I suppose there are people who are just as strong as they appear to be. And who have no need to talk about their innner life. I am not one of them. Well, I have played the role for years. But it was not a great success. I was quite convincing – I even convinced myself! It took me years to realize I was making one hell of a mistake. This was not me. Who am I? I am not really strong. (Except now and again in a real crisis – while the adrenaline lasts!) And when I’m quiet, there is trouble somewhere. So sad that I took so long to realize this. And still longer to accept it. But now I experience it as something very positive. No struggle to keep up appearences. No struggle to look strong. And suddenly other people find it easier to drop their pose when they are with me. Now not even the characters in my books try to appear wise and strong all the time. No, they struggle with their weaknesses and how to express it in an acceptable way just like the rest of us. What happens when a sensitive, emotional person tries to convey an image of strength and control all the time? Easy – his life becomes a lie. And if you keep living a lie up for long enough, I think depression is virtually unavoidable. Should we then talk about our fears and longings and skeletons in the cupboard all the time? No, I don’t think so. It can just be that your loved ones will find it very difficult to stand. A person who talks about himself all the time is a very tiring and boring thing. Especially if the talking is mostly about his troubles and woes. Whom of us do not have our own troubles (big or small)? But I believe it is very necessary and healthy to have one or more special people with whom you can share your real feelings. Especially people who understand that you do not need advice all the time, but rather just somebody to listen and accept. And you definitely need somebody who knows how to keep private things private. If one of these people is your significant other, just the better. Grown-up children can also be wonderful for this. And special friends, of course. I am really not for walking with your heart on your sleeve all the time. But we must know and understand and accept that talking about a problem usually brings at least some relief. And to show your weakness often brings relief for the listener, too, because he then realize that you will also have patience with his own weaknesses. Someone recently said our society has a great need for merciful people. I think if you can show your own faults sometimes, you are one step closer to being a merciful person for somebody else. And he to becoming it for you.