I described in an earlier post about how important it is to share your struggles. I made the mistake of not sharing my struggles at the beginning of my pain journey and instead kept the physical and emotional brokenness inside. This resulted in me carrying a weight that was too much to bear, and left me disconnected from those around me. Fortunately, I learned from this mistake by the time I was faced with something even bigger than painful sex. I was able to share my struggles with friends and family who supported me through the most difficult time in my life.
When my marriage started crumbling around me I made a decision to reach out in honesty and authenticity to those closest to me. I didn’t hold anything back—I didn’t try to hide the full extent of the pain or downplay the effects it was having on me. I was blessed to have people who cared enough about me to listen and share in my suffering. My inner circle, as I like to refer to them, consisted of my mom, my sister, and my best friend. I spoke to at least one of them every day, sometimes more than once a day and sometimes all three. Sharing allowed me to lift a weight off so the pain didn’t bear down on me like before.
It makes such a huge difference when you can share with others you trust. Just talking with them had a profound effect. I realized that as I shared something that had happened and how it made me feel, I was able to work through my own thoughts and emotions—I was able to process the pain. After the third time explaining a struggle, things started becoming clear to me. I was healing through the processing and all it took was for me to share.
Sharing my struggles with them also grew our relationships. As I was open and honest with them, they in turn opened up to me about previous struggles they had faced and lessons they had learned. Sharing your struggles with others will help you deepen your connections with them. I know my ‘inner circle’ will be there for me no matter what struggles life brings my way (and I will be there for them).
It is important to share your struggles with the right people. Whether times are good or bad, you need to develop a strong support system. Find friends who will build you up, and take the time to cultivate those friendships. I realize that not everyone has a mother or sister they can lean on, but sometimes friends can be closer than family. Choose your friends wisely, and then take that next step to trust them. As I opened up with those beyond just my ‘inner circle’, I gained even more authentic relationships and deeper connections than I had before. I will admit that I did this slowly and shared varying degrees of details. It is okay to test the waters to see how they handle a little bit of information. But once you share you may be surprised at how understanding and supportive they can be.
I honestly don’t think I would have survived my divorce if I had kept to my old ways of not sharing. I may have lived through it, but I wouldn’t be fully alive like I am today. I’m a different person now, and you can be too. I encourage you to take that first step toward healing and share your struggles with those around you.