I’m Tired of Being Strong.

I’m Tired of Being Strong.

**I wrote this post almost a year ago, but wasn’t ready to hit publish until now.  I hope it speaks to others going through the fires that forge us and helps – if only to say you’re not alone.

I’m strong.

I weather storms.

I get up when I’m knocked down.

I figure out what I want to do, make a plan and act.   If that doesn’t work, I make a new plan.

I take a beating and another and another and I endure.

strength and character

I have compassion for those that have only shown me unkindness.

I face the world each day even when all I want is to crawl back into bed.

I conquer my fears.

I admit my flaws to myself even when it’s easier to deny them.

I do the right thing – not the easy one.

I take responsibility for my life and my actions.

I am strong.

But I’m tired.  I’m so stinking tired…

I’m tired of being strong.

Four decades of being strong are taking their toll.  Four decades of taking emotional hits.  Four decades of getting back up.  Four decades of facing my fears and gathering my courage.   

I wish I had someone that would be strong for me.  I wish I had someone that said “It’s ok, I’ll take care of this.”   I wish I could let go of the struggle and know someone else has my back.  I wish…

When  you are little and even into adulthood, your parents are often the people you can turn to – the ones you know will hold you and make everything alright.

When you get married your spouse is supposed to be that person – the one that’s by your side supporting you through life’s challenges.  The one that offers to be the strong one so that you can rest.

But what happens when those parents are absent, unreliable, or untrustworthy.   What happens when at 5 you learn you’re on your own and it’s up to you to be the strong one?

What happens when instead of defending and protecting you, your spouse attacks and tears you apart?  What happens when your spouse doesn’t have the strength for themselves, let alone you – when he or she becomes the tormentor rather than the protector?

There is no soft spot to land.  There is no safe person to turn to or place to put down your burden for a few moments.  What happens then?

People think these musings are because of my divorce and in part they are right.  Yet, I want to shout that’s not all!  I’m not so weak as just a divorce would break me.  There’s crap in my life.  Really crappy, crap.  

But why do I feel just a divorce isn’t enough.  Why do I think that my story is any harder than anyone else’s?  No one knows what another has been through.  Unless you’ve walked in their shoes, you just don’t know.  

I want to scream and cuss and lash out.  I want to run and run and run until my legs stop working.  I want to bite and hit and kick.  I want to somehow turn my emotional pain into physical.

And I know I don’t have it the worst.  I know there are others with heavier burdens to bear.  Others that are strong – stronger than I.  Others whose strength has been forged in fires that burn hotter than mine.

But I’m tired.

I survived.

I realized why I’m tired.  I made it through.  I survived.  The load is lighter – not gone – but lighter.

Now I can allow myself to rest.

Now I can collapse and cry and feel sorry for myself.  I can put down the emotional burden for a few hours and allow myself to grieve.

Grieve for the person I was before I was burned.  Grieve for the innocence lost and the walls that have grown.  Grieve for the trust I’ve lost as my idealism disappears in the face of realism.

I’m tired of being strong, but what choice do I have?

So I will shake out my shoulders and lift that burden back up.  I will face the day and count my blessings.   I will find beauty in the little things and remind myself to enjoy the moment and gather strength in the good times to carry me through the bad ones.

I will survive.  I will endure.  I will be happy.  I will.

19 Responses to I’m Tired of Being Strong.

  1. I reach out to say, “yes, I too have felt this.” I am so very weary right now, but I have to keep being strong. Thank you for the courage it took to share this post. You are prayed for today

    • Thank you Nony. I appreciate the prayers and hope that you too find peace and are able to start regaining your strength. It’s tough, no doubt – but there are always blessings if we look hard enough. Some days that takes enough digging to make our way to China I think! But a nugget emerges eventually.

      I really appreciate you letting me know I’m not the only one. :)

    • Thanks Heather! It is much better now – I feel like I’m slowly building myself up brick by brick. When I wrote this post I was just rubble, but just goes to show you that when life sucks the most – the only place to go is up. :)

  2. “I’m tired of being strong, but what choice do I have?” This is why getting back up is so hard sometimes but so necessary. I love the last paragraph of this because it is so true. I made an intentional decision to choose to be happy this year. It isn’t always easy though and I admire you for sharing this. Thank you.

  3. I love this post, I think everyone feels this way sometimes but not everyone is strong enough to put a voice to it. You are one of the strongest women I know, you always just take in the problem and figure out what to do about it.

    • Thank you Sarah – after all you’ve been through I KNOW you can relate to the feeling of just wanting to be done with dealing with crappy stuff. You have an amazing attitude and I’m proud to know you and call you friend.

