Only The Strong Survive

This morning when I opened Facebook, this photo showed up in my News Feed from a page called The Mind Unleashed.



I thought “Wow, how true is that” and immediately shared it.

I’ve been thinking about it all day, how all my life, people expect me to be fine, to pick up the pieces, to carry on.  And I do.  But they don’t see the cost.  I had a friend, an ex-friend,  say to me once  “It’s easy for  you.  You’re strong.”  I wanted to  punch her.  No one was there with me the times I fell apart; the mornings I couldn’t get out of bed because I couldn’t face the day; the nights I drank too much wine because I didn’t want to feel the pain.  It’s never easy; it’s just the only way I know.

I’m not strong. But here is what I am.


I’m not ashamed to cry in public but I prefer to do my melting down either alone or in the company of loved ones.  I don’t need to put on a show to prove how deeply I feel.


When I wind up flat on the floor, I may lay there for awhile, but eventually, I’ll get back up on my feet.  I just need some time to catch my breath after getting the wind knocked out of me.


The creatures who survive in this world are the ones who are able to adapt to change.  I may not like change.  I may not want change.  I may shake my fist at change.  But sooner or later, I figure out how to live with it and even make it work for me.


I may feel like running away as fast as my little feet will take me but I know there are those who need and depend on me.  I may falter, but I won’t let them down.


I’m not a big church-goer but I believe in God.  And I believe that when things are just too much for me to handle, that’s when I say “Hey God, I could use a little help here.”  And I’ll get it.

So don’t diminish the pain and troubles I or anyone else has gone through by calling us strong. I’m not strong.  Superman is strong.  Whiskey is strong.  Tempered steel is strong.  I’m human.




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9 Responses to Only The Strong Survive

  1. hissking says:

    that hits pretty close to home tonight…
    Funny, how that always works isn’t it?
    Today I am tired of being the rock, and I am a pebble.
    Maybe tomorrow, the rock will be back.
    Maybe not.

  2. rugernight says:

    This hit me right between the eyes. I’m not strong either, but there are those that say I am. You can do this they say, it’ll make you stronger they say. I often wondered what it would be like to be weak, to say I can’t do it anymore and have someone hold me and say its ok to be weak. Someone else will pick up the pieces. I guess God has plans for me and He needs someone who can do the tough things, who can change with the times, who can bury a loved one and go on. If there aren’t any strong ones out there, who will hold it all together in the end?

  3. Joann K says:

    Brave resonates for me. Being brave is my choice and it honors within it that I am strong or weak or just barely holding on but I am still me and in any moment I can shift to inaction and find healing there too. Brave is me being patient with me and if not I, then who?

  4. Kaylene says:

    Wow, very poignant, this is me to a tee. I’ve had a really rough year and felt abandoned by some people that I thought would understand me better. I know I need to reach out more to let people know I need them, but that is the hardest part.

  5. catijoefarm says:

    oh yeah! This is excellent Mary Ann and so right on the money.

  6. Pingback: Poem: Not Today | Quarry House

  7. Paula says:

    So well said; I am strong…and hopefully some of these other things as well. (Some would say “stubborn” rather than strong!) But, I get tired of being that person who is strong, and sometimes I just want to lean a bit in someone’s arms and let them take over.

  8. Suzy Brazell says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and can identify so well with the writer. I am called the strong one, the stubborn one, the hard one. All of these can be both positive and negative and extremes of either is seldom a good thing but like you said. I am human. I am capable of strength and weakness and everything in between. As far as who would hold it all together without the strong ones my own answer is the same one who does with them. God.

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