A few months ago, I had a bit of a breakdown. I felt lost and depressed and spent a large portion of a Sunday afternoon curled up in a ball on the couch crying. There was a lot of weight in my head and in my heart. Writing this knowing I am going to share it online for anybody to read is nerve-wracking to say the least, because currently only one person knows this meltdown even took place. I did not ask for help, I did not share it on social media, I did not text or call anyone to notify them. In fact, I probably grabbed my phone as a distraction, scrolled through Instagram and felt even worse. So here I am, publicly sharing it, with my arms and heart open wide for anyone who has ever been in the same boat.
Although emotional hardship is an unavoidable part of the human experience, it's not something we openly stand up and share proudly. Most of us don't post on social media when we are going through hard times, and as a result it's easy to fall into the trap of scrolling through everyone else's happy moments and feeling like no one else is struggling. Living in a culture that encourages us to be independent and self-sufficient can also generate feelings of shame around asking for support. Rationally, I know that if I am feeling low, simply telling someone and getting it off my chest lightens the load instantly, but knowing this doesn't necessarily mean it's easy to do. Honestly, I'm pretty shit at speaking up when I need a hand, or just a hug. It makes me feel like a failure, or that I am being a bother, a drama queen or dampening the mood. Finding the courage to reach out is often the biggest hurdle.
So this is to anyone out there who might be going through rough stuff, yet keeps it to themselves. To you who wears a brave face, and tries to fight your battles on your own. Please know that you are not alone. You are not alone in what you're facing, and how you're feeling. You are not alone in not wanting people to know, how to talk about it, or who to talk to. To suffer or struggle does not make you weak, nor does it make you a failure. It makes you part of the human family. I know the feeling of wanting to ride it out alone, but from me to you, please also know that sharing the struggle will lighten it. That people will not think less of you, they will support you and have their arms open for you. That there is so much strength and beauty in vulnerability. And above all else, know that you can make it through.
I am right here with you.