“You’ll be fine. You’re you.” My friend the nurse told me the other night when I showed up for my first trail run ever. “You never stop, you’re resilient, and a little crazy.” I take it as a huge complement, but its also an indictment of how we as a society and profession look at strong people.
“You’re you.” Just because we have garnered a reputation of strength doesn’t mean we are always strong. Over time we can be beaten down by the constant efforts required of our careers, our families, our responsibilities to others, and the challenges of everyday life. The strong are looked to by those in need, and so our burdens increase as others need our aid and we say to ourselves “They need my help. My shoulders are broad. I can bear a little more.” Then a little more. Then more. Eventually even an additional straw may be too much if others don’t realize the pressure on us.
“You never stop.” The job of a special needs parent or even a regular parent that is also running a business or building a career is non-stop. Trying to take care of our physical health, our relationships, while still trying to grow as a human being requires near perpetual effort. It is never ending, and often we feel like we are falling behind. Those of us who are driven start cutting out rest, or personal attention. Taking care of others requires strength and endurance. Taking care of ourselves takes awareness that we often purposely ignore. Because we are rising early and staying late, making little sacrifices towards the big vision. Our deferred gratification and constant dissatisfaction with our current situation. This is often accompanied by low level burn-out, a constant pushing off of rest and recharging and rejuvenation because that is what is needed right now.
“You’re resilient.” Because when broken I heal and come back. Again. And again. Maybe I am too dumb to give up. Or stubborn. Or I believe in something. Or just can’t because others depend on me. This is most often the case with resilient people: we keep getting up when knocked down because we have to.
I’d go in depth about “here’s to the crazy ones” but I’m too tired to do so. I’m going to go rest before I break.
Check on your strong friends. They need it and will never ask for the help they require.