Share the Load

To every person that has ever felt anything less than human. To every person that gives and gives and gives, but struggles to allow themselves to take. To every person that masks their true selves out of fear of losing loved ones through revealing. To every person that dodges questions about their well-being with distractions or answering the question with a question. To every person that feels alone this world full of people. To every person that feels out-of-place or discomfort in a body that is unfamiliar. To every person that has sat alone, silently hoping that someone could see the real you, that someone could understand you, that someone could save you. To every person that has felt guilt for the status of their health, having their feelings, and having their thoughts. To every person that has felt small, so small that no one could notice them, that no one cared to even find them. To every person that builds up walls brick by brick and waits behind for someone strong enough to demolish them. To every person that carries their troubles inside, even the same troubles that others may have, out of fear of the perception. To every person yearning for love, for reassurance, for purpose. To every person that has ever felt like a waste of space, undeserving to take up any space at all. To every person that firmly stands by these statements but only on the basis of their thoughts and assumptions, too worried of its accuracy to reach out and see for themselves. To every person that ever feels like “too much”, baggage, broken, unworthy, a burden – this is for you. This is for you, not only for today, not only until tomorrow, not only until next month. This is for you, every single day. Please refer to this post as much as needed to keep you grounded. These statements do not disappear or lose meaning, they are timeless and will be true every time you read them.

I am waiting for you. My arms are wide open. My mind is growing curious. My heart is eager to feel close to you. The closeness you feel only when you know someone better than they know themselves. My eyes see your suffering, even when you try your best to hide. I’m sharing this with you because we cannot read each other’s minds, and I want you to know that you are never a waste of time. You cannot push me away, and I’ll try my best not to pry. I am waiting for you. You feel like a burden. You do not want to bother. You belittle your feelings and fears because you think that they do not matter. If it matters to you, then it matters to me. If you still question the importance, let me remind you: the weight of the world on your shoulders is made up of all things you keep inside. If it didn’t matter, it wouldn’t feel so heavy. You feel weak, but I know that you are strong. How else would you be able to carry around this “burden” for so long? Share the load with me, without the fear of adding to my own. I need you as much as you need me and I will tell you that until you know. Please reassure me that it’s okay by letting me in. I don’t want to turn away your help, shut you out, or keep things hidden. I have another shoulder for you, no capacity limit, just an empty spot waiting for something to be placed on it. This is not special treatment, I do not pity you. We are all human and being genuine and kind is what we do. In order to help others, you have to help yourself – let me explain. We have two shoulders, one for us and one for others. As you pass the weight from your shoulder to mine, it becomes light. Sometimes weight reaches me, sometimes weight disappears, but either way you gain more control, you have more space, you can offer some to others. It’s a cycle, you see? You never have to feel guilt for being yourself, sharing with me, or asking for help. You give me purpose. Your fight is my fight and you never have to be alone. You matter. Everything about you matters. – Rachel R.

You are not alone in this world. You may feel alone right now. You may feel like you can’t take one more minute of the pain that you are feeling. You may feel like there’s not a person out there who could possibly understand what it is that you’re going through. How do I know this? Because I’ve been there before. I’ve known what it’s like to feel like maybe the grass isn’t greener. We are human. We all bleed the same color. We have all faced rejection, sadness, loss, betrayal, and lack of self-appreciation. We’ve all had our hearts broken at some point and in some way. We all have stories to share. We all want to connect and be heard. We want to learn, grow and share. It may not be easy to open up about the things that you’re going through. It may be easier to hide in your room in the quiet. But happiness is worth fighting for. Fight for it. Fight with everything you have, even if you feel like it’s not enough. Talk to someone. Connect. We want to help you. We want you to get better. We want you to be happier. We may not have the answer, but we want to be aware of what you’re going through and have a good understanding so that we can walk along this journey with you and help guide you until you feel like you can walk on your own. Everyone knows something you do not. Take the time to listen, to talk, to better yourself. You are enough. You are worthy of happiness. Let us in. We love you and we see all the potential in you. – Aileen S.

You. I see you. I know you. I’m here for you.
You. You are magic. There’s not a single, living, breathing soul ON THIS ENTIRE planet that is exactly the same as you. You cannot be replaced.
How or why we are even here on this earth is beyond my understanding – so I must trust in the fact that since we made it here at all, it matters. YOU matter.
You in the most rawest form – are pure magic.
I see you. Questioning. Doubting. Struggling.
I know you. Your need to keep it together for the sake of others. Your desire to keep your problems your own. Your efforts to never be burdensome. You, who ALWAYS goes above and beyond for everyone else, find it’s so hard to let another offer even a fraction back to you.
I’m here. I see you. I share your pain because I love you.
I won’t pretend to understand exactly what you’re feeling in this moment. Or that the pains we’ve experienced along our journeys are the same. I won’t tell you what you think I think you want to hear. I won’t dish out advice without your asking – but I’ll be here. Sharing your load. With or without your asking. I’ll be here.
– Santana B.

