How to fight loneliness: Do Something

photo via Unsplash courtesy Paul Itkin

Last week blogging simply didn’t happen.  We have been dreading looking at that week in our calendar for nearly a month, simply looking at it filled us with dread and exhaustion.  And then to top it off, my grandma died the week before and so a funeral and visitation were added to the list of things to do, and a layer of emotional work I was not fully prepared for was added.

Life is very full right now.  Our living room is full of baby stuff (the baby room is now almost done being primed and painted, thanks to ninja painting fairies who broke into our house during our all day birth class on Saturday and painted most of it), my schedule is full of housework, day job work, this work, and Prism work.

But I am feeling the weight of the love I am surrounded with.  I am anxious about being a new parent, in part because I am a reasonable human being, and in part because change is big and scary and hard and I hear infants cause you to sleep less.

But I am feeling so surrounded by the love of my community that I know we will be ok.

I never thought I would have a community like this.  I never thought I could be loved and supported and . . . accepted in the way that I am.

I still struggle with that.  I fight to accept myself and to love myself every day and it is hard work.

Because I still hear those sermons, those off hand comments, I still see those whispers and I am reminded that in some ways, I don’t belong.

And the beautiful thing is that most of the time I forget that I am an “other.”

I am lucky to have spaces where I am seen and accepted and loved for who I am, and I strive to create that sort of space for the youth I work with, because goodness knows they need it.

I am lucky to live in a city where I can walk down the street and see people who look like me, families that look like mine and I don’t feel as alone in this world.  

Many aren’t that lucky, especially when they are first coming out or if they live in a rural area.

I am a big believer in visibility, for whatever “other” you might be (because in some sense we are all a little “other”). 

I want to shout it from the rooftops that you are not alone if you’re dealing with mental illness.  I want to shout it from the rooftops that you are not alone if you’re queer.  I want to shout it from the rooftops that you are not alone if you might be obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Because community is what this world comes down to.

In the end, that is what matters.

Today my mom told me that one of my grandma’s last bits of wisdom was to get involved in the church.

And if church is your jam, follow that advice to the word.

But to me the important part of that is to get involved.

If you are feeling alone in this world, find what you care about and do something, even if it’s joining a facebook group and simply reading it.

If you’re not sure what you care about because depression is clouding your view, try to remember something you used to care about it and do something there.

Because we are SO not alone in this world.

We are SO not alone in our struggles.

I’ve got your back.

And I know you have mine.