I always act strong and serene, standing tall, resistant to the storms and the blows, without seeking emotional refuge or even a hug. I’ve resigned to keeping my sorrows and grievances quiet, to believing that failure is certain if things do not go according to plan. I always act strong, which is why I break down so hard. It can happen any day, and I can’t control it.
I stopped myself from crying and externalized my emotions. They transformed into so-called isolated symptoms, although I still considered them to be the price I paid for an environment that asked so much of me, without receiving anything in return.
I didn’t set boundaries against the emotional support that others demanded of me. For them, my boundaries were wide open, and yet for myself, my emotional space slowly transformed into arid territory with sharp wire fences.
My external strengths, my patient ear, and my eternal concessions became my own emotional captors. Everybody had the key to enter my personal space, and for me it became more and more necessary to leave and get some air. Before I knew it, it had been a long time since I crossed the threshold of what was humanly tolerable. I continued to believe that everything consisted of being strong emotionally without being strong physically.
Minimizing your emotions damages your emotional health
Throughout my life, I’ve always silenced my hypocrisies, my grievances, and my need for affection. When I wanted to get out, all of my strengths were external. They were taken by other people who no longer saw them as temporary help, but as a way to turn my energy into their walking sticks.
When you feel weak, you break down over the poor management of your inner life. You break on the inside and become comatose. The day will come when you can’t get up anymore because your muscles are no longer able to respond. You feel depressed over all the stress you’ve accumulated. You start having panic attacks.
Somehow, you seem to be robbed of all your strength, completely defenseless against things you can’t even name or explain. Endurance always has a limit, but you’ve never known how to establish limits with others. Sensitive but self-sufficient people should always know the signs of an imminent emotional breakdown before it happens.
Poor psychological education has consequences
A recent study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine explained different approaches to depression and compared it to poor education in certain countries, like Spain. There is a lack of coordination in the joint treatment of psychological disorders by psychiatrists, psychologists, and other health professionals.
As a result, suicide is one of the main causes of death in Spain. Depression is also a leading cause of work disability in recent years. Today’s high work and social demands, along with a lack of mental health education, increases the likelihood of psychological disorders developing in the population.
This situation leads to a climate of ignorance, in which unqualified professionals approve this approach. Such unqualified practice causes the population to suffer, dizzy from the advertisement of all kinds of inventions that claim to cure the mind or help it function better, while lacking any type of scientific support.
Break down more often and know how to ask for help
You have the right to be and feel sad, to not always appear strong. You have the right to set limits with the people around you, whether it’s your partner, your mother, or your child. You have the right to get to know yourself and to know that emotional processing is complex, and that we all have our own unique way of perceiving reality and seeking happiness.
You have the right to break down and put yourself back together. This is always better than picking up the pieces that others leave in your way. You have the right to know that taking care of yourself isn’t selfish.
If you stop trying to act strong and endure continuous aggression from your environment, you’ll avoid settling into a permanent state of weakness. When you know that you don’t always have to put on a happy face when you’ve long since lost your patience, you can be assertive and protect your personal space. Knowing when to be weak will prevent you from breaking into pieces on the inside over and over again.