  4. Your ex is foolish to have stopped cherishing you and your folks are foolish if they did not show you that they understood what kind of a gift you are. You are strong and I hope that a year later you are finding that place to rest your head to be vulnerable and supported when you need it.

    • Thanks Kia – I do feel like I’m finding that soft place to land. It’s in the laps of friends and dear family that do cherish me and show how precious I am to them. It’s so easy to focus on the negative people and attacks and forget about the positive and supportive ones that sometimes aren’t as loud, but are comforting and solid and reliable nonetheless. I am actively seeking them out in 2014 as their company gives me strength and lifts me up. I am so fortunate!

  5. Girl, you are stronger than you will ever know! It’s okay to grieve, to be weak, to feel like crap, but at the end of the day, you will feel it all wash away and all that is left is the true strength that lies within you. Divorce sucks big time, and I know because I am living it now, but it also means freedom from a spouse that we no longer identify with. And yes, it’s not only the divorce, there are other things, but the most important thing is to not lose our core being while we are sorting all this out.

    Counseling/Therapy helps, and I am thinking of getting one as soon as I am settled in our new location.

    Hope you had a great Christmas! I need to visit you soonest :)

    Love,
    Blessing.

    • Agreed Blessing! Our chat the other day was fabulous and I love that we look at things in such a similar manner. You are vivacious and smart and ambitious and oh so much of a catch. I know others see that in me too and are thinking the same as I do about you – you are fabulous and finally free to be as amazing as possible. I love that we are kind of doing this together – not that I wish it on you – but it’s reassuring though to know someone I think is fabulous sees things the same way and that doesn’t make us less feminine, but rather determined to get the best out of life.

  6. I have many days like this in my house, where I just want to scream “Will someone else please handle everything??” I also get tired of being the strong one of constantly having to pick myself up by my bootstraps, but then I look at my boys and say everything I do is worth it for them. They are the light in my heart, I love them with my entire being, I am proud of how they are growing into incredible boys.

    I have a devotional book called: “I’m a Good Mother” which sits on my desk and I read it quite often, it helps keep me centered. Here is a quick snippet on Fear: “I overcome my own fears for my child” Today I will take the first step to conquering one of my fears. I will name my fear and visualize myself overcoming it. A quick prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, like my child, I am sometimes afraid. Please give me the strength to confront my hears and to persevere through them so they won’t keep me from being the best mother I can be.

    Hang in there and even though we have never met in person, I can tell by the way you write that the light inside of you is bright – you are a beautiful woman and mother.

    • That’s a great saying Leah – gives clarity doesn’t it? Yep, these kiddos of ours are deserving of the very best mother I can be for the few fleeting years I have the pleasure and responsibility of getting them prepared to live life as independent and hopefully happy adults. They are a great focus for finding the strength to once again reach for those bootstraps on the days it feels so daunting.

      Thank you for your support this past year and those before it too. I really appreciate it!

  7. In retrospect, it’s clear just how strong you are. I have long been inspired by how resilient, smart, innovative, calm and centered you are, all while remaining a Good Person.

    I hope that in the coming year, you have very few reasons to have to be so strong.

    I’ve got your back, my friend :-)

    • You are always so sweet to me Lori. And I’ll take the compliment although I’m laughing at the idea of me being calm. I suppose it may look that way to some, on the inside I feel like a hamster on a wheel always running, scrambling and tumbling around this empty noggin of mine. It’s why I read so much – to quiet things down in there. :)

      I love that you’re my friend in the best definition of the word – bodies to bury and you’ll ask how many shovels to bring, plus the wine of course. :) Thank you.

  8. I feel like I’m loosing my mind. My health is declining. Everyone says you have to take care of your health…. all I can say is how? Everyone is needy in my house. I pretty much do it all except take out the trash and cut the grass. I’m only one person. I get for so many years I could handle working and taking care of everything in the house. I put my needs aside to take care of my children and their children. Now I’m in need of surgery and I feel no comfort. I’m stressed because who is going to help me? My 16 year old son is an arguement waiting to happen. My 24 year old daughter barely making it with her 2 children and depends on my help. My spouse should buy stock in budweiser Because that’s where most of his money goes. I don’t want to come home after my surgery. I have no faith in my family to even make sure the stays clean. At my breaking point… any advice?

    • Hi Merrie, I’m so sorry you’re going through such difficult time right now. Trust me, I get it. I can say that it DOES get better, but it takes longer than you think it ought to and right now you’re in the middle of the worst of it…

      Please feel free to email me if you want to talk in more detail mominmanagement @ gmail . com

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