I May Be Strong But I’m Emotionally Exhausted

I’ve held off posting this

Mostly because I didn’t really know myself what was really happening. I hoped things wouldn’t take quite so long to get sorted out. And this is a beauty and travel blog. And this post is neither beautiful or anything to do with travelling.

But my sporadic blogging has been going on for around a year now and I would like to provide a reason if nothing else.

Despite being tired for a year now I think everything finally hit me like a truck in the last fortnight. I kind of realised what was going on, and then didn’t really know what to do. So I figured I might as well sit down, write it out, and put it live. Because either you’re reading this and it might help you, or it might help you understand a friend who is similar or maybe it just might make you think twice about interactions with people you’ve pegged to be a certain ‘way’ before, without really knowing the full story.

Hit The Wall

Exhausted isn’t enough to describe the state I am going through right now. True enough, I do often feel absolutely exhausted in my body yes, but it’s not just a physical tiredness. It’s an emotional or, I assume, psychological tiredness as well, all rolled into one.  Can I even really explain it away as just ‘tired’? I don’t even know.

Basically I am just so tired of being the strong one and I’ve hit a wall. I am tired of having to suppress things I think and want to say, slap a fake smile on everything and keep calm and carry on. It’s exhausting every day to have to pretend to be enthusiastic, strong, in charge, calm, happy and try and make some jokes or be silly just to keep a hold of what your personality on a good day should be like, or so people don’t realise there’s a problem.

I am tired of being the rock (not literally ‘the rock’ that would be terrifying), for everyone and anyone. Honestly at this point I’m actually tired of pretending to care about some other people’s issues because they are such non-issues I want to scream at them to shut up. But I don’t.

How Does It Feel

I’m sat here, on Saturday night, cross legged on my sofa, crying and listening to Ghost Town from Ye’s new album.  Mostly because I relate to someone who seems to have got lost along the way this year.  I really don’t know where to look for direction at the moment or who to go to because I don’t really think people know me as this person at all. My friend who I trust the most telling things like this to has seen me cry 2/3 times over the past 5 years and one of those was in the last fortnight.

Suddenly here I am, after cancelling all my weekend plans, tight feeling in the chest, wishing I hadn’t spent so long denying my own feelings.

After my PTSD diagnosis the only person I tried to speak to about it, and explain it to them, told me they didn’t realise I had so many issues, told me they didn’t know what I expected them to say to me and made me feel like an actual crazy person. I even tried once more to print off a definition from the internet which articulated more than I ever could and gave it to them. They never mentioned it after that, and months later I found the piece of paper…exactly where I had left it, with a pile of other random stuff on top of it.

I didn’t bother speaking about it with anyone after that apart from my therapist. But your therapist isn’t your friend, and they aren’t around all the time. I wish I had really talked about it with friends so they also understood me, because now I feel like I am the one who is unravelling. And they don’t really know much about this, so they have no way to ever understand. Which I realise is my fault, but after that reaction, which broke me, I couldn’t deal with telling anyone else in case it happened again.

You’re So Independent and Strong, I Admire That 

People have said the above to me plenty over the years. It has aspirational connotations I guess, it’s #goals to be seen as a strong, independent, self-sufficient woman. Well let me tell you, it might sound nice, but it’s actually pretty crappy when people think that, because they also think it means you don’t need them at all and you don’t get offered help.

I would guess that most, if not all, of the strong women out there didn’t exactly set out to be a strong woman specifically. Like me they have probably had a time, or times in their life when things happened that just change you, make you feel like you’re living your own worst nightmare or even a nightmare you couldn’t imagine could ever be as bad as the reality.

Strong Is What Happens When There’s No Other Option

I had to learn to become strong because no one was there for me through my struggles and tribulations. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to say that and throw people under the bus. I am not complaining to anyone or about anyone who would probably read this and think, yes I bloody well was. It’s not you, you couldn’t have been. I never told you the full story. I put the walls up and even if you might think I have told you a lot of stuff, nope, you don’t have the faintest idea.

I don’t have a sibling, a father, any grandparents left, and a lot of friends who are awesome but who barely know 10% of the story. So here I am now, worn-out and lost, wondering if someday someone will be there for me in all the ways I have been there for them. And I’m not mad at anyone I’ve been there for. I can only assume I try and fix others problems to make me feel better as well as them, I’m not mad, it’s clearly not a one woman selfless mission. Worrying about someone else’s problems takes your mind off your own and I do really care about other people.

Why Has This Taken Me So Long To Realise…

I have always played the role of someone who seems to be able to do anything and everything. I tried to convince myself it was true.  Because of this I know when other people look at me they see me as exactly that. They see me as competent and able, they say ‘you’ll get through it’, that I’m ‘fucking tough’. But I’m not really I don’t think. My soul is exhausted.

It’s a bit like them seeing me with a filter, they see me as strong and steady, with a game plan and in control. I also know (since I’ve been told) that people who don’t know me even to a small degree, often see me as serious, uninterested and kind of a bitch. And I know why, I won’t even notice they are there to be honest, I have so much of my own shit going on I often feel like I’m in my own little bubble.

No New Friends

So if I don’t have to get to know someone, I generally have no interest in trying, simply because my walls are up so high, that frankly it’s too much effort to be ‘fake me’ with even more people.

