1. You stop forcing yourself to do things. Like being there for everyone or showing up to every single event you’re invited to or forcing yourself to go out and have a good time. You’re more comfortable with trying to process your feelings and emotions instead of trying to run away from them even if it means isolating yourself from people.
2. You’re more honest about how you’re feeling. When people ask you if you’re okay, you don’t lie and say you’re fine. You tell them that you’re not. You’re not lying anymore about it because lying only makes it worse.
3. You’re willing to ask for help. You’re not trying to fight the need to have people around you or ask for help because you know that you can’t count on your strength like you used to. You now need more people to lean on and you’re willing to reach out to them.
4. You’re more impatient and less tolerant. You don’t have the appetite for things that give you anxiety or hurt you anymore. You’re not as flexible or as easygoing as you were. You run away from anything that will cause you more distress or discomfort even if it’s something or someone you deeply care about.
5. You feel like a stranger to yourself. You’re not used to being that person, you’re always on the other side, you’re always the one helping others. It’s taking you a while to get used to this new person and it’s like all these years of being strong have finally took their toll on you and now you’re just exhausted and you don’t know what to do.
6. People don’t understand you anymore. Your closest friends think there’s something different about you, your colleagues are not as warm and friendly to you and your social circle are giving you your space. They probably think you don’t like them anymore, but the truth is, you’re dealing with something bigger than you and you’re still trying to figure it out.
7. You can’t pin down the source of this feeling. It hits you suddenly, out of nowhere, you were definitely not prepared for it. You don’t know what triggered it, you just know that it’s finally hitting you hard and you need a break or a solution.
8. You begin to reevaluate yourself, your life and your decisions. You wonder if you were being too hard on yourself, or if it was right to ignore your emotions and feelings in the past so you can be happy. You’re starting to question if the way you’re feeling right now is something new or if it’s something you’ve been suppressing for a long time.
9. You’re learning that it’s healthy to be vulnerable. You’re starting to embrace your vulnerability, your tears and all the things you used to associate with ‘weakness.’ You’re learning that it makes you human and that trying to be tough all the time is one big lie. Vulnerability is another form of strength.
10. You know that eventually you’ll be strong again but you need to embrace this phase in its entirety first. You’re not trying to fight it or ignore it. You’re letting it be. You’ve decided that for once, you need to be okay with being soft, emotional, sad or confused instead of trying so hard to look like you’ve got it all under control, when in reality, it’s all crashing down on you.