[FEATURE] Five Things I Hate About Being Strong

By Alicia Bunyan-Sampson

So…Hey.

My name is Alicia and I’m a little strange, so excuse this entire thing if it feels a little strange.

But..Moving on.

It took me a really long time to figure out what the hell I was going to blog about. I mean I was first off super shocked that I was even invited to be a core writer of the blog because like, who am I? And I am not really the best writer , and to write something that people will give a shit about is a whole lot of pressure and just how judgy everyone is on the internet and screen capture being a thing and all I got super sweaty and took a nap.

After the nap, I started thinking about the past year of my life and the serious reflection and exploration I’ve gone through. I can easily say it was the best and worst year of my entire life.

To put it more eloquently I’ll quote one of my favourite writers:

“No one warns you about the amount of mourning in growth.” – V. Smith Releasing & Receiving

But in thinking about my year and how difficult it has been, the one piece that just hasn’t changed is the way in which I’ve been so alone in all of my experiences, despite how large my circle has grown. How the way in which I carry my suffering is exactly what isolates me so deeply from others. How my strength has always been and perhaps will forever be my biggest barrier in life. I thought about this a lot. I think about this a lot and I don’t think I am alone having Strength as Disease in my life (s/o to Trudier Harris)

So.. Why not blog about it? Here are the 5 Things I Hate About Being Strong.

  1. People rarely ever ask “ Are You Okay? ”

I, like many of us that have been dubbed strong, rarely express any emotion that could be deemed anything less than pleasant. I suppose life taught me that it would be best to keep those types of emotions to myself. Especially when I learned how much of an inconvenience sadness actually is  – one of those things nobody has much patience for. Consequently though, I could get hit in the face like a kajillion times with a volleyball and not a single person in the room will ask me if I am okay because to them I am always okay. Sometimes I feel like it’s a little obvious that I am not. It doesn’t hurt to ask though….does it?

  1. The assumption that I can always handle it.

AssumptionYes Yes Yes. I appear to be magical. The lengthy assignment we both received in class I just seem to seamlessly get it done with time to spare. My relationship woes never seem to last long and I always manage to navigate through them in the healthiest way possible and remain best buds with my ex-intimate partners and give you bang-on advice. I never have money trouble and when the rest of the world is in job crisis I am bouncing about and just taking care of everyone because I am magic and I can always handle anything which is why it is <sarcasm> perfectly okay for you to give me what you can’t handle because I am obviously a witch and can time travel <sarcasm/>

Reality Check: I can’t always handle it. I can barley handle getting up out of bed everyday. It appears as though I am taking great care of things because I made it look that way — for you. Why? I am terrified of you seeing how scared and confused and messy I am. I don’t want anyone to see how sad I am all the time. Often us “strong” people are stumbling through a variety of anxiety medications and anti-depressants just to make it through social situations or relationships. Often us “strong” people are tossing personal belongings around to figure out which would be the best to sell online just to make it to a friends’ party or to get to class. Being strong is not something anybody is born with. It is a highly developed hidden coping skill making tough situations look real good.

You know what they say about assumptions right?

  1. Proving my less than pleasant feelings

ProvingWhen you more often than not appear to be one thing, people always seem to demand some sort of proof to the legitimacy of your own emotion that you have neglected to constantly announce to them (shame on you) If everyone thinks you’re pretty or confident or talented it also seems that people assume you must think these things about yourself as well, which is why you appear that way. People often forget that the way we see people is rarely ever the way in which they see themselves. It is an important distinction. The process of proving to another how you lack confidence or how unattractive you feel is a sort of an emotional violence they inflict on you and you in turn inflict upon yourself. But we do it. I do it. A way of owning something I suppose. I feel this way and I should be allowed to feel this — Can you just let me have that?

  1. The Pity Face

PityThe “strong” ones have slip-ups every once in a while. For whatever reason, you may feel safe and comfortable or you just need to let some shit out. So you get vulnerable, you open up and BAM they hit you with the PITY FACE. That shock; that discomfort; that “Omg! You are a broken soul,” face. I f*cking hate that face. It’s dishonest and it’s fake and it’s really just for them and you instantly regret your vulnerability. But, it’s too late because you are now neck deep in a conversation. You feel yourself drowning in their sympathy and pity for you and your deeply unfortunate experiences that are all somehow miraculously connected to theirs. Thankfully, none of it lasts long (though it feels like forever) You have a hug which is deep and meaningful for them and you make a mental note to do whatever possible to never have that experience again.

  1. No Love For The Vices

VicesMost of the strongest people I know are smokers, drinkers, drug abusers, serial daters; etc. Essentially, we are all addicts of some sort. And though people admire our so-called strength, they also have this deep hatred for our vices. We live our lives never being asked if we’re okay, with people sharing and giving us everything they can’t handle because they assume we can handle it, constantly having our feelings invalidated and dealing with that f*cking pity face the few times we open up. So…. the least you can do is leave us alone with our shitty partners, cigarettes, drinks, drugs, porn or whatever it is we draw strength from.

It ain’t easy being strong.


Alicia Bunyan-Sampson | Core Writer.

One thought on “[FEATURE] Five Things I Hate About Being Strong

  1. Wow! This has to be bang on! You are so absolutely right. I feel this exact same way.
    And I give you bonus points for mentioning my Girl Daria! Love that show. I was going to mention another show Cybersix as well.
    Everyone always assumes because you have it together nobody needs to ask about you or how you’re doing.
    I was thinking about this all day at work.
    I can continue going on but I’ll put a period on it. But I really loved your piece!

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