Literally, figuratively, morally, & historically, YOU are NOT alone in whatever you are experiencing.
No situation is new. Someone somewhere has undergone it whether at present or in the past. Your woes? Your complicated problems? Your anxiousness? Your depression?
Someone somewhere has undergone it. That’s a fact.
It doesn’t make you feel better? It doesn’t improve your situation? It doesn’t solve your problems? It shouldn’t.
How can a simple line solve your problems? YOU will solve your problems in one way or another.
Why do people say it? Simple, to remind you that you are not a special case, that you are not helpless, that you are human, that they are assuring you that you are surrounded by people who get it.
“You are not alone” is the mental healthcare world’s signature phrase. The line itself has become a spectacle, featured on brochures, social media posts, advertisements, and more. As mental health warriors, we are constantly told that we are not alone, we do not face our battles on our own, and there will be someone there for us when we need it. You are not alone. Support is available: friends, family, healthcare providers, etc. Yet, the reminder that we are not alone does not always succeed in getting me to feel less alone. Sometimes, it backfires and results in me being reminded of just how alone I am. I feel absolutely no relief when I hear this phrase, myself.
Past experiences with people who’ve said the phrase to me, but failed to live up to their word of support, have affected my thoughts on the phrase. Sometimes it is a comfort to be told that others have experienced what you have, have survived it, and developed coping strategies.
But still… It does not make me happy to know other people are suffering. It makes me shudder to know that some people think this way.
Kind of disappointing…
I’ve heard so many times that I’m not alone in this and “I’m here for you” and yet, those who said it is nowhere to be found when you need them, so yes… I’m alone, no one cares and I have to fix everything by myself. As always.
Personally, my favorite comfort line is “it is okay” or “it will be okay” and to remind the person that you love them. It’s very calming sometimes. But, please, mean what you say, show some empathy and love to those who are suffering.
It is okay, my friend. Everything will be okay. I’m here for you.