It’s so uncomfortable when someone tells me, “You are so strong”. Really, what does that mean? Well, I know it’s a compliment but it just feels so undeserved.
The truth of the matter is I AM NOT STRONG. I can be fearful, weak, fragile, stupid, lonely, angry, and depressed at times. When trials come my way, I stress, I cry, I cuss, I get angry, I get hurt and sometimes I just want to lash out at the world. Most times I don’t. Just because you don’t see this doesn’t mean I am handling everything with grace and dignity. Au contraire.
Remember…I’m codependent and I don’t want you to see it, so I do my best to hide it. Yep, that means I lie. Sorry but that’s the way it is. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be able to let it all out, without regret or consequence. HA, we know that’s just not going to happen. There are consequences for letting it out and there are consequences for keeping it in. That’s just the way it works.
I appreciate that people think I’m strong but another truth is…I have no choice. I don’t see that as strength. I have to go through the things I have to go through, just as each person has to do for themselves. Is this strength? I guess but when looking at the definition of “Strength or Strong”, I certainly don’t feel I fit those criteria.
I guess I like to think of myself as “hopeful”, although that would just sound silly to hear someone to say, “You are so hopeful”. I was told once that I was “pathetically hopeful”. Yes, it was meant as an insult and at the time, was taken that way. However, today I like the fact that I am pathetically hopeful. Makes me kind of chuckle when I think about it. That’s because there was a time in my life that I was so beyond hopeless. Everything I ever hoped or dreamed for my life was gone. A week in the psych ward and a whole lot of counseling brought me back to reality. Never again will I lose HOPE.
Hope is my lifeline to sanity. Without hope, what is the purpose for living? I was there once, but today, I know for me, I have so much to live for!
I choose to hang onto hope when things get rough because it has been proven to me, time and time again, that things do get better. In the process, I become a better and healthier person. It’s absolutely AMAZING where I am today compared to where I was just 8 years ago. I am so grateful for those who held me up when I could no longer stand and do things on my own. They walked with me through, what I feel was my “valley of the shadow of death” and kept it from swallowing me up until we reached the light again.
Want to know the secret to getting through that valley? Did you catch it? It was “those”. I don’t believe I could have done it on my own. I tried desperately but failed miserably. It was only when I allowed others into my life and shared with them my burdens and “ALLOWED” them to help me carry them, that I was able to get back up and overcome. As a codependent, I want you to see that I have it all together. I want you to see that I can do and handle things on my own. I don’t want you to see what a mess my life is.
So you see I am not strong. Alone, I am weak, I am nothing. It is the love, help and encouragement from those around me, that helps me to be strong. I understand now that I do not have to try and figure out or fix things in my life all on my own, though sometimes I still do, but I know when to reach out and allow others to help, encourage and support me. What a blessing!
How can I encourage and support you? Together “WE are strong”!