March 7th, 2019
Why is “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” such a commonly used phrase? I know some of the greats use it (I’m looking at you, Kelly Clarkson), but it is inherently false.
What doesn’t kill you rarely makes you stronger. What doesn’t kill you can harm you, hurt you, cut you, bend you, break you, weaken you, destroy you and, sometimes, it can kill you. The problem with the phrase is that it implies that simply because you have survived a situation, you are now a better, stronger person. And that is simply untrue.
Dealing with what didn’t kill you, finding love and support from family and friends when you need it and offering it when you can, using what didn’t kill you to help other people who are going through the same things — those are examples of things that make you stronger. Don’t believe for a second that just because you’re alive you have an automatic contract with life to buck up and be tough; you are allowed to be hurt and to be weak, with the understanding that you can shape your raw situations and feelings into something that is strong.
Just remember that the next time someone says that to you. You don’t have to be something because you lived through something; but being here regardless is still something