You know that quote “It takes a village to raise a child”? I’ve been thinking about my own journey lately and how for me, it takes a community to help my inner child find her way back home.
In recovery, I’ve found community to be very healing. Online especially, there are groups of people in the mental health and recovery communities who read your story and instantly get it. Most support happens from afar, yes, but those supportive words, healing vibes and loving thoughts make great impacts on my day to day life. It’s nice to know you’re appreciated. And beyond that, it’s nice to know you’re never alone.
There is deep connection through pain, which I think is why we find healing through community.
For me, it’s hearing Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” on the radio and flashing back to the 2017 NYC NEDA Walk where the DJ perfectly timed us marching out towards the Brooklyn Bridge with the start of the song: “like a small boat on the ocean, sending big waves into motion...”
It’s reading articles like Gina Susanna’s about why community is so important to her, and feeling all warm and fuzzy. She knows my heart (and sense of humor!).
It’s pulling up The Mighty on hard days and finding articles written by lovely people who just get it and are wishing others well.
It’s really special.
These communities are more than what they may seem on the surface. It’s about being seen. And heard.
It’s sometimes worrying you don’t belong in your every day world, but knowing that you do belong somewhere. And knowing that feelings aren’t facts, and whatever negative emotions you feel now, they will pass with some time and compassion.
It’s a deep sense of belonging that treatment centers tried to emulate for me in the past but I couldn’t fully feel in an ill and struggling mindset, but I completely understand in a healthy mindset here in the present.
Community is something special.
It’s the city on the hill.
It’s the people who come together from all walks of life for one commonality — a thirst for hope.
To me, these communities are home. They’re sacred. And it’s become even more special as we educate the world about mental illnesses like eating disorders and the importance of mental health; it’s letting people see the more vulnerable sides. It’s breaking down the walls and being one thing that we all are, but still many of us struggle to show — human.
I’m so grateful to have found my community.
It takes a community to help my inner child find her way back home.