To encourage you to keep going.
To remind you to be strong.

Published on September 29, 2019 in Blog1, Picture Quotes, Revive
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Check up on your strong friend. They’re usually the one bleeding in silence.

 

She sits alone by the window, with the weight of the world pressing down on her shoulders. She picks up her phone and reads her messages, but not one of them asks her if she’s okay. 

She’s always checking up on people, but no one ever seems to realize that she might need help too. She appears strong because of how much she cares, because of how often she’s there for the people who need her. But deep inside, she’s crumbling, and no one even seems to notice. 

She needs help, but there’s no one there to give it to her.

She doesn’t respond as much to the messages she gets, anymore. She stays home more often. Her life shrinks in on her, until it’s all she can do to drag herself to work and back every day. People say that they miss her, that they haven’t seen her in ages and that she isn’t as active online as she used to be, but still no one asks if she’s okay.

She wonders what she’s done wrong. She wonders why no one’s worried about her. Why is it that the people she’s been so quick to check up on when they’ve seemed quiet in the past are so reluctant to reach out and make sure she’s okay?

She feels lonelier day by day. The walls close in around her. She thought her friends cared, so why have they abandoned her? In the back of her mind, she knows that they care about her. But it gets harder to convince herself of that when dusk falls every night and the inevitable, overwhelming feelings of isolation and loneliness set in. 

Her thoughts become more and more negative, and she finds it harder to rationalize the more she drops out of her life. Slowly, she becomes a shell of a person. The flicker of light at the end of the tunnel begins to fade away as she loses hope.

She knows why no one reaches out. She knows why no one seems to be worried. It’s not that they don’t care – it’s because they have her labelled as a strong person, and assume that she can handle any difficulty she faces. They completely overlook the fact that even ‘strong’ people need help too. 

All of her checking up on people has convinced them that she has her shit together too much to ever need help. Everyone just assumes that she’s fine. Meanwhile, the days grow darker and she grows weaker.

Everybody needs help. It’s hard enough trying to be there for people when they need a hand to hold onto to keep their head above water. It’s even harder when you’re drowning and there’s no one there to help you. 

Suicide rates have grown substantially over the last couple of decades, for both men and women. 

Check up on your friends, even those who seem strongest. You never know when they’ll need a helping hand unless you ask.

Written by Maverick, Staff writer at Lessons Learned In Life Inc. ©

14 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Tallant October 5, 2019 Reply

    It only takes a moment to say hello and see how someone is doing.Even sending a joke, etc., by text, Messenger, Facebook, puts a smile on someone’s face. Everybody wants to receive things like this. I know bc I’ve often thought thoughts like these. I don’t tell of my situ’s bc I don’t want to be perceived as somebody that has my hand out. People can get irritated bc they can’t or don’t want to help, when all somebody wants is someone else to listen.

  2. Dr. Tanweer October 20, 2019 Reply

    Absolutely right. We are here to help each other, the only purpose of life. Share with others all the blessings which God has bestowed upon you; your money, your time, your knowledge, your smile, etc to make this earth a better place for living. Find no reason to help others.

  3. InspiredN October 22, 2019 Reply

    Really a wonderful story. It’s impressive. We must know which of our friends are in need of us because everyone needs a true friend sometimes – when no one is there.

  4. Rayna October 24, 2019 Reply

    When you are the Strong One…or as I call myself “the fixer” – the one ppl call on when they are having problems, their kids are sick, marriage suffering, thru are stressed and tired. I’m the one showing up if you’re sick with the good tissues and homemade soup. The one starting The meal train when you’re going thru cancer treatments. The one watching and distracting your small children while you’re making funeral arrangements for your husband who just passed. Everyone assumes that I’m the strong one, I’ve got my shit together, look put together when I go out. But sometimes when I’m the one struggling… i think “who fixes the fixer?” When the darkness is sucking you in, the anxiety and stress of life is heavy. When there isn’t enough of you to go around, money is tight, you’re the one who is sick- they don’t come with the soup, the jokes, the offer of coffee dates so you can unload some of the burden by just taking though it. Because they think you’ve got it all together you don’t need that stuff, because you’re not broken or burdened – you can’t be – you’re the one they turn to. But even the fixer needs some fixing sometimes.

  5. Tracy Greaves November 6, 2019 Reply

    To be fair no one cares all my friends that i told my problems to and they are not even problems i was grieving and still am for my mum and 10 other people including my best friend in the last 3 years has been a lot and i got told i am toxic how to help depression , grief or what ever it is i am feeling. I am the one that always checks up on my friends when they feel like shit i have just learnt to suffer in silence. And now most days i cry myself to sleep. People don’t catch you when you are falling instead apparently i become self absorbed maybe so even when i said I feel like ending it just got told get a grip. Now got no one

  6. Diane van Zelm November 18, 2019 Reply

    Wow that story is me totally. If I didn’t have my 2 beautiful dogs I would have gone along time ago. I have rheumatoid and fibromalgia. I use to work with the disabled then I did my back inn

  7. Patti November 19, 2019 Reply

    This article had me in tears. It hit home on so many levels. For years, I’ve been as another commenter said “the fixer” – the family member everyone went to for help, advice, etc. I’ve been the realist – the one who would be straight and give honest answers. Sometimes the words people don’t want to hear, but need to let sink in.

