Existing is Still Strength

Lynda Claire
6 min readDec 29, 2021
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

We put so much pressure on ourselves. We look around at other people and how together they seem to have it. We take this knowledge and look at our own lives which our minds ruthlessly critique every moment of the day. We are hard on ourselves for areas we think we are failing in. For ways we think we should be succeeding. For not meeting these societally constructed milestones we feel we should meet to have approval. For those who have been through abuse, trauma and significant loss just making it through the day seems like a lot. It feels like there is so much pressure to get it together and heal. To become a version of you that makes other people more comfortable and even makes you more comfortable. When life has been so hard that you have crumbled, when your soul has taken a beating and your heart aches, please know that just existing is still strength.

I made this response to a comment on another piece I wrote and then continued to think about it for the rest of the day. How hard I have been on myself in the past for just existing and feeling as though I’m not where I should be, when I should have been rejoicing in my strength in that moment. I have been in some awful situations where people have treated me badly but the person who is most unkind to myself is me. A few things lately have made me realise this. I have been more open and vulnerable in my life than ever before since I began to write. Friends and family now know the intimate details of my life and I feel no shame in that. What has surprised me though is the kindness of their responses. When I have talked about my abuse I have seen others eyes fill with tears as they become overwhelmed with the urge to hug me. I have had people tell me how strong I am and how much I am inspiring them by sharing what I have been through. I’ve had people tell me that my life is a lot and be in awe of how I’ve kept going. The truth is it was through a lot of days of just existing which I was being hard on myself at the time for needing. They were kinder to me about my life than I had been. I truly have been harsh to myself in the way I talk to myself, the thoughts I have that I then berate myself for having and the things I do or don’t do because I’m so overwhelmed that I then feel great remorse for.

These days where I just existed were so necessary to my soul. Days where I would just get up, eat and rest…

Lynda Claire

Seeking those moments of magic and trying to capture them with words. Exploring my depths. Living on an island at the bottom of the world.