Embrace Your Weaknesses, Not Just Your Strengths

Flickr/Leo Hidalgo
Flickr/Leo Hidalgo

Yes. I built walls to keep myself protected. Like a moat around a castle. Yes. Those walls were broken down several times. But each time they were rebuilt, those walls went up a little bit higher. Because I’m a strong woman. And we have no weaknesses. Because we build walls. And then we suffocate ourselves. Not so tough now, are we?

I built my walls so high and decided I’m not going to let anyone in again. Or at least that was the plan, and it sounded like a great plan to me. It worked for me. Or so I thought.

That was until I realized that I’m in my 30’s and completely unhappy. Looking back, I tried to remember why I built these walls to begin with and how I ended up where I was. Not only was I single but I had basically become a hermit. I not only closed my heart to men but I seem to have blocked my feelings out altogether. I never left my house. I didn’t go out with friends. I didn’t even as much as talk to my friends anymore. My nights and weekends consisted of sleeping and watching Netflix and occasionally getting drunk by myself on my balcony. I didn’t feel human, I felt like a zombie. I felt nothing. I felt alone. Then I felt sad.

Then, one emotional day while texting a friend whom I hadn’t talked to in a while, I vented. We just started talking about life and I explained how empty and unhappy I felt. All of a sudden, I went on a tangent and it was like my fingers took over. I was on a role and I couldn’t stop. I hadn’t felt passion like that in a long time. I was trying to tell myself something. After I hit the send button, I scrolled to the top of the novel I just wrote and read through it. It was exhilarating, I finally got it. Bam! Just like that, I finally got it.

This is what I sent:

“I think a lot of it is just lingering things that I’ve never dealt with. Just try to ignore them, but as time goes on they are still in the back of your mind and they kind of start to take on a life of their own and affect you in ways you don’t realize until you break down. And then you’re 31 years old and realize you’ve been carrying all this with you for so long that you don’t know how to let people in or even give people a chance. Because all you’ve ever done is depend on yourself all these years to avoid getting hurt, when you also realize that protecting yourself all this time was self-destructive and now you’re lost.”

That’s exactly how I felt. Lost. I didn’t know WHO I was, let alone what I wanted anymore. I felt like a stranger in my own body. The worst part is, I DID THIS TO MYSELF. I thought, “this girl has to be strong and never show weakness. People use your weaknesses against you so why give anyone that ammunition and that kind of power to hurt you?” Right?

So I would go on about my life, never letting anyone know that they hurt me. Letting them think I’m a cold-hearted b****. Again, my twisted way of thinking. How I did this, though, was not healthy. I didn’t deal with problems or work things out. I swept them under the rug, like somehow they would just disappear one day. But did I get a reality check.

I wasn’t protecting myself. I was destroying myself. I realized that I’m not this strong girl I thought I was. Yes, to everyone else I was. I put on a great show. But in reality, I still had feelings. I still came home and cried behind closed doors. I still doubted myself. I still broke down and I still had my weaknesses. I was still that fragile, loving, caring, good hearted person I always was, I just didn’t know HOW to be that person anymore.

Since that day of realization, I’ve been trying to find myself again. I’m trying to find my happiness again. It’s going to be a long process but I’ve come a long way already. I learned that it’s ok to be weak sometimes. I learned that I have to let people in, even though there is a chance I get hurt. What I’m doing instead of building walls is finding the strength I need to deal with these situations and understand that dealing with them is what will make me strong. Letting myself experience life is what makes me happy. It makes me feel alive again. It’s not a bad thing to be afraid, what’s bad is letting that fear control you. I now turn that fear into motivation.

I built walls because I was afraid. It wasn’t because I was strong. That’s just what I told myself to make it easier to believe the decisions I made were helping me. I saw a quote recently and I’m not sure who said it, but it is something I remind myself every day.
“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.”

That’s my Grievance in Glamour today… Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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