“You Are Not Alone”. It’s a phrase that’s used a lot in the mental health community. But what does it really mean though? I’ll be honest. The first time I heard the phrase, I wanted to smack the person that said it to me. In all fairness though, someone said it to me when I was in the depths of my depression. I know wanting to smack someone is a super strong reaction to such a benign phase, but it’s true though. At that moment in time, I FELT alone and I WAS alone! I wanted to scream, “What do you mean I’m not alone? I don’t see any family or friends around me.”
It wasn’t until I started coming out of my depression that I started to understand that the phrase was supposed to make me feel like I was a part of a broader community. I truly wasn’t alone. I just didn’t know it at the time.
What the Phrase Means to Me Today
Now that I’ve started Still I Run, and have connected with a tribe that truly understands me, I understand this colloquial phrase better. It’s not supposed to be taken literally as in, someone is right there and in your very presence. It’s more of a saying that reaffirms you are a part of a community of people that get what it is like to experience daily life with a mental illness. We may feel alone because we don’t see a person standing before us, but we aren’t alone because there are SO many of us that are running (or walking, biking, hiking, yoga-ing?) for our mental health. Even though our individual journeys aren’t the exact same, we all understand, through the lens of our own illness, what it’s like to navigate this world with depression, or anxiety, or ptsd, or any number of other mental ailments.
We’re members of a club that a lot of us probably don’t want to be a part of, but we’re members nonetheless. Still I Run is just one small part of that club, if you will. One of the many goals of this community is to bring us all together to know we’re not alone and to know that there is a safe place for us to connect, share, and empathize. Yea, a lot of this connecting is done virtually, but that can be the beauty of the internet. We can connect with so many people across the globe!
So yea, while I used to hate the phrase “You Are Not Alone”, I’ve really come to embrace it because it reminds me that I’m not the only one on this planet that has depression and anxiety. There are others out there that feel the same pain I do and through Still I Run, I can connect with those warriors.
A Constant Reminder
As a way to remind us all that we’re not alone and to raise mental health awareness, Still I Run has collaborated with Momentum Jewelry on something that I’m seriously excited about. For the entire month of October, Momentum is selling a special edition “You Are Not Alone” bracelet in honor of World Mental Health Day on October 10 (also Still I Run’s 3rd birthday!).
The bracelets come in a few different shades of green (Green is the color for mental health awareness) and are the perfect workout accessory. I’ve worn my running so many times, I can’t even tell you. (Don’t worry, the wraps are workout-friendly, so you can just hand wash them if you think they’re getting a little sweaty.) Oh, and bonus, not only will they help spread mental health awareness, BUT $5 from every sale goes back to Still I Run programs that raise mental health awareness.
You can pick up your special edition bracelet here! When you get yours in the mail, be sure to use #stillirun and #sharetheSPARK so we can see your new bling!