“I had a friend, one of the strongest, bravest most beautiful souls you could ever meet.
She was always there when you needed her when things weren’t going great in your life, she was the first person to call (yes call not text) to check in on you.
She oozed kindness, humor and inner strength that is innate for those who have endured a lot of pain in their life.
She never dropped her woes onto you, and always wished for your happiness even at the expense of her own.
She was the rock that held our group of friends together, until the day she took her life.”
A client told me this story with a weeping heart and tears that could not stop falling.
“I can’t believe with all of us around her, she still felt so alone.”
This is, unfortunately, a story I hear more often than I would like. It’s heartbreaking in a way that I am not always sure I can find the words for.
Many people with strong personalities find themselves very much alone, even when surrounded by groups of people.
When you have a strong personality, people tend to forget about you. Not because they don’t care but because they don’t think you need them.
People assume you have it all together. You are so good at putting on that “pillar of strength” persona people don’t realize that under the surface, you are crying out for help.
Most strong personalities have survivor mentality, they don’t want to burden others with their problems as they see themselves as having to have all the answers.
They want to remain positive so as not to upset their families, they want to have the right solutions so their friends can easily overcome all difficulties, but inside, their hearts are breaking and no one is listening.
Because they always seem to “bounce back ” from whatever adversity comes their way, others think they don’t need their advice or words of comfort. They believe that everything must be okay because hey they look happy on their Instagram profile right?
WRONG. Some of the most deeply hurt people try very hard to cover up their true feelings.
They are masters at hiding their emotions from the world, so as not to show a perceived weakness, they’ve been conditioning themselves to believe they can never succumb to.
And so in silence, they suffer as they hold your hand through your latest work-related drama, dry your tears over your latest break-up, and celebrate with you during your latest victory.
They love their friends and want to be there for them, even to their own detriment. They are okay with giving you advice and never having you once ask how they are.
They don’t mind that you call them just to procure information on how to deal with your latest drama, without even pretending to care how their day is going.
Finding people who seek to speak to you and not at you can be unbelievably difficult. We have become a society so self-obsessed we have forgotten how important real human connections can be, something all of us need, whether we are strong personality types or of the more fragile variety.
Just because someone seems to have it all together, doesn’t mean that is the truth.
ASK your strong-willed friends how their day is going even if their social media says it’s great!
CALL them to catch up and find out what’s going on in their life.
Send out a TEXT just to let them know you are thinking about them.
SUPPORT & PROMOTE your friend’s ambitions and dreams, lift them up with your inspiration.
GIVE BACK to those who offer you support and friendship because heaven knows true friends are hard to come by.
SHOW the people you love you care about them and what is going on in their lives, even if you don’t think they need or want it.
And remember, just because someone seems strong doesn’t mean they don’t need you. Like the song below so eloquently states. we all need each other.
If you suffer from depression or anxiety you don’t need to go at it alone. Visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for help.