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The Dude's thoughts: "you have to be strong!"

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Spoiler for warning, very long image!

People that know me well, even here at TWC, know that I'm a strong character, in the most positive (I hope) sense of the term; I've been helping people in the Personal Help and Advice section of TWC for years, and I know that many of them have benefited from our interactions, while I also know that some others haven't. Why so? I mean, of course each single case is different, but I noticed that even with cases which one can call very similar, the results may vary sensibly.. I'm always the same dude, so that really must depend on the other individual, the person having the issue.

Now, as obvious as it is, this opens up a question: why are some people "weak"? Yes I know, that's not fair to use this term, but I'm using it only as a counterpart to "strong", because the very purpose of this blog, is me thinking about why I seem to be so strong, and why others seem to be so weak...

But let's go by steps.

Modern society, (ATL where the macho/chauvinist attitude prevails) seems to be fostering the idea that a male (and in general any adult individual, regardless of gender) has to be strong, and that no matter what's the issue, one has to find the way out themselves.
I really was one of those who were thinking the same, because of my past story; let me tell you.

When I was like 23 I started to have issues with anxiety and panic attacks, in particular I was afraid of death and could not sleep or rest properly for over a year.. I also started to abuse substances.. However, long story short, after a while I managed to find the strength to step out of the impasse all by myself, I did not consult, I did not even tell anything to my relatives.. I just came out of my situation with, literally, brutal willpower: one day I decided that the whole situation didn't make any sense and I started to work my way out. Sure it took some time (and I found some extra relief in the freshly discovered Dudeism), but it was my own achievement and I'm still very proud of it.

Now, as you can imagine, whenever I had to deal with people having some sort of a similar problem, be it less or more severe, I always suggested them to find the strength within themselves, and in case they couldn't, I usually labeled them (in my thoughts) as weak, not mature enough and so on and on. This lasted for quite a long time and I know that sometimes I might have come across as a jerk, for not being sensitive enough, but hey you know what they say "real men do not cry!".. I can now say, without hesitation, that that's BS, pure and simple.

We all have feelings and we need to deal with them, no matter what. Silencing or ignoring them will only make things FAR worse.

That being said, the process of dealing with our own issues all starts in the same way: recognizing that we have an issue, and that is really a thing one can only do by themselves. I mean, even if the most important person in your life will tell you that you have issue, you won't recognize it as a fact, if you don't acknowledge it yourself.

So yes, the personal component is essential, but that's just the beginning.

Over the years I came to understand that each person has a different way out of their own problems, sometimes medications are the only chance (and I do have an adopted brother affected by schizofrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, so I experienced that on my skin), sometimes all that one needs is support.

Therefore, do one has to be strong? Yes, but not just for yourself. If you are indeed strong, the best thing you can do is being at the side of those who aren't, and let them use your strength and your support to build up their own.

Yes, because helping others is what being strong is all about.

Updated June 16, 2023 at 10:12 AM by Flinn

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  1. Narf's Avatar
    helping others is what being strong is
    Love you Flinn!
    Updated June 03, 2023 at 01:54 PM by Narf
  2. Flinn's Avatar
    Love you too
    Updated June 05, 2023 at 03:25 AM by Flinn