I am not alone.
This might seem like a silly statement, but it holds the weight of the the world within those words. I used to think I was alone. So alone. I could be surrounded by groups of people, yet feel nothing but alone.
I thought I was invisible. Insignificant. Unimportant. I was sure no one noticed me, if I were there or not.
But I wasn’t alone. I never was. I’m not sure when I began to realize that I wasn’t alone. It started slowly, until one day I woke up and saw just how surrounded I was with friends who cared about me. Friends who were there for me when I needed to be covered in love and support. It’s almost as if I blinked and the fog around me lifted and suddenly there were all these people right there in front of me.
*note: don’t be offended if you’re not in this photo. I used what was on my phone at the time!
But this isn’t going to be a post about depression, even if it sounds like it is. What this is, is a post about how much I appreciate every single friendship I have in my life. Some of these friendships are online, and I have yet to meet the kindred soul I have been chatting with for years. Some of these friendships are with people I have known for years, but do not see very often. Some of these friendships are with people I see on a daily basis.
Sometimes you don’t notice just how well-insulated you are against the world because of your friends. I’m slow to trust, and slow to believe that someone might actually care about me. But when I clue in and stop thinking “why me?”, I realize just how strong of a bond I might have with someone and that will make me stop in my tracks in surprise. I’m not used to feeling like I matter to other people. That way of thinking was part of my life for more than half of the years I have been alive. I’m friendly. I’m bubbly. But I hide a lot of apprehension well, and I don’t like to let too many people into the core of my soul.
Each time I get a message that says, “I miss you”, or, “This made me think of you”, you probably have no idea how much that means to me. I never thought I was someone others might think of when I wasn’t around. It always feels new. I’m always surprised. And I appreciate every, single thought.
Having gone through an incredibly crazy and scary time in my recent past, I suddenly woke up to how much I was loved and cared for by people I already thought were amazing. Strange how it can take a trauma, or Big Event in your life to help you notice what is right there in front of you.
I have amazing friends. I have fabulous close friends. I am surrounded by so much love and humour and support. I am not alone. My friends will not let me be alone. We share laughter and tears. We share health woes and work woes with each other. We help each other.
And when things get tough, and I’m feeling down, I turn to my friends because they bring me joy. Thank you for that.