Recently I seem to be having a lot of conversations with strong, warrior women in my life who are going through really difficult times and in huge conflict about showing their vulnerability.
Do you consider yourself to be a fearless warrior?
Yeah, me too.
The problem with that is that we are often reluctant to admit we need help, and even more reluctant to ask for it.
Back in 2010, I was in a really bad place in my life. I was in a toxic relationship, had slipped a disc in my back, had lost people I loved to suicide, and nearly lost others. I slipped into a depression too, and the hardest thing about that was admitting it.
Before then I had always been the strong one. I’d always been the one everyone turned to for help. I was really good at dealing with a crisis, and there seemed to be a lot of them in the lives of those around me, including my boyfriend at the time.
I was working in a challenging role as a Probation Officer plus running my business on the side, and constantly learning new things and doing personal development courses. My ex called me a compulsive giver, especially when I needed it the most – and he was right.
When I found myself in the black hole of depression, unable to use my body because my back was broken, and unable to use my mind because my brain was broken, it took me a while to accept the diagnosis from the Doctor, I swore I wasn’t depressed.
I had some amazing friends around me who were a great source of support, but I still really struggled to ask for help. I was supposed to be the strong one. Out of a pretty big friendship group in London I only trusted a few to see me like that, and some friends really didn’t know what to say or how to help because they were so used to me having my shit together.
That experience taught me a lot – it’s ok to not always be the strong one.
“Depression isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign you’ve been strong for too long.”
Ain’t that the truth.
These days I don’t always feel I have to be the warrior woman and hold it all together. There are occasional days where I feel like I want someone else to scrape me off the floor and tell me everything will be ok. I’m just like anyone else.
The danger of putting ourselves out there as the strong one is that we are too scared to show our vulnerability. We don’t trust what will happen if we show it. Will those we love run away if they see us like that? What will happen if we’re not strong? Won’t everything fall apart? Isn’t being vulnerable a sign of weakness?
It takes massive amounts of strength and courage to be able to show your vulnerability.
Brene Brown writes a lot about this topic and nails it. Check out her TED Talk on the power of vulnerability. She also talks about the price of invulnerability too.
I definitely paid a heavy price for being invulnerable back in 2010, and I’m sure as shit not going back to that place again. I share my vulnerability a lot more now, so it never builds up to breaking my mind and body.
Are you struggling with this too?
Ask yourself these questions:
What can I ask for help with today?
What can I let go of today?
How can I feel empowered by my vulnerability?
I’d love to hear your comments below about your own experience 🙂
Catcha on the flip side,
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