Not everyone knows exactly how depression or anxiety feels however most people know of someone who suffers from it. The one thing all humans have in common is the need for community and connection. To feel needed and to feel loved. Humans need one another. We do not like feeling alone which is exactly how someone with depression can feel. Alone. Loneliness is a dark place which feeds off all your negative thoughts and emotions. When someone is feeling this way, they may find it hard to reach out of fear of being a burden. I personally, can relate with this feeling. I’m brilliant at boxing up my feelings, not wanting to dampen anyone’s spirits. But you cannot do that forever. Sometimes you must let it all out and knowing you have someone you can do that with means more than words could express. It’s SO important to connect with someone, to express how you are feeling, so it is not bottled up ready to explode at any point. It may feel like you’re putting the weight onto someone else’s shoulders but trust me, they will be grateful to be there for you and for that connection as well. I know I like to be needed, it makes me feel worthwhile, like I’m doing something that will make someone feel better. I want you to talk to me, or even just sit with me, knowing that I am here with you. Likewise, when I’m feeling like the world doesn’t understand how I’m feeling, I’d want someone to be there with me, even just for a hug. You are not a burden to me. I would love nothing more than to be there for you and support you in which ever way you need. Knowing you feel that you can open up to me makes me feel even closer to you. I love you, I’m always here if you need me. – Georgie B.

I’m here. No judgment. No need to explain. I will listen and cry and be there with you. My empath soul wants nothing more than to help you through this no matter the time it takes. I will sit with you and listen or stay with you and just be. Whatever you need. The pain on your heart causes pain on mine. Let me share that burden and lighten yours. – Elizabeth S.

“I wish you could see what I see.” I often find myself thinking this about you. I see your pain and struggles and all I want to do is show you a reflection of the magic and beauty I see in you. I have anxiety and know what it is like not to feel good enough; to try to fight back the demons in your mind that are constantly telling you that you cannot. Distance can make relationships difficult and it is so easy to lie through a screen. It’s so easy to say “I’m fine, how are you?” and move on with the conversation. More than anything, I want you to know that I am not satisfied with this response. I am sure that I am guilty of using it as well, but I really want to hear about what is going on in your life and how you are actually feeling. The good, the bad, the dark, and the deep dark. I know who you are inside – even if you cannot see it yourself – and nothing you ever say or do, or even think, will ever change that. I never want anyone to ever feel ashamed of something and feel they cannot come to me for fear of judgment. Whatever it is, I don’t care. I want to be there for you. To tell you I love you and hold your hand, and hug you close until your world looks brighter again. Until you can see what I see. Distance is a huge impediment to this and sometimes I feel myself breaking under the weight of wanting to be closer to you, so I can be there for you in a second if you need me. It is hard to know your friends are struggling and to be so far away. I hope you know that I will drive forever or get on a plane in a minute to be there with you. That is my privilege, as your friend and never your burden. – Katie B.

You are not crazy, it’s okay to not feel okay. You are not alone in this, I am here for you whenever you need me. You can talk to me about anything! I am always willing to listen and help you as much as I can. You have so much to offer the world! You are an amazing person and you are so loved! – Kaila S.

You are loved, not only when you are happy and joyful, but also in your darkest hours. Know that it is okay to not be okay. Know that it is okay to be unable to explain what you are feeling. Know that it is no sign of weakness when you cannot get out of bed. Quite the contrary, you are very strong. We may struggle with the circumstances, but I will never leave you alone. I want you to know that I love you and that I will try my best to help. – Maddie N.

You NEVER have to struggle coming to me. Every text, phone call, message is received with love. I feel honored and special that you would even come to me. It’s a gift to have a friend confide in me. Of course, I am busy, you are busy too. I have a family, a job, a life, but don’t we all? That does NOT mean I do not want to hear from you. Whether it takes me a minute, an hour, or a day to respond, I am here. Always. I’ll never get sick of it. Sometimes I’ll listen, sometimes I’ll give advice, and sometimes you’ll get a dose of tough love. Boundaries should always be established in every single type of relationship, but those are HEALTHY for everyone. But always come to me. I want you happy, safe and well. I’ll be there for you, and in turn I know you’ll be there for me. – Anonymous

You are not alone, and we can get through this together. – Melissa J.

It’s okay. It’s okay to skip that party, I’d rather be here at home with you. It’s okay to stay late in bed, I’m not a morning person anyway. It’s okay to keep quiet, I know there’s too much noise in your head. It’s okay not to be happy, it’s not something you can fake. It’s okay, be loud, I know it’s your way to mask the pain. It’s okay, try new hobbies, I will support you all the way. It’s okay to feel frustrated, just don’t say harsh words to yourself. It’s okay to seek help, I’ll be here until the end. It’s okay, do not say sorry, I know it’s not your fault. It’s okay, be who you are, I will love you just the same. – M.R.

