“That meeting was one of the first moments of intense, gut-wrenching contrast. Of truly noticing how deeply my loss had altered me, how consumed I was by my grief, and how impossible it felt to be a person in the world, doing person-like things, and interacting with other humans. I was so broken in that moment. So intensely shattered and grieving and drowning in a PTSD I wouldn’t be able to name for months. My heart hurt, I wanted to cry, and my stomach was always in knots as anxiety gnawed relentlessly at my insides. To sit still, smile, and nod in that moment hurt more than anything I’d ever experienced before. Listening to him laugh, as not-broken people tend to do, while telling stories and trying to bond over shared interests… it hurt. Having to explain my business, tell my life story, be a happy and functional human… it took everything I had left inside of me, and it hurt like hell.”
Working on #TheUnravelBook and remembering those moments of stark contrast. Moments that taught me to never assume I know what’s going on for someone else. We never know what battles someone else is fighting, what losses they’re grieving, or what heartache they’re experiencing.
And we don’t ask enough either.
We don’t show up because it feels hard and scary to talk about these things. To feel them. To give them a voice, a name, and enough time/space to be truly heard. Instead, we resort to simple, passive, “positive” statements that do more damage than good. We limit the amount of time that’s “acceptable” to feel certain things… things that simply can’t be assigned a timeline to begin with.
Let’s show up for one another.
Listen to one another’s stories.
Support one another’s journeys.
Hold space for one another’s healing.
We’re never the only one going through something. And we don’t have to do it alone.
I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for the people who continually showed up, asked questions, and let me cry or talk or scream as much as I needed (and for as long as I needed). The ones who didn’t let “doing it alone” even be an option.