I woke up this morning and literally ran to my computer. I don’t know why this struck me so intensely this morning, but it did with a great sense of urgency. I woke up with the thought, “Why has this not been said? Why is this not blared on some public level?” And I know it has probably a million other times by a million other writers, bloggers, and public speakers so I guess it was more so “why have I not said this yet?”
It is overwhelming the amount of us who are struggling. It is overwhelming the amount of people who are suffering in silence. There are so many things about the world that do not make sense to me, and this is one of them.
I need your help. I need your help creating a safe space for people to say, “I need help. I’m not okay. I don’t want to be here anymore.”
The reason people are keeping this to themselves or leaving this earth without seeking help or support is because they don’t feel safe to do so. Do you blame them? I live in a world where perfect is displayed on every screen your eyes meet.
I need your help creating a safe space in your homes, at work, with your friends, and in your relationships, for people to say I’m not okay or I’m just sad, and I’ve been sad for a long time.
I know I have become a bit jaded with my platform. My Facebook, Instagram, and email account are subscribed to many mental health organizations where people get to bravely share their thoughts and stories in the comfort of an accepting community that gets it.
However, this reaches far outside mental health. This is a human problem, a societal flaw.
I receive many a message, text message, and call where people tell me how they are struggling and how brave they think I am. This shouldn’t require bravery.
My request today is simple.
Check on the people around you.
Dare to ask the awkward questions. Check on the people you love. I don’t mean to say to you should initiate some inappropriate heart to heart with the person you share a cubicle with, or to pry into another’s life unwarranted. I just mean look around. Be the safe space or create a safe space. Do you really know how your friends are doing? Do you really know how your children are doing? Do you really know how the person you lay next to each night is doing? I hope so.
Communications Growth Strategist
New York, NY, United States
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I’ve written something a little like this before and it is hard because there is a line between privacy and authenticity. And there is also a line of boundaries. I’m not trying to place a burden on you to save people. I’m just want to make you that you’re aware that there are many people struggling around you. It’s not your job to save or help them, but you can just be there. We have to help ourselves, that’s the only way, but everyone needs a cheerleader.
I get that you don’t want everyone around you to know. I totally get that. At my current job, people I work with have begun to add me and Facebook and I look at their request like “Eh…this could be awkward. Now they’re going to know.” For myself personally, I don’t care but I know most of you are not trying to break into a human advocacy career. But be an advocate for the people around you. I’m not asking that you become someone’s savior and take on their struggle or darkness, but sometimes people just need to say it out loud. And then with your close personal relationships, friends, family, and partners, dare to ask, “How are you really doing?” Sometimes people just need help or a cheerleader in getting the help they need. Darkness breeds a place for pain to grow and for it to grow very quickly. Light dissolves pain.
I am, I am idealist to a fault at times, but bear with me on this one. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Life is short and people are struggling. It takes a village. Life wasn’t meant to be done alone. We need each other. My one request for today is just to be open and mindful to the people in your life. We were given each other for a reason.
And if you’re the one reading this who is struggling, dare to say it to someone. Please don’t keep it to yourself. You don’t have to shout it to the roof tops, but just whisper it into the light.
Life is hard. Struggle is a unavoidable part of this whole thing, but if you’ve been struggling for far too long, or you’re struggling to stay here, please before you make a decision to go, just try it, why not? Why not tell someone?
One time my therapist asked me, “What the worst that could happen?
I naively responded, “Well, I would just land back here.”
She looks at me waiting for me to connect the dots.
“Yes, my worst case scenario is exactly where I’m standing.”
I resolved then to do something, and I have had to do something over and over, something different.
We are all in this thing together. We will all have our moments of struggle. Throughout your life you will be on one side or the other. Make that call, shoot that text, ask that question. Life is too short not to. We need you here, and we need each other.