I’ll Stand By You

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Support. It comes in so many forms — a text, an email, a phone call to say hi (quickly stating there is no expectation of response). A, “Hey, you’re doing a great job,” reminder from a friend. Or a co-worker sending a message to say, “You got this!” The smallest gestures go such a long way, their impact felt, reminding you that you matter. Singing that song of yours back to you when you forget the words. 

But how long are we supposed to feel like this? How long is this supposed to last?

Please. Do not tell me, “Yes, this is hard.” Please. Do not tell me to, “Let it go,” like Elsa. And for the love of everything, if I hear, “thoughts and prayers,” one more time…

The well-meaning sentiments just don’t cut it as we enter: year three. And that’s the bottom line. 

How are we supposed to survive the unsustainable without overarching support in systemic forms? 

In truth, it wasn’t until the other day when (thanks to my work benefits) I was able to see a life coach. The entire preface was that it was a safe space to vent, a sounding board, a place of no judgment. Just minutes into our first session, it was as if she had pulled a plug. A plug that held an overflowing tub, running with deep and muddied waters of survival mode, leaking into the floors and, thereby, the ceiling below. 

My body changed. My muscles relaxed. My breath came back to give me life. 

Here I was, for months on end, years, operating within four walls of survival mode. My, can you imagine what this does to generations? I guess this is what happens when no one is coming

But, aside from coming to our own rescue, we are trying to find ways to cope in a somewhat semi-functional form. Heading to the light, so long as we can see it, and even when we can’t: What truly waits on the other side of “I got this”?

Resolutions and renewal are a brilliant theme for the new year. But now it’s time that beyond the caveat of, “This is what we are supposed to do,” we truly explore, “How do we go on from here?” The emphasis on “we,” because this is the new norm. A new community to be built and explored. For who knows how long (and I believe by now, we are all done with the guessing game). But for the time being and reality of it all: Here we are. 

We have to truly become the community we seek, the friends we wish to be, building our families and communities in ways we may not have expected. Maybe then we can change the narrative from “no one is coming” and “I got this” to “I am here” and “I’ll stand by you.” 

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