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Discussion Starter #1
I crumble really easily. Most people don't see me cry though, as I've always hidden it. And I've always been incredibly sad because of situations outside my control that make me feel weak- health and family mostly. But I see other people who are enraged by their struggles, or always have 'fight' in them. I know I'm strong for still being here and making it through but still, I'm conflict avoidant. I even avoid my own problems. And though I try to stop comparing myself to others, I am just annoyed with myself for always crying, even though I hide it. And I'm trying to be more upfront about my emotions, so people don't just think I'm okay when I'm not. Sometimes the sadness is just too much though, and constant. I don't have money for therapy.

How did you find emotional strength? Do you struggle with feeling kind of babyish? I'd be happy to hear your story seriously! To be up front, I've seen myself and others go through terrible things in life, and some just have a different temperament where they HANDLE things and then there's me and a few of my friends, who struggle to get out of feeling so broken because of it. And that's the best way I can describe it- just feeling broken, and hopeless, and defeated. But I really want to feel like I'm strong, and to fight instead of giving up right away, and to believe in myself enough to persevere.
 

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What helped me was understanding what courage really is..
It isnt that you arent afraid that makes you strong, thats unrealistic, everyone is afraid of something.
Its that despite your fear, you can face your obstacles.

I still struggle in certain areas.
Im terrified of people.
but I have made steps forward.
and thats what counts. Every little step counts towards something, towards growing and evolving.
 

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Your problems are self generated doubts...you say you know yourself to be strong so why not end the discussion there? why think outside of that. In this trusting strength finds you. Strength is found for me by distinguishing between the emotion and the supposed identity experiencing the emotion, this is a capacity that gets developed when mental thoughts are watched. The mind is habitual and appears autonomous but is entirely dependant on your involvement to continue its association with your self which is what allows your reality to be dictated moment to moment.
 

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I completely agree with both of you. Thank you for sharing your insight with me! I'm normally okay and really try to be mentally strong but every now and then I kind of 'break' as evident by basically all my posts to this forum hahaha. I just have to stop letting those 'weaker' moments define me. I'm at a crossroads right now where I have to choose which of a few very major fears of mine I'll face and so I'm feeling particularly vulnerable and scared lately. It will help to disidentify from them and to recognize the steps I've made forward that are positive.
 

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I think your response to the previous posters is hitting the nail on the head.

I went through a fair amount of stuff when I was young that kinda fcked me up [no money for therapy either]. Trust issues, bad relationships, extreme anxiety, etc. When I was at my lowest, I couldn't break free from it. As if I was waking up every morning and screaming to myself in the mirror "You can't trust anyone! You don't deserve anyone! They all hate you!" My self-talk was always so severe and debilitating. One day, after falling into a particularly bad rut, I just sat there sobbing to myself and wanting to get to the root cause of everything. I didn't want to suffer anymore. Opened up a notes app and just started writing. I don't know for how long but the entry was 2000 words. I felt lighter then.

At least for me, finding emotional strength [as in, being able to handle what's thrown at me, even if I break down still] was about being in touch with what I was feeling, and not taking my emotions at simply face value. There is a lot of effort you must put in to correct those habits of being harsh on yourself. That same energy you put into doubting yourself/making comparisons/feeling self-pity can easily be used for building yourself up, understanding that you are your own person, and encouraging yourself to keep your head up.

I felt more babyish, to use your words, when I bottled everything up. My emotions and thoughts would cascade out at the worst times, often unrelated to what was bothering me on the surface. A lot of my emotional funk stemmed from decade-old issues. I feel more confident in the fact that I can show all my emotions. Something like 'Yeah, I can't see from the tears in my eyes and my nose is running and I'm bawling but so what? I'm brave enough to show that things can [and DO] affect me!' The most important thing is to get to a place where you start to not feel embarrassed about being who you are, whether you cry a lot or a little, whether you need a lot of support or none, whether you can distract yourself or really do need a shoulder to lean on.

Vulnerability is something I have struggled with for so, so long. I'm the person others come to when they're struggling, and somehow it got into my head that I could never do the same. Being raw and gross with people I trust still feels horrid, but I take that chance 10 out of 10 times now. It hurts, but it works. I started by being vulnerable with myself, and trying to address the parts of my being that were way more than a little 'funky' and made me uncomfortable to even think about. Once I could acknowledge that I was every bit 'ME', even the aspects that I loathe, I was able to be more forthcoming when discussing myself with trusted ones.

It's better to break and rebuild a stronger foundation than it is to slowly weaken an unstable one.
 
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I thought about it a lot... how some kids are resilient to horrible shit and how some can't get past it or f their life up looking for the quick fix or escape... which I kinda did.

Props to the kids who become great adults. I'm jealous.
 

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What has helped me is to not self-identify with my thoughts and emotions. Let them arise and pass without attachment and judgement. You are not your thoughts and emotions, and you do not have to identify with your thoughts and emotions. You are the awareness and observer behind them, and you have the power and choice to not let your thoughts and emotions control you.

How do you teach someone to trust or have faith? I don't know if you can, but you just have to believe. Believe in yourself that you can persevere and make it on your own. Strength to me is finding the trust and faith within me when I am not blinded by my automatized thoughts and emotions. I can find that space when my mind is quiet.
 
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