BeWell: When a Friend Tells You Something, Sometimes It Can Be Everything

Especially when it's good news.
Shutterstock 336786272


“Hey,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to tell you something.”

A friend and I were both at a neighborhood gathering when she approached me as I was standing a bit away from the crowd.

As the one with whom I often have raw, mental health conversations, I was curious about what she was about to say. We have established that no conversation is off-limits between us. We can often tell when the other is struggling and trying to hide it — because it takes one to know one.

We have built a friendship that doesn’t text or see each other every day but knows when we have those moments of knowing we need someone with whom we can “go there”, that the other one will create a safe space to do that.

So whatever her “something” was, I was prepared to listen and help.

But, then I saw the smile on her face.

The lightness in her energy.

The bit of joy in her spirit.

And I learned her “something” wasn’t a struggle at all. Her “something” was a major win in her overall journey to have a better relationship with her mental health.

It was a win I knew was big for her.

A win I knew she needed.

A win I knew really mattered to her, and because of it — also mattered to me.

It was a win that I felt grateful she knew she could share with me.

Because if there’s anything I’ve been thinking about lately, it’s the major piece of the mental health puzzle that I think we’re missing.

When talking about maintaining a positive well-being, there’s a lot of dialogue reminding people to identify and reach out to, safe-space people who can help when they’re struggling. (And count me in on being one of the ones who will continue to scream this from whatever mountaintop I find.)

But do you know what I think we’re NOT talking about enough?

The importance of having those people with whom we can celebrate when things are going well.

I’ve learned in my own mental health journey that I’m REALLY good at marinating in the hard, but don’t often take the time to balance that by soaking in the good.  I’ve worked hard at opening up and being vulnerable when I’m struggling, but don’t always look for someone who can help me celebrate when I’ve made strides toward achieving inner peace.

Candidly, I think many women will say they struggle with the latter.

We don’t want to seem like we’re bragging. We’re afraid our joy might trigger the friend who is feeling low. Heck, maybe we’re even afraid to say it out loud for fear if it starts going in the opposite direction again that it will now be a public failure.

But those wins?

They are what motivate us through the dark.

They are what remind us of what we’re capable of when we keep fighting to advocate for ourselves.

And those people in our lives who want to celebrate those wins with us?

They play a key role in making sure we keep riding that wave.

So if we are going to take a full-court-press approach to mental health, in addition to finding our circle of support when we’re down, we must also find the ones who give us the freedom to share our highs without shame or reservation.

I felt honored the day my friend showed me she knew I was one of hers, and was reminded how much work we have to do to continue to create space not just for people to seek help, but also to share their joy.

Because the truth is, we all have something going on as we navigate mental health.

And while we deserve space to openly talk about anything with which we struggle…

… may we also continue to fight to create space for each other to celebrate everything that is good, too.

Brea Schmidt Bio Pic 1


Brea Schmidt is a sought-after keynote speaker, social media influencer and consultant and Iris-Award-nominated writer who creates space for raw conversation about our approach to self care and mental health. You can check out her social media community The Thinking Branch on Facebook and Instagram or connect with her on LinkedIn.  

Categories: BeWell