The Downside of Being Strong

I have never really been one to ask for help, or anything for that matter. I have realized that I have rarely gotten what I wanted because I wouldn't ask for it. I have spent the last year trying to be better at expressing myself. With that comes expressing my needs and wants as well. However, I find that one of the reasons I have a hard time asking for anything is because I always find myself thinking someone else needs it more. Whether it be help, gifts, time, etc. I always find myself counting my blessing and thinking, I have enough, let someone else have it.

However, underneath that is the overwhelming fear of someone saying “No”. When your exterior is like an egg shell, appearing strong to the world but will crack at the slightest touch, any bit of rejection will destroy you. So if I asked for anything it is like handing someone an egg and trusting them not to drop it. Even the best drop it sometimes. So instead of taking that risk I just decided not to ask. I learned to do it all myself; Self soothe, buy gifts, even make myself soup when I'm not feeling well. And I was damn good at taking care of myself. Until I realized, I want someone to help me. I want to be taken care of.

Always trying to be strong. Cloud gate, Chicago, IL.   PC: Larry Morris

Always trying to be strong. Cloud gate, Chicago, IL. 

PC: Larry Morris

The worst part about not asking for help for so long, is that now everyone assumes you never need anything. “Don’t worry, Anna can handle it” is a common phrase I hear. I am honored that most people think I am self-sufficient and capable enough to take on the world alone. But the truth is I am not. And just starting to ask for things at 29 years old, a lot of times I am overlooked. As a friend so perfectly put it to me, “the downside of being strong”. The sad part is, is I’m not that strong.

The funny part is, that I started writing this because I was upset. I felt like my needs were overlooked recently. But when I stepped back and thought about it, I realized I was really mad at myself for never letting anyone get close enough to help me. So if you are like me and spend your life disappointed that no one is bringing you soup when you're sick, take a step back and think “did I even ask?”. And if you're on the other end, and you have that loved one you can always rely on, maybe go out of your way for them without making them ask. Because maybe they just aren’t ready to ask yet, even though they really need it.

The downside of being strong, is that you usually aren’t strong at all...


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