This post may have been more difficult to write than the documentation of my sickness. However, I share this because I hope the ultimate message is helpful to anyone struggling with a tragedy or life changing event. [Please don’t mistake this as a plea of sympathy as it is far from that.]
Last week, I experienced my first emotional breakdown since “everything”. I felt vulnerable, weak, and angry. My life drastically changed before my eyes without any warning, rhyme or reason. I have new limitations and thresholds for what I can physically handle. At that given moment, things couldn’t seem more unfair.
At my most emotional state, I confided in my sister, admitting that I felt so ridiculous for crying about what’s been happening while so many worse things are going on in the world and to others. I repeatedly told her that
“I’m supposed to be stronger than this”.
After literally shedding every tear that was inside of me, I felt pretty damn good to be honest with you. It was almost like I needed to have that meltdown considering everything that’s transpired. Then, I wondered … Why did I let myself believe that crying equated to weakness? Especially if I felt so relieved afterwards?
I think we’ve been conditioned as a society, especially men, to believe that tears mean you’re weak. Crying is cathartic. Expressing your feelings is a release. And sometimes, I hate to say it, self-pity is a necessary evil. Your emotions are your emotions. No one can tell you that they’re right or wrong – not even yourself.
I constantly have to remind myself that everyone’s problems whether they seem serious to you or not, are their problems and they’re entitled to feel how they feel – including my own. That night, I learned that yes – corruption, poverty, cancer, deaths are happening but that doesn’t mean that I have to discount my own situation just so I seem strong. That’s not fair to me.
Despite everything, I’d estimate that 90% of the time, I’m smiling, trying to stay positive and strong; the other ten, not so much and that’s okay. I’m allowed that ten percent. We can’t be perfect and happy all the time – it’s impossible. If you don’t allow yourself moments when you naturally feel like crap, then how can you possibly appreciate the good ones?
With each passing day, I’m learning new things whether it’s about my body, feelings, or life in general. I’m realizing that strength doesn’t mean harboring feelings, hiding tears, and trivializing my problems. Strength is going through the natural motions of things, fighting to overcome, and of course smiling when you can.
If you’re having a “moment of weakness”, just have it. When it’s passed, shake it off and do something that makes you happy (retail therapy perhaps?). I end this post hoping that someone out there benefits from reading this. xx Sumaira