Life is hard. Going through grief, divorce, burnout, anxiety and other struggles make it harder. But the roughest part? Feeling like you are alone while going through these struggles.
Why do we fight our mental battles solo? Why do we lie to our friends and family about what we are truly feeling and with a smile say, “I’m fine” and “I’m okay” when we’re not?
A lot of us tend to avoid the truth when we face a difficult or awkward situation. After all, it seems easier to sweep what you’re going through under the rug. The thing is, it’s difficult to make any sort of progress unless you can openly recognize and discuss your challenges.
So let’s be honest about how we are doing and feeling, and let’s be honest with others about the hardships we are experiencing. It’s okay to cry and to be vulnerable. We should not endure our struggles alone, and it can be very helpful to share with someone who knows exactly what you are going through.
Unfortunately, the challenges we face often come with shame. One of the biggest things that hold people back from receiving group support is the fear of being honest with their fellow group members.
“How can I be honest with strangers?” “I don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable with people I don’t know”
If these thoughts have crossed your mind, you’re not alone. These are pretty common hesitations prior to joining a group. The truth is if you’re feeling embarrassed, angry, sad, or disheartened about your situation, like you can’t open up or share your story, group support is actually a great place to start because here’s the thing: they’re not complete strangers, and you do, in a way, know them.
You may not yet know their names, what they do for work, or what their favorite color is (in case you didn’t realize yet, ours is purple), but you do already know one important part of their life, arguably the most important part: the challenge they’re facing.
Whether you’re seeking group support for grief, divorce, stress, anxiety, or whatever challenge you’re dealing with right now, they’re experiencing the same thing. Because of this, they probably understand what you’re going through better than your family member, friend, or colleague.
If you feel uncomfortable talking about your divorce, Tina also just went through a divorce and isn’t sure how to navigate it either. If you’re burnt out and had to quit your job, don’t worry, Bob also just left for the same reason and is also struggling.
Do they still feel like strangers?
That’s the magic of a Circle. No one can judge you because everyone is going through the same thing. When you see other people dealing with similar struggles, you realize that what you’re going through is normal, and there’s a way out. All it takes is one honest step to get there.