    When I was in the hospital a few years ago, I sat for 5 days pretty much by myself. My husband came up once, but had to work, my young daughter didn’t want to see me sick and in pain. My sister – who always called on me for advice anytime she had an issue, who always called on me to watch her children when she wanted to go out – never called, never visited.

    Now, my parents are in need of help, and my husband and I seem to be the only ones who check in on them on a very regular basis. I tried to reach out and get a “schedule” in order to alleviate some of the stress on us, but I was met with complete resistance.

    Frankly, I’m very tired of opening myself up when everyone needs it, and when I’m in need, I feel like it’s a “screw you.” Now, I avoid people – on all levels. I don’t go out much. I work, come home, cook, deal with my daughter’s activities, sleep and do it all over the next day. I rarely talk to anyone and, when I do, I find myself being guarded. Sucks, but that’s the way it is.

  8. Toni November 19, 2019 Reply

    This had me in tears. I am “the fixer” everyone in my family and my immediate family at home think because I am strong I’m good. For the past 3 months I have been very unhappy in all aspects of my life. I lost my job I had for 13 years, one of my kids is acting up in school and my marriage seems to be getting boring. I try to make it better for myself but I too am human. Sometimes all we need is a hug and to be told everything will be ok.
    I love reading everyone’s stories, because at least I’m not alone and can relate.

  9. Debbie November 20, 2019 Reply

    This is so true. No one checks on you because you are strong. What choice do we have?

  10. Mama November 21, 2019 Reply

    I’m always here for you my precious daughter but more important so is our wonderful Lord. As the song says “ HE was there all the time”😘😘😘

  11. Blue in NY November 23, 2019 Reply

    I related to your words in ways I wish I didn’t, Maverick, so thank you for shining a light on the plight of the “strong people” everywhere. This struck a solid emotion with me…I’ve learned most people will never do for you the way you have done for them, which is certainly a sad state of affairs in our society in general. I’ve never altered my good natured ways and always wanting to do good things for others, but when the tables turned and I truly needed help because a parent fell ill, it was incredibly slim pickin’s for those who stuck around. True colors, indeed.

  12. Jeans November 24, 2019 Reply

    So so true , unfortunately. Also find myself these days wondering Where I went wrong…

  13. Wendy November 24, 2019 Reply

    Im also a “fixer,” but I feel that I have a wonderful network of friends.I actually don’t want more people checking up on me, because I don’t have time to field more calls & correspondence. I’m more of a “doer” than a “talker.” My problem is that no one can help me with the items that make me feel the most hopeless. Namely, I’d just like to be able to pay my bills, and to be able to fulfill the paperwork responsibilities of my job (as a special education teacher, which I love!) during a normal 8-10 hour work-day without having to bring work home every day and every weekend.
    My situation: I’m one of the “sandwich generation:”. Was caregiver for my 88-year old mom this year during a hip replacement, and continue to care for her, as needed (shopping, appointments); recently helped our two sons through their undergrad years of college, and am caregiver for my sweet husband, who is an eight-year survivor (so far) with Multiple Myeloma. Amazingly, he is still able to work fulltime at his teaching job, and he is a very hard worker. However, no matter how hard we work, we continue to move backward into a hopeless mire of debt from medical bills, endless copays, and out-of-control college costs. Despite ongoing searches for incentives for financial assistance, financial aid with college costs, etc.; I have found relatively little assistance — largely because we “make too much money” as part of the disappearing middle class. We also are fortunate to have medical insurance; but we are still moving backwards with the annual barrage of medical tests that must be paid before we meet our deductible each year, in addition to the endless copays each time we look at a doctor. this doesnt even count the toll my husband’s illness has on our children. Our youngest son is a highly intelligent recent college grad, who is also now suffering from anxiety and depression. What I wish and pray for most is for financial relief (from medical bills and student loan debt) for working families struggling with cancer and mental health issues. I recently even applied for the recent federal government incentive for cancer patients in active treatment to obtain student loan deferment on student loans; but was told we didnt qualify because the loans were in my name, instead of my husband’s (despite the fact that we have always pooled our two incomes to pay for everything together, and have always filed our taxes jointly.)
    Does anyone else find themselves in a similar situation? I love helping people, and my husband and I are both very hard workers, but our hopes for being able to work our way out of the endless bills and debt are decreasing by the day.

  14. Jane November 24, 2019 Reply

    I think no one checks on us because they too are busy fixing, dealing, coping, putting on a brave face, and feeling like maybe they can’t handle one more sad story or needy person. I mean, even the most loving friend can’t bring back a lost job or a loved one, replace income, put a roof over my head, help with medical or care challenges, or resolve my grief over failures and mistakes I have made. Listening to my problems puts a burden on others as well – others who are hurting and also in need. I’m not sure what’s happening to all of us – but life’s challenges never seemed quite as insurmountable as they do now.

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