Why I’m Tired of Being Resilient


A woman's portrait is pictured behind broken glass. Her face is distorted and fractured by the glass, illustrating a broken person in the context of being resilient.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But I’m tired of living in survival mode. I’m going to keep it real: I’m exhausted from being resilient.

A few months ago, I was going through one of the deepest depressive episodes I’ve had in over a year. I went to my best friend, Luly, who always manages to talk me out of a negative headspace. “You’re gonna make it out of this. You don’t know how much you inspire me,” she said in her voice note. “You’ve gone through so much shit, and yet you’re out here still living your life. You’re so resilient. You need to give yourself more credit.”

Hearing those last two sentences broke me into more tears because, to be frank, I’m exhausted from being resilient. 

“Resilient women raised me,

and their strength is embedded in my DNA.”

I come from a line of resilient women. Resilient women raised me, and their strength is embedded in my DNA. As women alone, we have to endure so much and have to walk this earth with thick skin to navigate our day-to-day. In all honesty, I don’t want to be resilient anymore. I want my peace. I want to navigate this world, which wasn’t created with me as a woman of color in mind, in peace. But I am exhausted from the trauma.

I wish I never spent my twenties with past bosses who used hard work as an excuse to berate and abuse their employees and create a toxic work environment. I wish I didn’t have a toxic relationship with my dad’s side of the family. I wish I didn’t have to lose two grandparents in the same year I was fired while a pandemic was taking over the world. I wish I was never assaulted while minding my business driving home, and then gaslit for “looking for trouble for driving out at night.” And while I’ve survived these situations, everything that has happened in my 30-something years has let me know that life doesn’t get easier and bad things will happen. And all those bad things and more have left a shadow of trauma that coexists with me.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want anyone’s sympathy, nor is this a pity party. While I, too, admire resilient people because their resiliency has inspired my own, I don’t wish I or anyone had to deal with hardship and heartbreak. The trauma that comes at the cost of becoming and being resilient has a mark on our lives that is unknown if it will ever leave us. And as women, trauma is common for us, with 5 in 10 of us experiencing a traumatic event in our lives. But because of that same resiliency, we must learn to live with it.

When I tell people the things that I’ve survived and dealt with, they tell me how strong and resilient I am. And, of course, as a person that still keeps her head up, smiles, and keeps on keeping on, how can that not inspire you? I have also looked at people who have gone through some tough shit and have admired how they’ve endured and didn’t let hardships derail them from their life mission. But why should they or anyone go through that for them to become admirable and inspiring? 

As women, our challenges don’t need to be romanticized. We’re not masochists. I understand that life throws us things that are out of our control and that life moves in some painful ways, but it doesn’t mean I want to deal with it. And I’m definitely exhausted from being resilient in a system that continues to try to keep us as mujeres down. But I keep getting back up because, with or without hardship, I am strong. I am strong through my kindness, love for others, love for myself, and vulnerability. I am strong not because of what I have endured but despite it. I am strong in every sense of the word, but don’t patronize me by saying I’m resilient.

About the Author

Priscilla Castro

Priscilla Castro is #WeAllGrow’s Director of Digital Content & Partnerships. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her at @kodeofkonduktRead more of Priscilla’s pieces here.




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