They say when you’re going through something, it’s good to be a part of a supportive community.
Everyone can benefit from having people to talk to who understand what they’re going through, right?
Yes. . . Mostly. . . Sort of. . . In Theory.
That idea of community can be tricky under typical circumstances. Navigating mental health crises make it that much more complicated.
These are some reasons why these moms may be feeling lonely or isolated:
We Wonder If You Really Want To Hear About It
We wonder, not because we fault you, but because even we’re overwhelmed by it all.
We don’t want to be too much for you.
Honestly, the load we’re carrying with and for our kids is too much for us. It’s not a big jump to assume our real life might be overwhelming for others.
So, we say a few things. Not too much. We want to be low-maintenance because we know the exhaustion of dealing with high-maintenance.
Connecting With People In A Similar Stage Can Be Scary
It sounds counter-intuitive, right? It sure is nice to have someone “get” you, but sometimes the people with the same diagnosis have stories to tell that scare tar out of us. There is a Facebook group I joined a couple years ago for parents of kids with OCD and I can’t bring myself to read any of the posts. They terrify me. It’s all my secret fears and worst case scenarios playing out in black and white. I just can’t do it.
It works the other way, too. We wonder if sharing too openly will scare others who are turning a different bend of this same path.
It’s a strange tension to walk. Some days the community is a life-line and sometimes it leaves you feeling like you’re drowning.
There Is A Grace To All Of This
While I wouldn’t pick this road given the chance at an easier one, there is a grace to this experience.
Knowing that my concerns may be too much for most people keeps me from placing an impossible burden on them. I can let them in to help hold me up knowing they can only hold my arms and not my load. There’s a horrible, painful, saving grace in having one last place to turn. Jesus carries the load.
Some days I hate it. My deep-down, honest, unsanctified preference is “easy” and not “Jesus.” That’s not the right answer, but it’s the truth.
I’m slowly getting closer though.
“The Lord Your God is in your midst. Almighty one who will save; he will take great delight in you; he will quiet you by his love.” – Zephaniah 3:17
He is here.
He does the saving.
He delights in you.
He quiets you.