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June 14, 2015

A Message to “The Fixers.”

messagetothefixers
It’s time someone told you to start being selfish.

See my dear, you are pulling sap from the trees. You have a knack for it—for sensing those who have been bottling thoughts in for far too long. Tapping through the tough exterior, layer by layer, dissolving years worth of defense.

You’ve mastered the technique—treading lightly around weak spots, grasping on where their words quiver. Your patient hands have grown ready to catch the first drip, the breakthrough, the inevitable collapse. You wait with arms open, until all that craved release has been spilled. You take their problems like an offering, watching swollen eyes sigh in relief, a subtle gratitude for just being there—because just being there is enough.

But the problem is in how the sap lingers.

It lingers, no matter how hard you scrub and no matter how good you’ve become at ignoring it. You wear it as a part of you—cloaked over top of things you shouldn’t let yourself bury. You belittle the creatures that lurk beneath your bark, hushing them with thoughts about how your problems just can’t compare.

I am here to remind you—it is okay for a fixer to feel broken.

My dear, you are unpacking someone else’s suitcase. You are canceling their great escape and using your convincing words as weapons in friendly fire. You are explaining how running from problems is like numbing disease and soon enough the pain will catch up. So you fall into sequence, unbuckle and release, carefully unfolding the pain they’ve been keeping neatly tucked inside.

Piece by piece—story by story—until it all lays sprawled across your bedroom floor. You feed on the satisfaction in a friend’s weightless case.

However, the problem is in how you are losing sleep—making room for how others’ cluttered sadness looks lying against your own, tossing and turning in a muffled cry for help. I can tell you are undeniably tired. I see in your eyes, a part of you is always absent.

I am here to remind you—it is okay for a fixer to feel broken.

My dear, you are the most generous gasoline. You are the last mile, running on empty.

I can see you pouring every last piece of yourself into the one who just needs to make it through the night—someone who is praying to make it home. Motivation that could only be emotionally charged, pulsing deep through your veins, pumping steadily—always for someone else.

But the problem is in how you are left fading into fumes—you are as drained as the tank and as exhausted as the fuel.

I am here to remind you, it is okay for a fixer to feel broken.

See there’s this thing that happens when you constantly try to fix others…

You’ve learned how to read their body language, when to press on and when to let it be. You have mastered how silence offers confession and seen the healing power of expression.

But you’ve been so busy writing other people’s happy endings, that you have forgotten about your own. Somewhere along the way you have lost yourself and become composed of little pieces of everyone else you are trying to fix.

My dear, we need people like you.

My god, people like you make the world go ’round, and I can not thank you enough—but this needs to stop.

You are strong, but it’s okay not to be. It is in your nature to be there for others, but it is not in your blood to let that consume you.

Do not neglect your beautiful self.

Take a step back—observe your own advice at a distance, and recognize that the world doesn’t demand an eternally brave face. Please remember that even those meant to save have the ability to cave.

A message, to everyone else:

Check the lives of those you love. You may not even realize it, but someones else’s problems may lace their hands shut, your sadness may clutter their floor, they could have been stranded on empty.

If someone is pulling your problems, unpacking your sadness or carrying you the last mile home—please look them dead in the eye, and ask them how they are doing.

Ask them how life is treating them, and do not take a bashful dismissal for an answer. Do not let them think their problems are not worthy—don’t let them ignore their happy ending.

If I have learned anything in life, it is that everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about—and nobody, not even “A Fixer,” can defeat that alone.

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Relephant:

I’m Beautifully Broken—Please don’t Fix Me.

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Author: Lauren Hurst

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Author’s own.

 

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Lauren Hurst