Am I A Strong Person?

Three people have now nominated me for a Strong Person Award.  What’s more, they are people whose opinion I appreciate, so I need to stop and listen.   First, Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars, then Carla from Seasons Change, And So Have I, and then Sharon from Day in the life of a Busy Gal… have nominated me.  I very much appreciate the nominations, so thank you ladies.

The thing is that I struggle to see myself as strong.  Today I have been stressing out over something a very good friend said and have felt as weak as a wet lettuce leaf.  I’ve tried to be strong when it has been necessary but then when I am back on my own I feel more like a complete wreck.  Not strong at all.

It’s interesting because I know that how I see myself is different from how others see me.  I’ve always felt like the fraud, just waiting to be discovered.  I’ve always been sure that if people really saw the ‘real’ me then they would run and hide.  I’ve just spent forty something years waiting for the bubble to burst.  Well sometimes it has, but other times I’ve just been convinced that everyone else around me has it wrong.  They must have.  Surely, I’m not strong like they say.

I’m just in the beginning stages of learning to trust another voice.  Not the one inside me who is constantly knocking me down.  If I can start to believe in my own strength, then maybe I can go places.  Exciting places.  Places I never dreamt possible because I was so convinced that those voices in my head were right.  It makes me start to realise the truth in the saying that from a tiny seed, grows a mighty tree.  I also realise that if we tell each other what we see, that we see a strong person, that might just be what that person needs to start to believe.

Earlier today I posted this picture on my Facebook Timeline:

Image credit: FB – Woman 2 Woman

At the time I saw it (and liked it) I didn’t realise it would be relevant to this post and the Strong Person Award.  I think mountains begin to move when we start to realise the stores of strength within ourselves.  And hopefully the Chinese won’t mind me saying this but I’m sure that when sleeping men wake (and realise their strength) then mountains will move too.

Enough of that, there are rules to follow:

1. Make sure to add in the text (below) and image (above) to spread the love and add how little or how much you want!

You heard me right! You are not weak, you are strong. You are not a failure, you are a fighter! This goes out to all mentalists. And it’s a gift from The Quiet Borderline to you all – Please spread the love. Mental health is not something to be sneered at and it deserves much more respect. Stop the stigmatising.

2. Name your diagnoses – Stand loud and proud! You can tell us a little about them also if you’d like. How you’re affected by these diagnoses and how you are fighting your way out of them.

3. Add a photo of yourself, or some abstract picture that represents you, anything you like!

4. Send this on to as many, yes, as many, people that you like. It can be five, ten, fifty.

My diagnoses?  Standing loud and proud is not a problem and I readily admit that right now I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and I think I still have ED-NOS (Eating Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified), but no one has bothered to comment on that recently.

But I am not my diagnosis.  I am me, and the diagnosis just goes a little way to explaining a few difficulties I face.  I have a therapist who doesn’t treat me for these diagnoses.  He treats me, Cate Reddell, no labels attached.  And actually I love that.  I’m not ashamed of my labels but they are only a small part of what makes me a strong person.

As for passing this on, I happily pass it on to all the bloggers I follow as I believe that each one of them, while at different stages of different journeys, is strong.  I’m going to hold off and reserve the right to name individuals later.

And in the words of one of my favourite bears:

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” 

―    Winnie The Pooh, A.A. Milne

11 thoughts on “Am I A Strong Person?

  1. Sharon Thomson

    Cate, I believe you do deserve the award
    you have been nominated for. I have not
    known you for very long but I can see
    you are a very strong lady. You are a total
    inspiration to me, and to everyone who has
    a mental health issues.

    Thank you, for being my friend ❤ xxx

  2. Congratulations, Cate! You *are* a strong person, and I admire that. You deserve this award. I think how you describe your therapist is so awesome! You say he treats you, the person. It reminds me of mine. She treats me and doesn’t make me feel like I’m merely another patient or label. I appreciate that greatly, and I know you do too.

    I gotta say too that I love that Winnie the Pooh quote. It’s such a sweet one. 🙂

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