When you’re the one that everybody runs to, you start to feel this overwhelming pressure to stand still. Life becomes a series of one way streets that you always seem to be staring down the wrong end of. Nobody will ever come out and say it, but it is implied: you give and they take. And what you give is rarely ever reciprocated in equal measure.
You are the anchor. The grounding force. When someone comes to you feeling lost, you point them towards the path that will carry them home again. When the power of the storm drags them out to sea, you throw them a rope and gently guide them back to shore. They hand you the jumbled mess of problems inside their heads and you give them solutions. They confess their fears and indecisions, and you give them clarity and perspective. When everything in their life is going wrong, they come to you to find peace.
You are the fixer. The problem solver.
When people break, you are the one who puts them back together.
You swallow your own problems to focus on those of everyone around you, and you make them your priority. You are selfless in your ability to put the needs of others before your own.
But every time you put yourself on the back burner, you give up a little piece of your soul. And the parts of you that you give away so freely will only grow bigger with each encounter. Constantly giving your time and energy to other people will continue to drain you until you have nothing left to give.
The more that people watch you turn chaos into calm, the more indestructible you become to them. It’s not that people don’t care about your problems, it’s that sometimes they forget that you have them. When you are a constant vessel of support in someone’s life they start to mistake your strength for invincibility. Nobody wants to believe that the girl who puts people back together can be just as broken inside. They don’t realize how badly you crave the same support that you offer to everyone else.
So tell them.
Remind them that nobody can be a solo act all the time.
Tell them about your problems and ask for their support. Lean on them the way that they lean on you. Give them the chance to be the kind of friend that you have always been to them.
It’s okay to ask for more. It’s okay to stop fixing the people who take you for granted. And, above all else, it’s okay to put yourself first. Stop carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and recharge your batteries once in a while. Recognize that it’s not healthy to solve the world’s problems by pretending that you don’t have any of your own.