Reminder: Check on Your “Strong” Friends

by Krissy Ward

     When you have a chronic illness, people tend to see you as an inspiration. I hear how strong I am all the time. I’m smiling, laughing and usually the one providing the laughs; but when everyone leaves, the dark thoughts consume me and I struggle to be the person I portrayed just hours earlier. 

     Most who appear to be the life of the party are the ones who tend to be forgotten about,  they think we’re so strong and can handle anything. 

     The truth is, we can’t; we need a shoulder to lean on too. Ask that constant ear in your life if they need one too. 

     Being the strong friend can be a lonely place. We handle our problems silently and put on a mask in public. At my weakest, I never stopped being “the strong friend”. 

     And if you don’t have a friend like this, it’s probably because YOU are the strong friend. It’s okay to be vulnerable around your loved ones. Give them the opportunity to show you the same compassion, love and support you’ve shown them. Being in an unbalanced friendship or relationship is unhealthy. You can’t be the problem receptacle for everyone and not have anywhere to lay your issues. Carrying your loved ones’ burdens doesn’t make you strong, it just makes you heavy and may paralyze you. I just want to remind you that it’s okay to put yourself first.