That’s what my doctor told me, the day I left the hospital, after 10 days in ICU (after giving birth to Adam). I remember blushing and feeling embarrassed, but mainly happy!
“I raised you to be tough like a man, but now I see that you are tougher than any man I know” that’s what my dad told me the day I was leaving my home-town and my family, to come to Bahrain. I also blushed, but had the proudest look on my face!
“You are a strong little girl” that’s what my teacher told me at the funeral of my dear beloved grandmother, for not crying and for making sure my sister was doing fine! I felt proud!
Now at 29years old (what feels like an eternity already), and after hearing the word: “strong” addressed to me so many times, I no longer blush, nor feel happy or proud! I actually feel anxious and pressured! All my life I have been trying my best to always be and appear strong! So my teacher wouldn’t be disappointed, so my dad can be proud of me, so my doctor gives me a star for being a great patient! But it’s tiring! It is exhausting to be strong all the time! To hold your tears, to oppress the fear and push it real deep so no one can have a glimpse of it, to never ever ask for help even when you really need it!
This was never a choice, I think this is just how I am wired! Or maybe because I had strict parents who only expected the best from their youngest! Whatever it is I want it to end. I need it to end! I deeply desire to be vulnerable, sensitive, helpless, needy…. Anything that doesn’t imply strength in any possible way! I would like to let myself loose, to cry in front of friends and family, I would like to pick up the phone and call a friend to come over and give me a hand, I would like to say the words: “I need help” without feeling guilty or ashamed or even embarrassed! Even for a day! And feel this weight lift off my shoulders and dissipate into the air around me
Being strong- or trying to be strong all the time, takes a toll on your energy, your mental and physical health! Energy that could be spent in brighter things! But how to stop? How to forget about being strong and give a chance to the vulnerable you to just be? Strenght is a quality that should be used wisely! So here I am taking my own advise! Freeing myself from the burden of my strenght! Free, strong, and vulnerable…!!