Sometimes being strong isn’t for the best.

I came across this “inspirational” this morning while I was perusing my facebook newsfeed.

And I flinched.

A year ago I would have agreed with it.

That keeping strong was what was needed. That it was the Right Thing To Do to keep going, to not let anyone know how much I was struggling.

Let me tell you, that ended up pretty badly for me.

2012 was my hardest year to date, and I’ve been through some pretty difficult times in my past.

And when I thought about it this morning, still hiding under my duvet, not quite ready to get up to face the morning rabble that ensues when you’re a mama of two young boys, I realised that I was so, so wrong.

Being strong to the point you’re crying into your cereal every morning, trying to keep it together, and saying “Nah, I’m fine” to everyone who asks if you’re ok?

That’s not good.

It’s not good for anyone to do that, to keep it all in and try to deal with everything yourself when you’re breaking inside.

It took me breaking down at a school meeting about Max back in November for anyone to realise just how difficult everything was becoming.

To admit to myself that I could no longer cope with things the way they were.

And that was the turning point for us.

Finally realising that I couldn’t cope was one thing, but having to admit it to the professionals?

That was hard.

But it’s also been our salvation.

Now we have the right people involved to help, and things are going well.


It’s too easy to brush people off by saying we’re fine.

“I’m just tired, you know how it is.”

“Oh I think I’m coming down with a wee bug.”

Or my favourite “honestly, I’m OK… you don’t need to worry!” with a big grin and a swift change of subject.

It’s OK to admit that things are tough.

It’s OK to let other people in.

It’s OK to ask for help.

In fact, admitting these things, and asking for help, that can be the trigger that helps you get on the path to feeling more able again.

In other words, sometimes staying strong just isn’t the best course of action.

Sometimes you need to let the cracks show to be able to move forward from where you’re at.

And that’s OK, no matter what anyone says.

Being strong isn’t the be all and end all.

Sometimes it can make things worse.

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  1. May 27, 2013 / 10:01 pm

    There is a time and a place for being strong as you’ve found out, it’s being able to admit when you need help and acting on it and as so many of my friends need to find out that at other times if you aren’t going to accept help then bucking up!
    I’m so glad that you are getting the help you need though.


    • Marylin
      May 27, 2013 / 10:17 pm

      So true. Thanks Pippa. We’re in a much better place now, and my little man is starting to TALK as he’s sleeping better (ish!). 🙂 xx

  2. May 27, 2013 / 10:53 pm

    What a very open and honest post to write. I very often find myself saying those things to people around me when I know that really I could do with offloading so maybe I should heed your advice xxx

    • Marylin
      May 27, 2013 / 11:29 pm

      I just saw it this morning and had to write about it. Too many of us are so used to doing it, and it doesn’t do any good in the long haul. xxx

  3. May 28, 2013 / 7:57 am

    I don’t think we should always have to “I’m fine” Is it all about the way we don’t want to be seen as a moaner? When actually asking for help and admitting we can’t cope can make things better for the whole family. So very glad that everything is getting better for you xx

    • Marylin
      May 28, 2013 / 8:37 am

      I think that’s part of it. I know I didn’t want people to think I wasn’t coping. I was worried they’d be all “hmph, told you”. Like that really mattered! x

  4. May 28, 2013 / 8:45 am

    Totally agree with you.I think that one of the reasons I got Fibromyalgia is because of my insistence that I was OK and ‘keep on keeping on’. The good news is that it is a pretty good way of guiding me back to a more sensible way of being and I’m much better for it.
    Great post lovely, sending you lots of hugs.

    • Marylin
      May 28, 2013 / 8:51 am

      We’re all so determined to keep going instead of stopping to rest. I wonder why that is. Maybe we feel we can’t show our weaknesses? Thank you sweety x

      • May 29, 2013 / 10:45 pm

        I think it’s because our society values perseverance more than it values self-love/self-care.

  5. May 29, 2013 / 8:39 pm

    I’ve actually been going through the thing about asking for help for several years now, and was working on a blog post about it today! It’s still hard. I know things happen when I do, but it’s still hard to be vulnerable enough to ask for help.

    • Marylin
      May 29, 2013 / 10:04 pm

      Oh yes, I know that feeling. You can do it hon. *hugs* xx

  6. May 31, 2013 / 4:53 pm

    You are so right about that hun. It’s so important to be able to recognise when you’re struggling and actually ask people to help.

    • Marylin
      June 1, 2013 / 10:23 am

      And yet it’s so hard to admit to ourselves, let alone anyone else, that we’re struggling. xx

  7. June 24, 2013 / 4:03 am

    What a great and honest post. I loved it and it is so true. Its ok to be strong for others but its also ok not to be strong and ask for help as well. We are not weak by admitting that we need help, it takes far more courage

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