People often tell me I’m a strong woman.
My usual response is a shake of my head, a quizzical face, and an exclamation of “Me? No!”
Partly because in my mind I’ve always equated a strong woman with someone who actually knows what the fuck they’re doing, someone who seems to go through life quite easily, knows what they want and how to get it.
Someone who doesn’t collapse in a heap of tears because there are no biscuits left at the end of a difficult day.
I am none of those things.
If you are that woman I’m not suggesting you aren’t also a strong woman, just that I’ve realised being strong is so much more than that.
It’s also, partly because like, I expect, most people, I’m rubbish at accepting a compliment. (I’m working on that).
I absolutely don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. One thing I know for certain is that I’m not alone in that.
The thing is, if life is challenging, If like me you seem to go straight from one disaster to the next, but you’re still getting up every day and getting through till bedtime, however it is you’re doing that, you are a strong woman.
If you don’t really know what youre doing but you’re going ahead trying to figure it out anyway, you’re a strong woman.
If all you can manage today is getting up and sitting on the sofa with a pack of biscuits, you are a strong woman because you’re doing what you need to get through.
If you need help and you find a way to reach out and ask for it there is strength in that. It’s not an easy thing to do.
If antidepressants are what get you through you are strong because you recognised that you needed that, and you sought help.
Being strong is getting through the day even when you feel broken in two.
A friend told me you can be simultaneously broken and strong because if you’re surviving you are strong. She’s right.
Strength doesn’t lie in having all the answers, knowing how to do life, it lies in surviving and if you’re doing that, even if you’re hanging on by your fingertips, you, yes, you, are a strong woman.
Even if you aren’t able to believe that right now I believe it for you.
I may be broken in two, I may not have the answers, or even a clue what I’m doing, but I’m here, I’m trying, I am a strong woman. You are too.