Things have been really challenging for my sensitive soul, lately. Between my own depression/ anxiety, a few public deaths earlier this month and all the information coming out about the treatment of children at the border, I’ve been keeping myself pretty cocooned. Not to mention everything else. Korea… we’re leaving the UN I guess? Yesterday was Juneteenth and people of color in America still aren’t free. I mean, there’s so much. There’s a lot.
On top of that, I am trying to start a new social media consulting business, sell my art, and I want to be super engaging in my online community. It’s hard to be online that much without being inundated with all the extras that, while important, are things that I would like to be more in control of when it comes to intake.
I’m really sorry about this… it sounds like I’m setting you up for a solution. But I’m not. I haven’t found it yet aside from good old fashioned willpower. But I do want to talk about this meme/ viral tweet that’s been going around that started circulating after the death of Anthony Bourdain. Basically it just says simply, “check on your strong friend.” I have a few different feelings about that.
Because, yes, now is the time to be checking on your friends. This phase of life/ this time in the world, your friends need checking in on for sure. But, like, check on your friends even when the subject of suicide isn’t at the forefront of your mind. Check on your friends when it’s summer break and they’re at home with their kids all day long. Check on your friends when they’ve decided to go on Whole 30 and they’re approaching day 10. Check on your friends when something really amazing has happened in their life! Even that can be hard.
What I’m saying is that we need to be working on cultivating a community with each other where we’re allowed to talk about when we’re feeling crummy about the state of the world, when our anxiety is rearing its ugly head and we need someone to ground us, when our chronic illness is flaring up and we need space to just talk about it. It shouldn’t be a whole big thing to check in on your friends.
That being said, though, sometimes your friends are going to need to be tended to in a way that is a thing. Sometimes your friends are going to be going through something big and, I know how it goes, it’s difficult to know exactly what the right thing is to say. We want to say “let me know if you need anything!” But then they don’t know how to ask, or maybe even recognize what it is that they need.
So for times like these, I created a cheat sheet. There’s this image here that you can save to your phone. Or if you prefer a printable, I have one saved in a Google Doc that you can access.
Know that you don’t have to wait for someone to send this to you. If someone ever says to you, “let me know if you need anything” or you do know that you need something but you don’t know how to say it, send them this! Go into the editing section in your photos and draw little checkmarks next to every single thing that applies. And send it on over to your friend.
My goal here is to make checking on your strong friend (and your sensitive friend and your other friends) easier and more natural than ever before. I want to normalize asking for help and I want to provide scripts until we’re able to do it on our own. Let’s work to make this world a more helpful, thoughtful place.