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I am questioning strength

I do not feel strong, especially at times when people are prone to mentioning it. Is that [i]why[/i] it’s mentioned? If so, it never seems like a reminder of strength. It feels like a barrier has been put up.
When I am crying over a nightmare, flashback, or trigger, where is strength in that? Is it strength that I’m still alive? Am I being congratulated for doing something I don’t want? And what of the people who went through the same things and aren’t alive? I definitely don’t feel stronger than them.
Resignation, numbness, and acceptance feel like they play more a part than strength. Are those the strength being mentioned? If so, I don’t feel like I can take credit, other than working on acceptance in therapy. If I hadn’t done that, would I not be strong?
Strength seems like I had some some other option. What could I have done differently to have that praise of strength taken away?
BlueVeins · 22-25
@itsok It's extremely contextual, in my opinion. On one extreme, we might have an old person with late stage cancer who decides to kill themself for perfectly rational reasons like diminishing medical expenses, preventing their loved ones from seeing them in a worse state, and forgoing future pain. They've thought this over and have directed their force of will towards killing themself, which makes it not a lapse of strength.

On the other end of the spectrum, we might have a young guy who's recovering from a heroin addiction, but has future plans afterwards to marry someone he loves and secure a dream job. He wants to survive and see that bright future, but at times, his symptoms might be so bad that emotions overcome him and push him towards killing himself anyway. He's thought this over and has directed his force of will towards survival, which makes killing himself anyway a lapse of strength.

However, there's a whole world of nuance even beyond that. For one thing, this same logic suggests that the cancer patient failing to kill himself despite wanting to would be a lapse of strength. But more importantly, it's critical to remember that all strength is relative, and the forces that push people in the direction of suicide are all very different. Both you and I have some desire to commit suicide -- against our own interests -- but the psychological problems which tempt you are far, far stronger. Thus, if you were to commit suicide, that might be a lapse of strength (depending on how it happened), but it obviously wouldn't suggest that you had less strength than I did. Thus, a binary way of looking at it is critically limited. All it would really prove is that you had less strength than the individual challenge presented to you demanded.

So I guess that whole line of logic isn't useful for much, but it is useful for the narrow purpose of explaining why I think you're strong. Let me know if I'm off-base in any part of this.
itsok · 31-35, F
@BlueVeins thank you sweetheart
BlueVeins · 22-25
@itsok Of course baby doll, I like how easy it is to talk to you. I remember when we barely knew each other... I'm so glad that talking to people here has become so much easier for you. The rest of us never knew what we were missing.
ginnyfromtheblock · 22-25, F
something i think about a lot is that the need to have a hero’s narrative projected onto a survivor is a coping mechanism for onlookers.

i feel you here. most of the time i do not feel strong, i just feel alive. but alive is enough, because it means you’re still here. but a horrible thing that happens to you is not some kind of plot device or something meant to make you stronger. you shouldn’t have to do anything at all and yet you have to recover and move on AND help people navigate how to talk to you. it just sucks. i’m glad you’re here regardless, though, because the world is better off with you in it.
InfoTunaCanBot · 100+, M
I think that people see strength in endurance and that's not entirely wrong. Whether or not you had the choice to endure, you have endured and that inevitably builds resistance even if you don't always see it. It's a bit like how a boxer builds punch resistance.

What most important is the intent behind the comment and most often the intent is to empower you and to give you hope. Sometimes you can just take the intent and not analyse the words too much. Many brave, courageous or heroic people have refused to see themselves as such because they didn't have a choice in what they did. Yet their acts inspired others nonetheless. People can equally be inspired by you. They can see what you deal with and can gain hope that they can deal with their own situations. That it itself is no small thing.
iamonfire696 · 36-40, F
@InfoTunaCanBot that was very well said and how I feel when I say it. That’s what I think of when I have said it to you @itsok.
To me, strength comes in many forms. Strength is resilience. Strength is not completely giving up on yourself. Strength is forgiveness. Strength is hope. Strength can be an inch instead of a mile. There is also a kind of strength in being vulnerable. Crying over a nightmare, flashback, or triggering doesn’t mean you are weak. It means you went through a lot and crying is a good way to let it out. There is strength in emotions, and letting yourself feel what you feel. It’s apart of the healing process. Your strength can not be taken away from you. The strength that you seek is already in you. You just have to find a way to tap into it. Strength grows in the moments you think you can’t go on, but you keep going anyway.
Itsok, you are strong.
Gaiia · F
because for good or bad life can be, feel as a struggle and youve made it this far, with or without intend and wether or not you like your life. I believe nobody is strong all the time,also but sometimes people dont or cant see their own potential
Reject · 26-30, M
People will call anything strength because it’s one of those words meant to be supportive. It doesn’t make much sense as the strong wouldn’t need support. Strength to me is doing hard things meant to help.
JustNik · 46-50, F
I think strength is something we have to those on the outside looking in and acknowledging that we’re grappling with something difficult. That’s why one is said to have “lost the battle” when they can’t fight anymore for whatever reason, it seems to me. Is that a lapse in strength? I’ve never gotten that impression. Just that whatever was being fought happened to be a bit stronger. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who actually felt strong when their strength was really tested though. I think it’s more rare to feel it in ourselves than to see it in others.
Freeranger · M
Hey quote a Moody Blues's a "Question of Balance."
Whatever you find missing from your character tool-box, you often must reach out and seek it. If you fail to feel strong, seek and reach out to those people or things that will instill that character "in" you. Strength should be taught to you at the knee of your parents, and failing that, perhaps someone who is important in your life.
It has been "my" experience that, the strength that I own was developed over time, partially imbued through my parents and former combat warriors who shared their lessons and paths treveled. Biblically of course, we're instructed to [i]seek wisdom[/i] and it is on [i]that[/i] path I feel, that you may begin to find the answers to the questions surrounding your quest for strength. I'd leave you with a somewhat trite quote that the United States Marine Corps used to print out on t-shirts it handed out to new recruits. "pain is just weakness leaving the body."
Becoming strong seldom is obtained without going through a certain amount of pain in my estimation. That has been my experience at least.
I wish you well....
Pfuzylogic · M
Emotional and “mental” injuries can be concealed and go totally undetected until exposed by criminal behavior.
As a high school teacher I was able to use my teen experiences as a tool for empathy, not judgement.
You are fortunate to have a therapist that you consider effective, not all are.
I look at bullying to be someone’s personal failure and indicative of someone that has lost the ability to care about others.
SolGryn · 31-35, M
No one is truly strong. Anyone can break given the right situation
Helloeveryone · 56-60, F
did you tell your therapist
itsok · 31-35, F
@Helloeveryone I will on Wednesday
Helloeveryone · 56-60, F
who took your strength

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