Shared Suffering

When I was suffering from my disease the most I wasn’t sharing what was going on with anyone. I isolated and kept my pain to myself believing that no one would understand, would care, or that everyone else had their own problems so I need not burden them with mine. That rationale kept me sick for a long time, and got me sicker. The more I retreated and kept to myself the more those negative voices in my head became my truth, but it only took one person to share their shared suffering with me to give me enough hope to reach out for help.

I had always said I wasn’t a “group” person. I always preferred to do things one on one. Even growing up with my friends, I had my one or two girls I would hang out with, and we might do things with groups of people from time to time, but mainly it was just the two or three of us. That’s just how I had always been. So when I made the commitment to make positive changes in my life, and to seek help, it was suggested to me I join a support group and get to know other women who were walking the same path as I was. That struck fear in my right away. Me, join a group? That did not sound like anything I wanted to be a part of, but I had promised myself I would try everything that was suggested, so I took a deep breath and dove in. It was difficult for me at first, to sit there and try to be a part of the group, but the more I sat there the more I heard my story told through other people, and I realized that I wasn’t alone. I thought that no one thought and did the things I did, that was one of the reasons I never told anyone, I thought I was a horrible person and no one would understand, or even worse, would judge me for being who I was, but what I learned from sitting in those groups and finding the courage to share my truth is that I wasn’t the only one, in fact I found many others who thought and did things exactly how I had, which was shocking, but also a relief.

It’s been almost 13 years since I first stepped foot in a group meeting, and I still go today, in fact, I went morning I wrote this blog, and I was reminded what a gift it is that I found a group of people like myself who I can relate to, who remind me of who I was and who I have worked to be. Today, I look at that group as something I am blessed to be a part of, something I never would have imagined 13 years ago, but I now know the strength that that group has for me and many others out there who have found a strength with those who identify with them.

When I initially thought about starting a blog the idea was to create a safe place where we could share in our commonality, to create a community of like-minded people who were all striving to live in the light and be our best selves each day. I know there is a lot of power in shared suffering, especially when the focus isn’t on the suffering, but a solution. So for those out there who suffer alone in silence, I invite you to join us, I encourage you to reach out, to share your truth with us, we are not here to judge you, as we are no one to judge, we have all had our share of things we have done in the past that we may not be proud of, or even in our present lives, but it is a part of our journey, who we once were, and we have used those experiences to remind us of where we don’t want to go, of how far we’ve come, and to allow those seemingly negative experiences to bring us closer to those out there who once were just like us, and perhaps still are, but are striving to live in the light. You are not alone, unless you choose to be, but if you decide to come and join us, or others like us, we’ve got a place waiting for you and a love for you that you may not even have for yourself yet, that love comes from an understanding and a recognition that you are just like us. SLAY on!

SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you share your truth when things are not good with you? If you do, how does that help you? If you don’t, why not? What are you afraid of? Do you have people in your life who you can share your truth with, no matter what it is? If so, who are they? If not, how can you find people like that in your life? Do you see how finding people like yourself can help you to grow, learn, and give you a feeling of support? Do you feel there is strength in numbers? Go find your group SLAYER, even if that’s just us, we as a group are stronger than we are alone, if you’re looking for a place to belong, come SLAY with us.

S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you

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