Do you ever get tired of those ads or commercials which promote the latest pill or cream that supposedly will fix your disease, dysfunction or defect? Besides insulting our intelligence, these so called “cures” run the risk of making it appear that our own human uniqueness is somehow weak.
While I certainly have had times in my life when I have been challenged, pushed to the edge and most definitely suffered, I would never ever ever say that I have been weak! In fact, it was five years ago that I was “diagnosed” with Strong Woman Syndrome (SWS).
This syndrome presented itself while I was experiencing what was at the time, a devastating personal loss (more on that in a future entry, perhaps!). The term was coined by my then 16 year old son whom I am sure was worried that I might fall apart.
One thing that is true about SWS is that it is not something that you can quickly figure out. It is a condition that has a tendency to build up over time. First, you must be willing to take a deep, long look inside yourself ( a good therapist helps!) and then begin the process of deciding how your new life will be shaped.
The first sign that you have SWS is knowing how to take care of yourself first before you even consider taking care of others. You are no good to anyone if self-care is not your number one priority. I am part of that generation that bought the line “you can have it all”. Truly, what a bunch of hooey! What has gotten lost in the translation is our own identity.
The second sign of course, builds upon the first one. Simply put, you gain the ability to speak up for yourself. This is not easy! Depending upon your life situation, it may be the riskiest thing to do! Start with the smallest of steps. Because when you learn ” Yes indeed I do have my own voice!” , you start to make your own decisions wisely and in your own time and for your own future (Sign #3).
Independent decision making helps you to control your own destiny and most importantly, create a life full of dignity and grace (#4).
This my friends, is a legacy you can create for yourself, your friends and your family. I try every day to stay strong and resolute in what I believe in and how I live my life. Truthfully, it is not easy but it is empowering!
Strong Woman Syndrome has helped me move those rocks that get put in my road and most significantly, stay true to myself.