There is a saying that is pretty common, but especially here in the South. “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I believe it to be very true. The very things that have been meant to kill me, such as narcissistic abuse, have instead strengthened me in the long run.
But, the truth is, in spite of being grateful for the strength I’ve gained, I’m pretty tired! Tired of the nonsense I’ve lived through, & mostly tired of always being the strong one who carries other people can fall apart.
Many people, especially those of us who have survived narcissistic abuse, are a great deal stronger than we realize. This doesn’t usually escape the notice of other people, however. They notice it right away & often, don’t hesitate to use our strength to help themselves out. Even when they know we’re going through a crisis, they’ll come to us for comfort, advice or to meet some other need, often without even asking how we’re doing. When faced with a difficult person, we are the one who is always supposed to be understanding or the “bigger person”, & let the offenses go. People know we’re strong & can handle bad situations, so they assume we never need help, a shoulder to cry on or, well, anything really..
The simple truth is that even the strongest among us need help sometimes. Being strong can be hard enough, but feeling as if you’re completely alone in your struggles with no one to help, & you have to be strong all of the time for others is incredibly hard. It’s extremely depressing, because you know you can’t count on anyone else to let you lean on them. It’s also mentally & physically draining.
Chances are, if you’re reading this post, then you understand this all too well. I would like to encourage you today to make self-care a priority. Take breaks as needed from work or from other people (especially the ones who lean on you without reciprocating). Set & enforce healthy boundaries to protect yourself. Do nice things for yourself often. What makes you feel good? Make it a priority to do those things as often as possible. Participate in your hobbies often. Express your creativity often.
And, remember- sometimes you need to lean on others as they have leaned on you. It’s actually a good thing for a relationship- it makes you depend on each other instead of the relationship being one sided. It also increases intimacy in the relationship, because asking for help makes you vulnerable. I understand that it is very hard to do, but I encourage you to step out & try it. Ask God how to do this & who to ask- He won’t guide you wrong!
And, speaking of God, don’t forget to lean on Him as well! He loves you so much, & wants to help you in every way you need help. I’ll never forget what happened when I was sick at the end of February.. I was relaxing, just playing a game on my tablet, & I couldn’t get past this one level. It was frustrating me. I muttered & asked God to help me get past this stupid level. Suddenly, I did it! I started to cry. Granted, I was super emotional because of the concussion I got only a few days prior, but even so, it was a lovely moment. I knew God helped me to win that game because He loves me so much that He even cares about something so trivial that means something to me. He loves you just as much- allow Him to show it. Trust Him & lean on Him. He won’t disappoint you.