This past weekend, I was home visiting my parents. Now, my mom is my best friend, my ride-or-die, but whenever she asks these four little words I cringe: HOW ARE YOU DOING?

I know it’s coming from love. She wants to be a support system, a shoulder to cry on,  offer reassurance & just make sure I’m okay. But in my head, those four words warp my perception & makes me feel like I am a burden. I assume it’ll be looked at as “yet another time Sarah is struggling.”

When I’m having a tough time, I build myself a wall for safety. This is actually totally normal, it’s taken me a long time to trust that my reactions & emotions are valid.

However, there is a point when that wall becomes hard to maintain; the cracks start to show & the withdrawal becomes less about protecting other and more about ignoring emotions.

Fast forward to Sunday, I was able to articulate my feelings to my mom. I walked away from the conversation understanding that there comes a point when I need to reach out. My mom reassured me talking about my feelings does not burden my loved ones as much as I make myself believe. If anything, they are relieved I am processing my emotions in a healthy way.

Sometimes, being brave means taking off the brave face. It’s about awareness, acceptance, and development. Remember, your feelings or your mental illness do not make you a burden.


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