By Aaliyah Moore
Life’s a complicated maze, ain’t it? It seems like every time you get a handle on one area, something breaks loose in another. And before you know it, your entire life is spiraling out of control. Well, maybe not for you, but certainly for me.
As someone who considers themselves an extrovert, I spend a lot of time engaging with many different types of people. And with my tendency to be the “strong friend,” people often come to me to vent about the things they’re dealing with in their personal lives. What I find from these countless “venting” sessions is that we all have an “it.” For you, “it” may be a sick parent, a terminal disease, or a mental health disorder. Or maybe “it” is a failed relationship, a job you hate, or infertility. And even if I didn’t call out your “it,” I’m sure you can think of one thing that impacts the way you live your everyday life. And what I find most interesting about the daily loads that we carry is that people on the outside often cannot even tell.
The more I engage with people and hear the stories they have to share, the less siloed I feel in my own personal experiences. Being vulnerable and willing to share our stories is how we connect with others in their humanity. Knowing that everyone is dealing with their share of disappointment, grief, and despair also makes me feel like I don’t carry all the problems in the world. And when one person is willing to open up and share their story, the more likely it will make someone else feel comfortable doing the same.
So why does all this matter?
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults today. Throughout this month, individuals have been focusing on ways to be resilient and cope with the daily stresses of life. Several advocacy sites have been sharing information about what to do in moments of crisis and hotlines for people to call for suicide prevention. It’s hard to fathom that life really hits hard in a way that makes people want to no longer live, but the harsh reality is that sometimes it is too much for some to bear. That’s why it’s so important to be kind. For everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about.
So as you read this and ponder about whatever your “it” is, please know you’re not alone. You’re not defined by “it,” and you are so loved even in “it.”
Aaliyah Mooreis a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC.