Today is my parents’ anniversary. They have been married for 30 years, which is a massive accomplishment. It’s a real blessing to have parents who show you what love should look like. I am grateful that they have always been united and supportive parents for my brother and I. Especially growing up in an environment that had constant changes, they made sure that everything felt stable within our family. I’m lucky to call them my parents. Happy Anniversary! (I know they’re reading.)
My parents have always been a great support system for me, but there are other people who I have found support from as well. It’s important to find people that you not only get along with, but that you can be vulnerable with. I hate vulnerability. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I will say it again because it is extremely true. I’m not good at voicing my thoughts or feelings. Writing is where I usually get all of that out. However, writing is solitary and doesn’t allow for outside thoughts and opinions that may help your brain see a situation you are going through differently. Finding people to surround yourself with who love and support you, but also aren’t afraid to tell you when you are overthinking or making a mistake is so important. I’m lucky, because I have a handful of people who I can rely on in that way.
First and foremost, I have my family. My mom, my dad, and my brother Nate. As I stated in the beginning, my parents have always been incredibly supportive of me. They always made sure to let me know that as long as I was doing my best at whatever I was doing, they were happy. They didn’t put added pressure on me to be number one or get the top scores, which made me want to do it for myself. They made sure to say “I love you” every day. Even though I bottle up my emotions most of the time, they were always there for me when they all spilled out. My mom stayed home with us so we could have some stability while we moved all around. They came to every event they could come to and cheered on the sidelines. They are great parents. I don’t know where I would be without them. I get a lot of my best qualities from them. My brother is great, too. He probably knows the most about me. I feel like it’s not always the case that a brother and sister are so close when they are a few years apart, but I’ve really appreciated having him by my side growing up. In a lot of ways, he is the only person who understands what it was like moving every two or three years. For a little while in each place, we were each other’s only friend. He is always there to make me laugh when I’m having a bad day. We have a Snapchat streak coming up on 850 days that we don’t plan to stop anytime soon. He is a great big brother and I’m lucky to have him as someone I can talk to whenever I need to.
My friends that I’ve made in the last few years are also a great support system to have. The friends I’ve made in college are some of the best people I’ve ever known. They are extremely kind and always there to listen when I’m struggling with something. Whether it’s something small like school stress, or big like grief, they are there for me. I don’t cry in front of people, really ever. It’s that vulnerability issue again. So the moment where I did cry in front my friends was a big deal for me. I realized that I am comfortable being fully myself with them. They know about my struggle with anxiety and understand it (a couple of them struggle with it too). There is no judgement among us. We genuinely enjoy spending time together. That could be watching a rom-com for the tenth time on our couch or driving for an hour at night with no destination, listening to music. They are there for the everyday moments and the big life moments and I’m so happy I have them in my life.
There are various other people who also give me support in different ways. I’m grateful for my therapist who listens to all of my anxious thoughts and provides a new perspective. I appreciate all of my coworkers for making work a place that I actually look forward to. There are professors who are genuinely there when I’m stressed about an assignment. I’ve found people who support me and who I support. When you are struggling, the people around you are so important. Talking about your feelings can help. Part of the reason I created this website was because I wanted to foster a community where people felt safe expressing their emotions and struggles. We are all dealing with something. No one has a perfect life. There are always people out there going through something similar. As this community grows, I hope that you are able to find people to talk to. I’m here to listen as well. Trust me. I know how scary it is to let people in, but finding a support system is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share your stories in the comments below. I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from y’all.