-for-my son guilt was real too. He's going on 17, and I'm still struggling though I'm much better managing it now. And this is only because he's at that age that he understands my job, and he has a life of his own and is busy himself! But I still struggle with the guilt of those instances when I had to leave him for work for days on end. He might have been too young to remember but I do. Till today, it hurts me every time I think of it.


Whether it's your other family members or people in the workplace, we help others find solutions for them. WE don't want to let anyone down so we put them first, pushing through whatever pain and feelings we are having.


There are times, it’s like the weight of the world is on our shoulders only nobody sees it, and no one offers to help.


But sometimes, I just need my feelings to be acknowledged and understood, if that's even possible. Acknowledged that it is not easy. Acknowledged that whatever I am going through IS difficult. Acknowledged that I might at times just need someone to share my burden.


Acknowledged that sometimes, I would like some else to be strong for me, to catch me as I fall. But in reality, I don't have the luxury of having someone to fall back on. I never have and I've accepted that but I can't help but think if it would be any easier if I did.


When things are not going my way, and I feel as if I'm in a deep hole that I can't get out of, I feel trapped and there's no way out. I overthink it knowing that my overthinking won't be able to help me. I take a deep breath and a few more. I reach deep within me to find the courage and strength to go through the day.


When I'm alone and no one's around, I let myself fall apart - I allow myself that. I let my emotions consume me, and I pick up those pieces that are broken. But I wake up the next morning, though I don't pretend that everything will be okay, I do go through the motions because it's something I have to do.


We all have our own struggles. We try our best to breathe and get through the tough times. We try to be strong the best way we know how and in time, we get better at dealing with all the difficult situations that get thrown our way.


Being strong can be exhausting, but that's the only way. No matter how hard it gets, we show up and we face our struggles head on.