(This post is a part of my “B” series which I’ll continue to deliver once a month! Continue to B Kind. B Silly. B Inspired. B Imperfect.)
This post has been in the works for quite a while, but after some recent events, I felt like it was finally time to finish it up and hit PUBLISH. It’s a little different from my normal “B” posts, but an important one for me to write nonetheless. I hope you all get something from my ramblings.
Please don’t let this site ever fool you. I tell y’all all the time, this is Imperfectly B. IMPERFECT being the keyword. I try to remain as positive as positive, but there are some days where I’m just not feeling it. There’s plenty of days where I’m moody or just don’t feel like talking. There are still days where I crawl in the bed and have a good cry. Every day ain’t rainbows and unicorns. Never has been…never will be.
…..and I’m okay with that.
I saw a true but sad tweet on my timeline. Someone tweeted something to the effect of “Remember to check up on your strong friends. They need it the most.” True. Then someone else quoted the tweet saying, “Even if you did, we’d probably just tell you we’re fine.” The complete accuracy in that simple statement blew my mind.
It’s true. The “strong ones” of the family or your group of friends (maybe it’s you) are so used to being the go-to that any time they’re struggling, they cover it up. I can’t tell you how many plastic smiles I’ve hidden behind. Countless “I’m fine’s” and “Everything’s good” when I wasn’t fine at all and things certainly were not good.
Speaking from my own experience, I do it for several reasons (others may agree). Sometimes, I really don’t feel like talking about it. I’d rather sit in my feelings and work through it. Other times, it’s in not trusting people with my problems or feeling like they won’t be able to relate or won’t care. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because some people will use your issues as a hot topic for their other friends. Sometimes people genuinely don’t care or aren’t there for you like you’d like. Sometimes, it’s feeling like I’m weak for saying how I really feel. I know now who I can trust and go to, but often I still don’t feel like bothering people with my problems. That’s probably my top reason.
Because of that, I end up holding a lot of stuff in. Most days, I can manage it okay, I guess. Other days, it all builds up and I unleash— not caring who is caught in the crossfire. It’s unhealthy, so I try to be vulnerable more with certain people and find outlets when I’m going through it. Prayer and writing are typically my go-tos but dancing it out is in a solid third place.
I think one of the biggest things I had to realize is that I DON’T have to be strong all of the time. I can’t be. No one can…at least not without eventually snapping. Even the strongest people need someone else they can rely on to be there for them when they’re going through. But the strongest people also need to realize they don’t have to have it all together all the time. So, for my tough friends out there, here’s three things for you to realize and do.
Don’t Be In Denial
It’s okay to admit you’re having problems struggling. Some may tell you (or you might even tell yourself), “Suck it up, buttercup, and move along.” NO. If something is seriously eating away at you, and you’re struggling, don’t try to deny or pacify your feelings. It’s okay not to be okay.
Seek out ways that you can express your feelings or through a healthy and fun activity. Don’t throw yourself into work or emotional eating. You can write out how you feel in a journal. Go bowling or to a movie to relax. Be open to hanging out and talking with friends if you’re up for it. There’s plenty of things you can do to help release your emotions. In fact, here are some things that I do when I’m going through it.
Seek Professional Help Where Needed
Others need professional help or even medication depending on their condition, and that’s okay too. I am not a doctor nor a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you honestly feel like there may be something wrong mentally, PLEASE seek a professional in your area for a diagnosis. Here is also a list of hotlines for trained professionals in your moment of hardship.