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Is it always possible to stay strong?

In the last few years I have been faced with a number of situations that I felt certain I would not recover from, and until now, I have been unable to discuss the pain I have been through. But after seeing a woman on the bus in tears and shaking because she had just found out her nana had passed away, I decided, in order for us to stay strong and move on, it is imperative for us to share our stories, to ensure women, and men all over the world that you are not alone.

There are moments in everyone’s life when we feel lost, lonely, and broken, but it almost feels like a social necessity to stay strong and keep those tears for when you are lying in your bed listening to that one song that makes you feel like the world has ended.

During my first year of university I received a call from my dad saying my dog meg, my best friend, had passed away. The pain I felt was indescribable, I fell to my knees and let out a cry of pain I hoped she would hear to know I was sorry, because most of all, I felt like I had let her down, I moved away from university, and was not there to say goodbye, and to tell her I loved her one last time. As I went back to university I was asked by every friend I had come across if I was ok, but I just could not bring myself to tell them what had happened, because I knew if the words came out of my mouth, it really would be true. Thinking about it now, If I had told them, the support they would have given me would have helped me with my grief, and I now know I would have felt stronger, but now I ask myself, did I actually need to be strong ? Or could I express my pain as I pleased? and hoped the world would understand ?

Of course we all know that loss I have just described, knowing you will never see that one person again, never hold them, never tell them you love them. But we must not forget the pain we feel when every aspect of your life suddenly goes right, you feel whole again, and then for some reason, the cards we have been dealt change dramatically.

Two weeks after graduating I was offered a job as an assistant editor, at what I thought was an amazing company. So, like a naive graduate, I called my current job and told them I would not be going in anymore, and I started the new job the day after this. I woke up every morning with a smile on my face that I had not felt in a year, I had actually started my life properly. Unfortunately as you can probably predict, this job lasted 4 weeks, and I had the realisation that this company was exploiting graduates, paying them minimum wage, and making them work 12 hours a day. The day I started asking questions was the day I was asked to leave.

I went home that night, and could not process how I had gone from having two jobs, and a happiness I can’t even explain, to having nothing, and with the rent due in three days, I felt lost, and empty, and to be honest with you all, I felt worthless. I got into bed and cried for about 3 days, I did not eat, I did not sleep, and I did not smile. And once again I made the decision not to tell the people around me, which made the pain all that more consuming.

At this point I decided to call home, with the intent on not even telling them what had happened to me, but as soon as my dad picked up the phone, and I heard the familiar, safe sound of his voice, I burst into tears, and just let it all out, I explained how I felt useless, lost, and quite frankly ashamed of the fool I had made of myself. I managed to compose myself after hearing him tell me things would get better and I would be where I wanted to be in life, and as he passed the phone to my mum I just collapsed again, and yet again, in about 10 minutes, I felt 100% better.

When my boyfriend walked into the room I just fell into his arms and cried about everything I couldn’t say to him, I told him the secrets of my heart, and the pains of my soul, and I felt safe, understood, and free.

This is when I came to the realisation that it is not always imperative to be consumed by your own grief, and to live with those thoughts that made you want to walk away, and just keep walking.

In order to stay strong, we must accept the help and comfort from those around you, after all, if you can’t have a cry with those you love, who can you fall on? There is time to be strong after, for now, if you are doubting your very existence, tell your friends, family and loved ones, and just enjoy that one moment of clarity and comfort.

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