Updated: Dec 11, 2020
“I’m the strong friend, but I’m breaking.”
“I’m the strong one in my family, but I can’t hold it all together right now.”
“I‘m not okay, but I don’t know how to tell others, because they rely on me being ok.”
These are all statements I’ve heard recently.
It’s no secret that many, many of us are struggling right now. Whether that be physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, or all the above.
There are those people, though, who tend to stand strong even when the storm hits.
The ones who gather up the people who are standing outside getting poured on.
We all know them, and some of us are them.
The “strong ones”.
The ones that others can depend on.
The ones that people run to when they are hurting, knowing they will be met with strength and hope.
These people are amazing.
But gosh, they aren’t immune to all this.
They, too, wake up with heavy chests.
They wonder where to find hope for a future that is feeling so bleak.
They feel the same gamut of emotions that the rest of us do. They are scared, unsure, confused, and sad.
They need a place to run and hide when the storm hits, too.
But often they feel like they can’t, because being “strong” is their identity. And being strong is often what they think people love them for.
This is why we need to watch out for our strong friends and family members.
This is why we need to make sure we aren’t dumping everything on them when they don’t have the capacity for it.
They need to be checked in on. They need to be poured into.
And sometimes.. they need a break.
If we take that personally, it’s really not fair to them.
So, to the “strong one”,
You are allowed to fall apart when you need to.
You are allowed to step back from the weight of other people’s worlds and focus on your own.
You are allowed to feel and to mourn.
You are allowed to be carried.
We know you are still strong, and that you will get through this. But right now it’s okay to not be okay.
You always let everyone else not be okay when they aren’t, and you deserve that too.
You are no one’s Savior, friend.
You are such a great support, but sometimes you’ll break, too.
And when you do, I hope you’ll let others be there like you are for them. And I hope you’ll let God carry all the weight on your shoulders.
Thanks for being strong for so many people.
But you don’t have to be right now.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog