You are not alone.

Below, before the three asterisks, is what I wrote early this morning. I took some time off from writing this more emotional post and so, instead, I posted the story of a dance party.

Then, my parents took¬† my daughter to see her new favorite movie, I picked up the cake for my husband’s birthday tomorrow (more on that later; he actually reads this blog so I don’t want to spoil the surprise) and I awkwardly told the girl behind the counter of the bake shop, “Ok, bye, love you!” I apologized and we laughed.

We had some things to pick up and I had a few gifts to purchase so we went to a store, despite the absolutely torrential rainstorm outside.

As I walked into the store, I saw something from afar that I thought might work for a gift, but as I got closer, I lost my breath.

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Now, see below, at what I had written not 4 hours before.

And not only did I write it, but I had included a footnote about to whom I should attribute this quote, as there is great controversy over it’s origin and author.

Sometimes you just can’t explain things; The universe sends you messages and you choose whether you want to believe in them or not.

I believe.

***

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

My hands are running back and forth across the keyboard. I know what I want to say, I am just not sure how to properly convey the message so that it is as clear as I desire for it to be.

This quote is one of many that resonates with me, and I am fortunate enough that I have some very special girlfriends with whom I trade inspirational quotes, poems and photos via text, almost daily.

I write on this site all about my own struggles. My physical and mental issues. My battles.

But there is something that you may not know.

Every single day I receive several private messages that are written differently, but that have the same underlying theme, and that is this: “I wasn’t sure if I should write to you, but I feel like we are so similar in so many ways and I can relate and connect to you and your anxieties and struggles.”

Ever single day. And every single one of these messages means an incredible amount to me. I can’t even begin to convey how much they mean to me; every time I read a new note, I share with my husband how touched I am (I do not share the notes, nor anything about the senders or content) but just that I had a dialogue that was very special. So to those of you who have been brave enough to type these notes, thank you. And to those of you who are still on the fence as to whether or not you should reach out to me,

I implore you to please write.

Because you are not alone.

It is amazing how we as humans (and I would say particularly mothers, but I am not at all trying to stereotype or marginalize) are so hard on ourselves. I remember one of the quotes that I sent to a friend, and it was something like “Imagine if we spent the whole day obsessing about the things we liked about ourselves.”

Now anxiety, like most things, has a spectrum, and there are some people who have very little. But really, most people I know feel it, feel it palpably, and it causes a deep feeling of loneliness.

I used this example before in my writing as a hypothetical, but I want to tell you about something very personal to me. Out of respect for others and to keep things as confidential as possible, I am going to be vague about the context, but I was in a group recently in which I raised my hand, frustrated. I expressed my feelings and insecurities. I shared how lonely it felt to feel different.

The facilitator of this group repeated my sentiments to the rest of the room, where there were at least 20 people present, and asked if anyone could relate to my feelings of insecurity, “different-ness”, and loneliness.

Every single hand went up.

Every single hand.

I was shocked.

In my eyes and from my perspective, the things that I was sharing were clearly not applicable to anyone else in the room. But they felt them, too, just as acutely.

That is when I realized, I am not alone.

And why I say

you are not alone.

I have held my nose and jumped in to the deep end of the pool, so to speak (a metaphor my doctor uses) when it comes to being open and honest about my own mental health issues. I share more than most people. But I realize that sharing things–admitting to these vulnerabilities–is terrifying.

But, while I can’t make a 100% guarantee, I strongly, strongly believe that if you share how you are feeling, you will end up feeling better.

Not only will you have said it–the thing that is so hard to say–but you will have said it to someone who can empathize.

You can take it off of you. You don’t have to carry it anymore.

And, at the very least, you can know that by writing, you will have touched another person’s heart.

I so wish that we, as a culture, were more sympathetic to one another. We rally behind so many causes (which is fantastic), but we don’t really take the time to acknowledge the seriousness of our mental health issues.

So if you can take away anything from this post it is this:

The way you feel–that way that you are sure that no one in the world can possibly relate to–is something that so so so so so many of us feel. Sharing those feelings takes bravery, and if you want to start by sharing with me, I can assure you that you will find empathetic ears and a caring heart. You can always Facebook message me or email me at Rebecca@mommyeverafter.com. Again, everything you say remains between us. I am your vault.

But, most of all, I want you to remember this one salient point:

You are not alone.

Just a reminder: I can offer friendship and support, but I am not a medical professional. Please consult with your doctor if you are having a really hard time struggling with your emotions or, simply go to the nearest Emergency Room.

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