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First of all, if you are mentally strong, congratulations. I admire those who, despite their odds, circumstances or environments, plow ahead without looking back.

For the rest of you, I’m not sure whether I should be happy or concerned that this captured your attention.

Assuming that you are not purposefully trying to ruin the life of another, I gather that you are curious as to how an individual can stoop down so low as to want to bring someone down.

That would be me.

Since I can remember, I have been fighting a constant battle to be worthy. You would never think this from looking at my credentials and experience. In fact, if you ask any of my friends or coworkers to describe me, 99.9 percent of them would first say I’m inspirational, followed by courageous.

I consider myself mentally strong but deep down inside I live in a black hole of chronic anxiety — a world where I am never good enough and consistently disappointing others.

You may now be thinking: That is not being mentally strong.

That is where I respectfully disagree. If it wasn’t for my inner strength I would not have survived years of emotional and sexual abuse, childhood trauma, bullying, depression, an eating disorder and anxiety.

It is my mental strength that helped me cope in controlling and narcissistic environments, as well as take risks to follow my curiosity to try new things when people mocked me.

No matter how many times the world tried to break me, I proved to be unbreakable. I go on, and on, and on.

I am to the point where I go on just to give strength to others.

  • Mentally-strong people cannot be broken.
  • Mentally-strong people know that their strength is under their control.
  • Mentally-strong people have an inner flame that never dies, even during the lowest times in their lives, whether they realize it or not.

So how do you break a mentally-strong person?

I dare you to try.

Sure, you may see them get frustrated, have a bad day or even cry. But you will never see them give up. Rather, they will move on.

It’s time to redefine what it means to be mentally strong.

Having lived through hard times, battling an illness or feeling insecure does not define you as mentally weak. It defines you as human.

Let’s stop with the labels. It’s time to embrace who we are, imperfections and all. That, in my opinion, is the epitome of being mentally strong.