Thought Catalog
June 1, 2017

You Don’t Have To Be So Damn Strong All The Time

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Twenty20 / @nadirashviliirakli5

You are strong.
You are capable.

You’ve fought through so much, shouldered so many burdens, faced so many demons and somehow rose to your feet, time and time again. You were dealt a terrible hand of cards and you fought through. You were given loss and brokenness and people who didn’t see your worth, and yet, you somehow managed to press on.

Maybe you’re confident in who you are and what you’ve gone through. Maybe you feel totally able to lift yourself up again. Or maybe you’ve gotten through by the skin of your teeth and are putting on a good face, pretending that you’re fine, when inside you’re crumbling. Or maybe you don’t want to be a burden to anyone else, so you’re acting like everything is perfectly okay and you’re independent—you don’t need help. Any of this sound familiar?

Sometimes when we go through pain we’re convinced that we’re alone in it. We’re convinced that either our problems are far too big to even share with someone else, far too small for anyone to care, or we just feel too guilty to suck someone into our drama loop.

But the thing is, the people that love you want to be there for you.

The people who love you know that you’re more than able to stand on your own two feet, they know you’ve gone through hell and back before, they know you’re strong and this is just a temporary moment of weakness, but they want to stand by your side.

So why is it so hard for you to let them?

Why is it so hard for you to slip off that cape of strength and let someone else be the hero for a change? Why are you so convinced that you’ll be less worthy if you ask for help? Why do you see yourself as feeble, as pathetic for not being able to get through your pain alone?

Yes, you can carry your burdens alone. But you don’t have to.

Because the people who love you want to help you. They want to take some of that weight and walk alongside you. They want to stand next to you and fight together. They want to remind you of how powerful you are, and always have been. They want to show you that you’re not alone.

Listen, you don’t have to be so damn strong all the time. You don’t have to show the world this perfect image of yourself, an image that never falters, never fails, never makes a mistake or encounters weakness.

As beautiful as that would be, that’s not real. Because you’re not perfect. None of us are.

So stop trying to be. Stop thinking that you have to always be the sturdy one, the put-together one, the person without any pain or issues or moments of fragility.

It’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to be low and lean on someone else. It’s okay to not be so damn strong for a minute, and to let someone else help you through.

You will rise to your feet again in time.

Be patient, reach out, and let yourself be helped, supported, and loved.
You will be okay. One step at a time. TC mark


Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.