Be strong, hold it in, don’t cry. These are not measures of strength but measures of masking. I am not strong. In fact, to prove I don’t have strength, I have to hide how I really feel. Guess what? THAT takes real strength.
Big girls don’t cry but they sure can have a breakdown. How do I decide? Should it be one big extra-strength sob or many regular-strength crying jags? The smaller ones happen more often than the big one, so does that mean the little triumphs over the big?
See, in a depressed person, everything runs backwards. Is the chemistry backwards or is that what meds do? The treatments seem counterintuitive sometimes. We control the serotonin and lift what is low and lower what is too high. That even keel does not seem so even nor does it feel controlled. Little bits of brain chemistry leak out and take over the strongest of people.
Sometimes, the littlest steps, like getting out of bed, take the greatest amount of strength. To one person it is one slide of the foot, but to someone else it is the slide off the edge of the cliff.
Who is to say who is strongest: The little voice inside telling you to keep going or the loud voice telling you to get a grip and control yourself? If you are not supposed to cry in public, minimize in private, do not scare others with your emotions, and preserve the small quiet strength inside of yourself, when do you get to scream out? When do you get to cry, and rant, and snot through so many tissues you horrify yourself?
When do you get to feel strong because you have dealt with feeling so weak, for so long and no one else can appreciate just how much weight you are carrying? Why does carrying all that stuff around, feeling every raw nerve, and obsessing about the pain make you weak?
It may be the brain chemistry that is running backwards, or the forward-facing meds, but they still have not come up with anything strong enough to take away the pain.