I may not know what to say or what to do, but I always have an open ear to listen. I am not only here or you in good times. I am always there, especially when times get hard! You do not have to do this alone, even though you may feel like it is easier to fight by yourself. – Stefanie K.

Pain is suffocating. Once you get in your head it just smothers happiness and you almost feel guilty for letting it go. You lose yourself in it. That is the worst thing about that internal struggle, it is so isolating. You feel like your sadness brings others down with it. Some people just won’t get it, and that’s okay. Surround yourself with people who get it because they will make the difference. When they say that they are there for you, they are not just going through the motions. They mean every word. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because you are never in this alone. People have been where you are and I am one of them. I want you to know that I may not know you and you may not know me, but I have your back. You have inherent value and you are worth it. I want you to know it seems insurmountable to put to words that you are drowning, but that person can be your life raft. They love you and they are here for you. They have no idea how to help you so they need you to tell them. Don’t let your pain isolate you. Speak up. Be heard. Find love and learn to let yourself heal with the support from others. – Anonymous

When you think you’ve successfully pushed me away, I haven’t actually left. I’m still here, I’m still your friend, I still love you like crazy, but I’m waiting. As patiently as I can, I wait for you to open your doors again so I can walk through them and hold you in my arms.  When you hurt, I hurt. You are a part of my life and a part of me. Just because you have dark days, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you – it doesn’t mean I don’t see you for all that you are. I see all of you and I love all of you, even when you don’t love yourself. When you look in the mirror and cry with hate, I look at you and see something different. I see strength. I see a fighter. I see someone who hurts but still finds love inside of her to share with everyone else. I see someone who makes me laugh, someone who makes me feel special, someone who is special to me. I see someone who is worthy of more than how you see and treat yourself. The person I know doesn’t just go away because of depression. That person is still inside of you. Depression hasn’t defeated you. Depression has created obstacles and barriers that seem insurmountable, impossible for you to climb, but you do. Every time; because you are a warrior and it’s worth the struggle, the hurt, the fight. Because YOU are worth the struggle, the hurt, the fight. I love you through your dark days and through your bright days. I love you through your laughter and through your tears. I love you through it all. – Kayla N.

I will not compare you to others. What you are going through is yours. And yours alone. Just like how everyone is difference, your struggles and how you deal with it will be individualized. But I want you to know I understand, or will do my best to try. I want to listen and not interject. Advice doesn’t work in this setting, only kindness and understanding. I promise to check in with you. Just a simple, “How are you?” helps. You are loved and you are appreciated. Sometimes we may seem frustrated – it’s not with you. It is us and our inability to help the way you need us to. We want so badly for you to see you through our eyes. We love you so much. – Danielle C.

You are important to me. Your thoughts and feelings are valid. I may not understand what you are going through, but I am here. Hearing what you are feeling right now will help me to understand what I can do to help you. I will leave if you want me to, but I would rather stay with you. I care about you. You are NOT an inconvenience or burden to me. But if you cannot stop thinking that you are, please know that I would rather be “inconvenienced” by you for an hour, or two, or a whole evening than to grieve the loss of you every day for the rest of my life. I love you. – Megan H.

You are incredible. You are a warrior. You are so strong that even when your own mind is playing tricks on you, you are surviving. You are battling your own mind, and winning. You have made it through 100% of your worst days so far. Cut yourself some slack. Show yourself some compassion. I appreciate you. I love you unconditionally. You have value. Never feel guilty asking for help! If you broke your leg and needed help getting to school/work/physical therapy, would you be nervous to ask for it? No. You’d ask for the ride, or the shoulder to lean on, or the help bringing in the groceries. Mental illness is the same. Don’t ever feel guilty for having a bad day, or asking for a little extra support. You are not alone: I know you feel lonely, but I am always here for you if you need it. Tell me what you need. Some people might not have a lot of experience with mental illness. I really want to be there for you, but I might not know how. Tell me if you need a hug or to get out of the house. Tell me if you need to stay home. Never feel bad if you need to cancel plans because you woke up and can’t get out of bed. Just be honest, and I will be understanding. – Alexis

If there is anyone that would like to contribute to this post, please send along your pieces through the Contact page and you wish to be anonymous or display your name.  I will continually update this post for as long as you would like to contribute. This is something I struggle with daily, and I know that I am not alone in that.

In a world where mental illness is stigmatized, it takes courage to open up, to reach out, to even be your true self. I hope reading these pieces reassure or even enlighten you that we are rooting for you. You are no burden. Let your guard down and let us in. Help is out there. Love is out there. Hope is out there. And it’s all within your reach. You are deserving. You are worthy. You are strong and you are brave. I believe in you.

I will leave you with a ~15 minute video (I know if it’s not 2 minutes or less it takes actual commitment) I hope that you will find resourceful. In a lighter spirit, this ambassador gives some advice for connecting with others that struggle with their mental health. If you are interested in connecting more with loved ones that suffer, this may have some helpful insight!

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