08 Oct The New Faces of Strength
I really don’t want to write this blog, at least not about this topic. After all, it’s 2022 and we are supposedly living in an advanced time of understanding. The old models never served very well in some ways and surely, we have let go of some of those old notions by which we defined and limited ourselves – often straight into trouble. You’d think we would have evolved beyond those things, wouldn’t you?
But if that is the case, why do I still hear even some young adults tell me they were taught that certain emotions are weak and should therefore be denied, avoided, or buried? Why do I still see people who have put off coming to therapy until they are deeply into a crisis because they are ashamed of what people might think? What about the young woman I saw just the other day who swallowed back her tears and said she didn’t want to talk about it anymore because crying is a bad look and unnecessary? Why do people tell me all the time they don’t want to take any anti-depressant or anti-anxiety or ADHD or really any other sort of mental/emotional health meds because they believe those are just crutches for the weak minded or lazy? Why do I see person after person trying to quit drinking on their own without any sort of plan or program for support just because “old Uncle Ralph just announced he was quitting one day and never picked up another bottle the rest of his life.” Perhaps the saddest one of all is the person who offers support to others who reach out for help but can’t seem to find the same level of grace for themselves.
It makes me sad that so many are still locked into those old notions of strong and weak. They can’t seem to accept the value of a connection with and admission of those painful emotions before they get too close to the edge. They don’t see the unbelievable courage that is takes to come in and admit that they need some help. They don’t see the power in direct expression of feelings or accepting medical help or looking into a 12-step program. They miss the strength that sometimes looks like surrender but is really more of a marshalling of resources.
I know that writing this looks self-serving for a person whose livelihood is based on people being willing to seek help but believe me, there is no shortage of work for a therapist. I reckon there are enough “weak” people out there to keep the doors open to my office! I have also been on the other end of the therapy couch. I spent several sessions facing down some of my own struggles and finding ways to overcome or at least better manage them with the help of a wonderful therapist. If somewhere inside you know you might also benefit from some assistance, why not join me as one of the new faces strength.