“Sometimes the strongest women are the ones who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors, and fight battles that nobody knows about.”

Wow, do I feel like today’s quote is spot on! For better or worse, this is me in a nutshell.

It tends to result in a lot of emotional suffering for me, but I frequently have trouble seeing the “bad” in people. I see the good qualities and the potential for even more. I excuse the red flags as areas that need improvement, but rarely let them be a reason to distance myself from someone. I often put everything I have into the people for whom I care, regardless of how they treat me (e.g., the recent ex, _______).

I also do my very best to keep my tears out of the public eye. I have always felt like I need to be the “rock” for the people in my life. I have made sure that my friends and family know that they can always come to me with their problems and that I will always be available for support, advice, etc. Because of this, I have effectively deprioritized my own problems. I rarely feel comfortable approaching friends and family with my problems, because I feel like I can’t be that “rock” for them if they know that I’m falling apart. Again, this is something I’ve been trying to work on over the course of the last year. I still can’t go to a friend’s house and pour out my heart and tears, but I have reached the point where, if I’m really upset, I can text a friend about it. That’s a huge improvement for me.

Fighting “battles that nobody knows about?” Yep, I’ve been doing that for years. Since I started going to therapy to address some of these issues, I’ve become a lot more open about the battles I fight, however. I definitely don’t share everything, but I don’t hide everything anymore either. I no longer keep it a secret that I go to therapy. I openly admit that I have struggle with severe depression for over a decade. I don’t see any shame in it. We all have problems. We all need help in one form or another. Still, most people could easily watch me on a day-to-day basis and think that I’m an overall happy person with a satisfying life, because they can’t see the struggles that I’m keeping to myself.

I do believe that it takes a great deal of strength to live your life in this way, but I also think it takes a great deal of strength and courage to open up to people–to let them see you cry, to share your battles.

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