I wish that anyone who ever thought that about me being cold and a bitch knew that inside I feel like I am breaking.

I feel like I have spent my entire life trying to prove to everyone including myself that I am strong and being strong would be enough. But it’s not. I have spent so much of my energy setting such high expectations to be strong and supressing my own emotions that now I’m done. I’m too tired. I’m just worn out by it all.

Suppressing Your Own Feelings 

When you’re the strong one you end up suppressing your own wants, thoughts and how you feel. You’re cautious with who you befriend, and even with great friends who’ve know you for years you are cautious about sharing to much, or being a burden to people as you feel you shouldn’t be giving your problems to someone else. Despite them being people you would help in the same situation and would always support, you feel guilty telling them about your issues.

It’s so rare for me to ever ask for help, that I don’t even know many people I can ask for help really. Once you seem strong people stop offering help. And if you feel uncomfortable asking for it, you just don’t get any. In fact when I have been desperate a few times I have asked for help and have not got anything close to anything helpful in return as people just think ah I’ll say no she’ll be fine if we don’t meet up, or she’ll be fine if I say no. Strong people don’t often go around asking for help so when you’re at breaking point sometimes you don’t even know who to ask or what to say.

You Know What The Truth Is?

The real truth is that those of us who are the strongest people you know, are honestly the ones that need someone the most. And someone to talk to, kindness and a hug is generally what they need. Everyone needs someone in their life that is just a bit stronger than them. And it really is a need.

I do have someone, but they have their own shit going on too, and I don’t like to burden them unless it’s desperate as I don’t want to be a problem. It’s hard for me to realise that I actually NEED someone. As I didn’t have anyone for so so long I just convinced myself I didn’t need anyone, I ran from it because it seemed it had negative connotations.

I Got Shut Down

Especially after that person I reached out to when I really needed someone basically just shut me down totally and made me feel like I was needy and clingy and a mess, when that was their issues and not mine. I realise now that some people see this as a weakness, an inconvenience, the perfect excuse to walk all over you.  Generally people who haven’t had problems in their life and who have no idea what pain is like. I think it frightens some people when you tell them things that they can’t even imagine then they look at you sat there, looking kinda ok and having lived through it, and they just can’t deal with it.

Honestly there’s no point in trying to make sense of it all, why someone you cared so much about would treat you the way they did. Sometimes it just is what it is. But it doesn’t mean they are right.

It’s OK Not To Be Strong All The Time

I’ve realised in the last few weeks that I need to get this into my head. I’ve always told myself – don’t let anyone in or let them know of my struggles. I was ashamed to have a weak moment in case anyone else thought I was crazy. I was ashamed that they would blame the things that had happened to me, on me. A lot of people are really really judgemental.

What if someone sees my crying which I would normally keep to myself? What if someone hears the deepest dreams and desires in my life that I don’t always find the place or the time to talk about and judges me and laughs at me? Ugh that though of that happening again always put me off. I always try so hard to get to know people in my life and what they are like before I even let them know a little about real me, as often I get to that point and realise they have lived a cushy life and are really judgemental and really are in no place to handle what I could tell them when they ask about my life.

That One Ride Or Die Friend

I didn’t even make a conscious decision to go and see my friend last week when I broke down.  We don’t hang out as much these days due to work pressures, kids, time. And I don’t want to be a burden to even a bff and try and request his time, I know he doesn’t mind but..I don’t know. I didn’t think about any of that on the day.  That day I just burst out crying at my desk, stood up and my feet walked me down the three floors to his office on autopilot and straight into a hug. Thankfully he was there, I’m also so glad a friend is his only other office-mate otherwise that could have been really weird.

Man I wish they could know how grateful I am for them. Him for always having my back and our other friend for being cool and taking me out for lunch or a drink here and there to keep my mind off things,  even though he has absolutely no idea about any of this or about the things I have going on now, had going on before or why on earth I would just rock up crying unnanouced. One day maybe I’ll tell him if he asks. We’ll see if I can manage it.

So If I Know All This – Why Sit & Cry With Kanye On Repeat?

Because it’s so hard to admit to myself what I know deep down that I need. I need someone strong, stronger than me, that can take care of me. I don’t mean money wise. Sometimes I just need a strong arm around my shoulders, a person to call every time something bad happens whose voice alone can comfort me. Someone to have my back and to tell me things will be ok, no matter the shitstorm I endured that day. I may be independent financially, I may have a home and a car, a job and my own company, I may be totally capable of doing everything myself. I just need to get it into my head that I don’t want to, and actually act accordingly.

There’s nothing wrong in craving for someone to hold you, to take care of you, to wipe away your tears and tell you that you just need to stop listening to the damn emo Kanye album.

Getting It Into My Own Head It’s OK

I think I finally get it’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s not a weakness. We all need a “someone” to remind us that it’s okay to not be strong all the time. It’s just a form of love. I just need to stop pushing it away if it’s offered, and realise that if I tell someone things like I did before and it doesn’t go well, to not let it break me and to keep on keeping on trying with people.

Of course I will always continue being strong for others. I don’t think anyone can change their personality that much for me to be able to stop. But I need to make sure I don’t give and give on an unsustanable level.

I hope this was relateable to someone. Sending you a big hug if it was you. I hope our shine will return and we sparkle like we know we could x