Checking in on Your Strong Friends

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.


A Pep Talk For When You Need One

You’re having feelings. So many feelings. Maybe even too many feelings. And if you’re anything like me, too many feelings feels an awful lot like none at all.

You might be doing that thing where you’re trying to rush the process. You might be fighting against the waves that are crashing all over you and that’s okay. That’s your impulse to stay alive. That’s okay but it’s important to know that you will get very tired very quickly. Can I make a suggestion? Just get the attention of someone else who is on shore. Sometimes just knowing that someone can see you drowning will revitalize something inside of you to focus, stop flailing, and do what you need to do to get to shore. That person might even have a life vest to throw out to you when you’re close enough to grab it.

And you just barely get up on shore and you flop down in the sand–on your back, spread eagle, vulnerable as all hell but breathing is the only priority right now. Your muscles are weak and your throat is burning but even by the time that you catch your breath, you’re in the process of getting up. Because your impulse is to live. Your body wants to keep itself alive despite the ache. Your spirit wants to keep itself alive. Despite the ache.

Yesterday my friend Sherilyn said, “It’s all part of being human to both resist and embrace it.”

Embrace it.

Let me tell you about the ache: It’s a sacred time. As long as you’re aching, you’re in a rare space and you’re going to want to pretend it’s not there. But lean into it. Learn from it. Rip yourself open in this achey time and gather all the knowledge and self-awareness that you can. Get your pay day. It’s part of it. I won’t walk through it without a payoff. None of this is for free. You can’t pay any kind of money for this sort of an education.

And I’m not going to hide my grief from you or anyone. I don’t–you don’t benefit from pretending that everything is fine. I’m not going to hunker down until I feel all better so that all you’ll see in this space is a well thought out, mature, healed woman. It’s for you. All of this is for you. I’m mining gold and I’m passing it out like candy and beads.

You have moved mountains, before, and you’re going to do it again so why not now?