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Are you exhausted from trying to be stronger than you feel?*****

I saw a quote that said, "I'm exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel."

And it really hit me; we live in a world that teaches things like "fake it till you make it" and "love heals all wounds" but the truth is that those lovely little phrases didn't work for me.

Pretending that I was fine and 'believing' that love would heal all wounds when the people who had done the wounding were telling me to 'get over it' and 'stop making such a big deal out of nothing' didn't assist with the pain that I was in.

It wasn't until I realized what love really is that I was able to understand how love could heal my wounds.

It wasn't until I acknowledged where the exhaustion came from and how the wounds got there in the first place that I found healing.

I was exhausted too.

I was exhausted from trying to be happy and from trying to be grateful for a life that seemed to be getting harder and harder. I was exhausted from being who other people wanted and expected me to be. I was exhausted from always trying harder and exhausted because nothing I did ever being enough.

I was exhausted because nobody heard me and because nobody cared that I was exhausted.

And I just couldn't understand it. I believed that I might be the only person in the world that didn't know how to make simple gratitude work for me; although I was practicing gratitude, it wasn't working.

I believed that I had nothing to be unhappy about.

And that made me feel guilty and ashamed of myself. I believed that I was living my dream...but I wasn't happy. I was exhausted. I was really trying but I kept falling down and getting back up was getting harder and harder.

I had been trying to be stronger than I felt for most of my life.

Trying to be grateful.
Trying to 'let go' and move on'.
Trying to 'live and let live'.

Trying to forgive people that denied they had ever done anything wrong.

Trying to accept the blame for things that were never my fault, never my responsibility or my doing. Trying and trying and trying… I was exhausted from trying.**

How did I get from exhausted to excited?

How did I rebuild that missing bridge? How did I recover my self-esteem? How did I finally move forward in order to let go?

It turned out that I had been trying to put the cart before the horse.

I found a way to look at the roots of where the broken began. I looked at the truth about how I had been falsely defined by the actions and inactions of others. I realized that I had been objectified from a young age and it had been communicated to me though the careless actions and inactions of people that my purpose in life was to serve the needs of others.

My actual needs were invalidated.

I had been brainwashed to see myself as not enough, not worthy, not loveable because seeing myself that way enabled controlling and manipulative people to get what they wanted from me.

I was exhausted because (as I was taught to do) I kept trying harder and it was never enough.

I was exhausted from trying to prove that I WAS worthy, and that I WAS a good person, and while I believed that my heart was misunderstood, I was brainwashed to also believe that something was wrong with me.

I found a way to look at what happened to me.

How did the depressions start? I realized my depressions were a way for me to shut down. They were like a fuzzy blanket of protection; a coping method just like the way that I dissociated was a coping method. Just like addiction is a coping method.

And after years of coping I was running out of the will to cope.
I was running out of the energy to keep trying.

I was giving up on the road to conquering because I didn’t think there was actually a way to achieve it. But there is a way. There is hope.

Finding a new way to see things enabled me to validate myself in all the areas and events that I had been invalidated. I found a new way to see myself. I found a new way to see my struggles and finally stated; "No wonder I was depressed! No wonder I was sinking! No wonder I felt like I was losing the fight!"

Because as long as I saw myself the way that I had been brainwashed to see myself, I WAS losing the fight!

And the only way that I finally saw myself through the grid of truth about me was when I saw how I came to believe that I was not enough, that something was wrong with me, that I was somehow defective, that I was unworthy of love and that I was powerless and had no choice.

The truth is that I have a choice and when I saw myself through the lens of what happened to me, instead of through the lens of what is wrong with me, I was able to take my choice back.

I took my power back. I took my life back and I got me back.

-Darlene Ouimet, from Are you exhausted from trying to be stronger than you feel

8 comments
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level 1

I believed that I had nothing to be unhappy about.

This part actually brought to mind how many times my mother would tell me "Stop crying, you have no real problems. I'll give you something to really cry about if you keep that up." I'm only starting to deal with how abusive my mother was to me while growing up and starting therapy dealing with that, but I'm still kind of left wondering if normal people hear shit like this while growing up...?

level 2

I too heard that phrase an awful lot. I confess that I know some “normal” people who heard it once in a while, but they also had consistent support and love and mom or dad wasn’t generally abusive or neglectful. I know every parent becomes frustrated. There’s a difference between the occasional parental mistake and consistent abusive language and behavior.

I get frustrated with my toddler, but I never once have said something that addresses her personality or looks, just her behavior. “Mommy is not fond of being screamed at. Most people would agree this is unpleasant. Can you find and use your words right now to tell me why you are upset? We can solve problems when they are identified.”

“Boo-hoo! Your face is going to freeze that way and everyone will know how ugly you really are” was my mother’s response.

level 3
Original Poster2 points · 1 year ago

This is a total side thing, but

Mommy is not fond of being screamed at

I am stealing this, lol.

Mama is not fond of being kicked in the face. Let's practice spacial awareness.

level 4

Yesssss. How the tiny little body creates so much power behind the little arms and legs is some type of physics mystery to me.

level 2
Original Poster2 points · 1 year ago

Your feelings have to meet my metric as to whether they are valid and therefore are allowed to be expressed. -_-

level 3

And then I met guys who practiced the same beliefs. Funny that.

level 4
Original Poster3 points · 1 year ago

... Damn.

level 5

Truth bombs. Boom.

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