“I had a friend, one of the strongest, bravest, most beautiful souls you could ever meet.
She was always there when I needed her when things weren’t going great in my life; she was the first person to call to check in on me.
She oozed kindness, humor, and inner strength innate to those who have endured a lot of pain in their life.
She always wished for my happiness, even at her own expense.
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 alone, even when surrounded by loved ones.
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 that people don’t realize you are crying out for help under the surface.
Many strong personalities have a survivor mentality; they don’t want to burden others with their problems.
They want to remain positive so as not to upset their families; they want 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 everything must be okay because they look happy on their Instagram profile, right?
WRONG. Some of the most deeply hurt people try hard to cover up their true feelings.
They are masters at hiding their emotions from the world, not showing 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 a breakup, and celebrate with you during your most recent victory.
They love their friends and want to be there for them, even to their detriment. They are okay with giving you advice, never having you once ask how they are.
They don’t mind that you call them to procure information on dealing 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 vital 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 it 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 happening in their lives.
Send out a TEXT to let them know you are thinking about them.
SUPPORT & PROMOTE a friend’s ambitions and dreams, and lift them 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. As 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.