I grew up with role models like Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Pink, and Gwen Stefani. Strong, independent women who didn’t need a man but stayed true to themselves when they did get into relationships. Women who turned their pain into chart-topping hits. While my singing is more akin to a cat being baptized, I looked up to these women.
Their ferocity and strength inspired me to become a strong woman.
I was a strong woman when I was nearly homeless, couch surfing my way through friends.
I was a strong woman when I moved across the country to start a new life for myself.
I was a strong woman when I placed my baby for adoption.
I was a strong woman when I was battling depression and suicidal thoughts.
I was a strong woman when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD.
I was a strong woman when I had another baby and battled pre- and postpartum depression.
I was a strong woman when I ended my marriage and finally came out of the closet.
And I was a strong woman when I stood up to judgmental people, bigotry, and prejudice over the course of my life.
Let me tell you something: I’m tired. Exhausted. Burned out.
Being strong can often lead to being burnt out. It’s very real, and it’s more prevalent than ever in the age of COVID-19. However, being strong also means admitting if you need help. Wonder why you’re so emotionally drained if you too identify as a strong woman?
1. You don’t fully trust other people.
As the saying goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Strong women think they’re the best at handling every situation. As a result, we don’t fully allow ourselves to trust others. Perhaps a significant person in your life let you down or hurt you. That can lead us to trust ourselves more than others.
2. You’re the gift that keeps on giving… and giving.
You’re a naturally generous person. So giving your time and energy to others only seems right. However, asking for help in return is something you’d never do. After all, people have lives and things to do or see number 1.
3. You roll with the punches.
Figuratively or literally, you go with the flow. Strong women can handle anything! And this is true but to an extent. With strength comes weakness. This sets you up as a “yes” person, so you’re not perceived as weak or incapable of doing what’s asked of you.
4. 99 bottles of emotion on the wall, 99 bottles of emotion on the wall…
You are so strong. However, bottling up your feelings is very unhealthy. We need a little TLC at times, just like everyone else. Asking for what you need and expressing your emotions is strength. It takes guts to admit your innermost feelings.
5. What’s love got to do, got to do with it…?
Quite a bit, actually! Everyone needs love (including the badass reading this). You’ll give love unconditionally to so many people, even the wrong ones. Showing your love freely is a gift that should be reserved for those that have earned a special place in your heart. And yes, you there, have a heart.
6. It’s time for therapy.
It definitely was for me. As someone who is beyond uncomfortable shouting my issues from the rooftops since it might give someone ammunition against me later, I needed professional help. And it’s okay if you need someone unbiased to talk to too.
I’ve faced many mountains in my life, and I scaled them all. Each one seemed like Everest incarnate. And most of them, I scaled alone. Strength means “the capacity of an object or substance to withstand great force or pressure.” I’ve withstood pressure, and pressure, my dears, creates diamonds. Diamonds are the strongest gemstones. But, unfortunately, they’re also hard and impenetrable. So I’m wary of being a diamond. They shine brightly, but at what cost? It’s not one I’m willing to find out.