To the outer world the Ultra Independent has created a super hero persona, you are invincible, holding everything together by yourself without relying on anyone for financial or emotional support.
You dont have many friends, as you do not trust people and would rather keep your circle small, in order to protect your already broken heart. All your friends admire you and will often turn to you for advice or when they are in need of emotional or financial support. You make a great friend, and will go out of your way to help, while juggling a million and one others things. You hardly ever complain, and if you do, it is in jest at how busy and stressful life can be.
You will often put your own needs second after those of the people closest to you.
Your friends look at you with awe and admiration, they wish they could have their life as together as their Ultra Independent friend. They will moan about their work, their partners, their lack of money, in fact they will share anything and everything with you because you are always listening and when you do speak it is to tell your friends to become more independent, just like you are, after all independence is a strength. You give great advice but very rarely will you talk about your own troubles or concerns, if you do you will always finish off with ‘anyway I have it under control’
When the table is turned and you are struggling, you won't let your friends know how much pain you are in. Internally you will be screaming and feeling emotionally battered and bruised but you will not reach out to others. Your internal voice will be shouting at you to pull it together, you have been through far worse in your life and you managed to survive, you will get through this.
The Ultra Independent is always strong.
You might cry into your pillow at night but mostly you do not shed many tears, crying makes you feel
you have lost control and that is just unacceptable.
You will hold it in, where it festers and grows into anger, resentment, melancholy, sadness and perhaps an overall lack of excitement with your life.
Even though your friends can see you are having a bad time, they will not worry too much, because this Ultra Independent friend has got through so much, your friends don’t think for a moment that you might need their help. So they will not offer help, if they do ask how you are doing, the answer will most likely be that ‘things are hectic but I am strong, I can handle this, I always do.’
The friends believe this and leave you alone.
This tends to make you feel more alone and you fight harder to solve your problems without asking for help.
The stress increases, the burnout comes and you just carry on believing you have control and can fix everything.
You start to think your friends don’t really care and even though you are always there for everyone else, no one helps you out when you need it
This affirms to you that you really cannot rely on others, again people have let you down. Just like the ex-partner, just like the parent did, just like everyone has done all your life.
You become distant and more closed off, even choosing not to speak to your friends anymore.
If you identify as an Ultra Independent, try to reach out, find one friend that you can talk to, ask them to help you, even with the smallest thing, give just one thing to someone and let them help you. One step at a time. Start to understand that it is not a lack of strangth to ask for help, and that you really do not have to walk the mountain alone.
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Artwork credit: Lora Zombie