For the “Strong Ones”

By Shannon Lelievre
Shannon Lelievre

This is post is dedicated to my fellow Road Warriors and to all of the “strong ones”.

My mind lies to me on a regular basis.

It tells me I’m not good at my job and that I’m a not a good friend. It whispers that I have no idea what I’m doing and that everyone else has it all figured out while I feel like I’m drowning out here in the surf, alone. My mind lies to me when it says I will never feel better and that no one could ever possibly understand. It lies to me the most when it says to keep my these lies to myself. Don’t tell anyone what you’re thinking. Don’t you dare ask for help.

I remember telling my doctor in university that I cried for no reason and that I just didn’t feel “right”. I remember admitting to my parents that I physically hurt myself, once. I know I have asked for help before, yet my mind lies and says that things are different now and I don’t deserve help. No one has time to listen to you whine about your problems. Just suck it up and figure it out on your own. Go for a run, take a bath, but whatever you do, do NOT admit you need help.

I know there are plenty of you like me out there, growing stronger than you ever wanted to be because your mind lies to you, too. It’s never easy for us, because we are the “strong ones”: the people who others tend to think have it all together, get so much accomplished, and we are often the ones others go to for help. Where do we turn for help when we decide to ignore the lies?

I’ve believed the lie for most of my life that my tendency towards overthinking and over feeling made me difficult to love and hard to be around, but it’s just that: a lie. A quote that has been popping up in my life a lot lately (including in a text from a friend just this afternoon), says “It’s both a blessing and curse to feel everything so very deeply” and I’m reminded that my greatest struggles have the capacity to be my greatest strengths.

I’m learning that it takes more strength than most can muster to look someone in the eyes and say “I can’t do this on my own anymore” or to text a friend saying “I need to talk to someone right now”. I recognize someone who is lying when they say “I’m fine” because it’s a lie I’ve told a million times.  It’s easy for me to show others compassion and understanding because I know what it feels like to be at war with yourself but it’s not easy for me to ask for help.

I asked for help this week. It was difficult and I told myself it probably would be easier to go through it on my own. I texted a friend who recognizes The Liar too and I asked for help. I’m learning to trust people and refute the lies floating around in my head, so I took a deep breath and asked for help. I asked for help, and yes, I gave my friend at least 3 opportunities to back out but he didn’t. I asked for help and what was even harder: I received it.

This is what we’re building with this community. We are the strong ones who know the pain of fighting battles most never see. But we see. We see the strength it takes to get out for your runs and to get out of bed some days. We see the courage it takes to share your blog posts and we know how hard it is to ask someone for help. We see the battles you fight and we see you. We are the Road Warriors.