The Strength Project #4 ~ Eliza Caraher...

By Lucy Harbron - 10:42


"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as true strength"

One of the best things that came out of starting KILORAN was having the chance to work with Eliza Caraher, she has yet to create something that I don't love and she has a mind full to the brim of incredible ideas and thought. I'm a massive cheerleader for her work, so I definitely wanted to chat to her about her thoughts on strength and how strength fits with creativity...

What does strength mean to you?

To me strength is this one single word that has 101 different meanings and connotations branching out from it. Of course there's physical strength, yet even in that it can be derived differently, it isn't just muscle. To me my whole body, each little part of my being is strong. My skin is strong, it holds me in and heals itself, my heart beats constantly never stopping, my bones, veins and brain are all strong. But then there's the mental side of strength which can't be overlooked or ignored. Mental strength is something of such high importance and value, just as much as that beating heart or bones. To me mental strength, the strength that we gain and create for ourselves is the greatest.

Could you tell me about a time when strength was evident in your life? 

Strength in my own life is most evident when I look back. At the age of 15 I was this shy, insecure and anxious kid just entering counselling for an eating disorder, suicidal thoughts and depression. Three years later I'm 18, confident and happy within myself and who I am. I don't think strength is necessarily a thing I thought I had up until the moment I looked back, quite recently actually and realised how far I had come. Not only had I beat mental illness, I had also found myself and the person I wanted to be in the process. I obviously couldn't have done it without help but that in itself can be a strength, the strength to be able to ask and accept help when it's needed. Though I would have preferred to live without the disorder and depression I wouldn't change the person it helped make me or the strength it forced me to gain for anything.

You’re so full of creative energy! Do you think creating and writing can help develop strength?

You're a sweetheart and yes totally! For me writing and creating has always been a way to express and explore myself as a being, to lay it all out. First of all that in itself helped me to develop a strength of certainty over who I am, the work that I want to produce etc. Yet to then offer up such personal work to the world is a terrifying prospect that meant for six months I kept my blog a secret, only tweeting a link to it because I lost an odds on. The response however from friends, family members and even strangers was so lovely and positive that I gained the strength to be publicly proud of what I had done and the strength to share something personal with people who know me and people who don't. Strength comes in so many different forms that I think creativity is one of the best ways to explore and develop it.

Do you think surrounding yourself with positive, strong people is important for your own personal strength?

Undoubtedly. Strength is something that can be shared and to surround yourself with strong people means there is a lot to go around, enough that if your having a rough day then here you have this mass of people who can handle you leaning on them for a while, and the favour can be returned should the table turn. Positivity is also something that has helped my strength grow personally. I am not naturally s very positive person, I'm happy and smiley but I am not naturally an optimist. Yet surrounding myself with positive people gave me the ability to pause and perhaps not be so negative next time one little thing goes wrong. I see this in itself a new strength gained, it can be much easier to just wallow in pessimist thinking than to force yourself to be positive. It is people which help us grow our inner strength, the one that lets us be ourselves. Without strong parents, would I be able to pick myself up everytime? Without strong friends who inspire me with their strength would I have this voice in my head telling me I can do it? And without my, sometimes annoyingly, positive boyfriend, would I be able to look past pessimism to see the lighter and better side of things which then gives me the strength and drive to keep going?

Do you think strength is something you're born/raised with or something you develop?

I think we are all born with the potential for strength within us but it is dependent on those around us and ourselves to whether we are able to develop that strength and grow it into an aspect of our being, tailored to us as individuals.  Each person who develops strength, does so for a different reason and as a result of different experiences and that's kind of beautiful. My strength is different in it's style and quantity to yours because each of our strengths we developed uniquely to us. Strength has no limit either, it develops and regresses throughout our lifetimes as we come across different situations and people. Strength is a part of each of us, but it is unique to each of us also.

When do you feel strongest?

I feel my strongest when I achieve something and I'm able to take a moment to pause and look at all I've done and how far I've come from the point at which I started. Whether that be my mental health, a new project, a piece of writing or even physical strength in terms of one week you can run for 10 minutes and then 12 the next. Strength doesn't tend to be something you notice in others or yourself until you know where they/ you started. When you know where someone has come from and how far they've come from that point, that's when we truly see their strength and it's the same personally.

Who’s the strongest person you know?

I couldn't possibly pick one person. Each person I know is strong, but strong in their own way. They've fought there own battles, dealt with personal situations and had their highly individual experiences. To compare and choose one would be unjust to another because they're incomparable. There's my parents. my grandparents, my boyfriend, every single one of my friends they're all so wonderfully strong within themselves and to pick one would be impossible.

Can you sum up what strength means to you in 3 words?

Individual, beautiful and invaluable.

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If  you only do one thing today, let that one thing be checking out some of Eliza's work as her writing and her projects are super duper! She's definitely a name to remember, this girl is going to be big!

Find Eliza-


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