By Dori Hackleman
This letter is to the moms who don’t get a break, the ones who hide in the closet to avoid the kids running around like crazy, the ones who provide so much strength for their family and get little to no appreciation for the long hours given of themselves to other humans.
To the single parents who are working to provide a safe place for their kids because life didn’t go the way you planned. To those who are left stranded and can’t rely on anyone even though you have little humans relying on you. To the friend who always takes on the burdens of her friends, who is the go-to person for everyone with a crisis, the one who everyone relies on when things are tough. To the only-children who have to take care of their parent or parents because there is no one else who can do it and they need you to be that person. To the woman who so desperately wants a baby but keeps suffering heartbreak after heartbreak. I know that you feel like life is so empty right now and you want the pain to stop. You’re in a constant loop of “why me” and “I’m going to be ok.” To the person who struggles with being vulnerable with others, who has been burned one too many times before and is trying to navigate friendships and doesn’t know where to start…
It’s ok to not be ok.
You don’t have to continue being strong because you think people rely on you to always be the strong one. You are allowed to break down, you are allowed to have your moment, and that moment doesn’t make you weak. I know you’ve been run ragged, I know you’ve been putting yourself last in order to accommodate others’ needs, but you can take time for yourself too. This doesn’t make you weak. This makes you human. You spend so much time catering to everyone else’s needs and you don’t ever worry about your own. It’s time you take a break. You need to take time for yourself. Not everyone needs you 24/7. They will manage, they will survive. Please take time for yourself before you become too toxic to help the people around you. I know that society has led you to believe that asking for time, space, and help is a sign a weakness, but this isn’t the case. You don’t have to feel like you are on the verge of a break down every five minutes. You shouldn’t feel like you are overwhelmed every minute of every day, you can learn to say no to things that are not beneficial to you. You don’t have to carry that weight all the time — the weight that you carry for others, the one that keeps you up at night some nights. You don’t have to take it with you everywhere you go, you can drop it whenever it gets too heavy. The ones that have relied on you to carry it, have moved on. You don’t need to burden yourself with their burdens anymore.
It’s ok to take a step back and let yourself breathe. You don’t have to chase after people, you don’t have to answer your texts, you don’t have to have a response for everything that comes your way. You can just let it be and leave it alone.
It’s ok to not be ok.
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