Are you weak?
Because guess what: I am.
I’m willing to bet sometimes you’re weak, too. Assuming you’re a human being, that is— or any living, breathing being reading these words, for that matter.
We are weak sometimes.
Isn’t it crazy (and I’m a psychologist, I don’t throw around that word lightly) how phobic we are of that word, let alone that concept, of “weakness?”
So many of us have been conditioned, over and over and over again, to hide our “weakness” from the world.
We’ve been conditioned, over and over again, that if we let anyone see that we’re “weak,” at some times, in some ways, that we’ll not be respected.
Because who do we respect in our culture? We respect STRENGTH, dammit!
Every single day I watch people struggle to hide and minimize their “weakness.”
People don’t admit to feeling bad because they don’t want to appear mentally or emotionally “weak.”
People hide relapses, either of symptomatology or behavior, because they don’t want to seem “weak.”
And, of course, the big one: people don’t ask for help, because they don’t want to look “weak.”
Let me tell you something, as a marathon runner: completing a long race is ENTIRELY about managing your weakness.
There are times during a marathon— and DEFINITELY after a marathon— when my legs and core feel weak. By which I mean they feel drained, sore, depleted, shaky. Unable to keep going.
If my goal is to successfully cross the finish line, I need to be realistic with myself about when and where I am feeling weak.
Marathons have no patience for playing make believe when it comes to the subjects of strength and weakness.
You don’t need to pretend you’re not “weak” at times.
Being objectively weak at certain times and in certain ways does not make you “weak” as a person.
People are comparatively weak when they are exhausted— and you might well be exhausted.
People are comparatively weak when they are scared— and you might well be scared.
People are comparatively weak when they are discouraged— and you might well be discouraged.
The only way to effectively deal with “weakness” is to admit when we’re feeling, well, weak.
“Weakness” is not a defect of character.
It’s what happens when we’ve expended a ton of effort, or when we’ve been asked to do things we weren’t conditioned or equipped to do.
If someone asked me to lift a heavy weight right now, I might be able to do it, with a great deal of effort— but you betcha my muscles would be sore and weak for quite awhile afterwards.
I am over people being brainwashed into thinking they have to hide their areas of “weakness,” because our culture only respects “strength.”
If we’re going to recover, we need to value honesty— with ourselves and our support systems— over the illusion of always being “strong.”
Own your weakness.
Don’t try to deny it, disown it, ignore it, or shame yourself for it.
When we fully accept what we can— and can’t— do at a particular moment…that’s when we open ourselves up to developing real strength.
I’ll bet sometimes you’re weak.
But I’ll bet you’re also hella strong, too.
In fact, I know you are— because you’ve survived this long, and you’re reading these words.
You’re a rock star. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
Subscribe to the Doc’s free weekly email newsletter, and never miss a blog or social media post!