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I See You

Your struggle is real

By Shelley CarrollPublished 7 months ago Updated 7 months ago 3 min read
I See You
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

You go about each day as you usually do, trying to maintain some level of normalcy, of routine.

You likely haven’t slept much and although you are tired - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually - you bolster yourself and aim to be productive as much for the sake of distraction as for the sake of structure. Who else will do this shit if you don’t, you reason.

I see you.

You may run or walk or go for a drive to take a break from your thoughts or to see some different scenery, but you keep coming back. You haven’t the luxury of a bottomless bank account to finance your disappearance. And even if you did, wherever you go, there you are. There it is, “it” being whatever it is that steals your peace, your sleep and your patience while fuelling your anxiety, worry, and pain.

There may be times when you allow yourself to partake of a drink or a smoke or something stronger, something to help you cope or manage this burden you bear. At least the thought to do so tempts you. Maybe you indulge on occasion or maybe you don’t, but you can’t bring yourself to fully relax. You never know when the phone may ring or a text message may come in or there may be a knock at the door. You have to be ready to act. You need to be prepared to respond.

I see you.

You won’t talk about it or, if you do, not for any length of time. Because if you say the words out loud, they make it all the more real. You can’t risk baring your soul in case someone judges you. And as strong as you are, that would just be one more bit of nonsense to add to the pile and honestly, you’ve got enough on your plate. You carry it like a personal shame, even though it’s not yours to carry. But love does that. What troubles your loved ones troubles you. There is no separation of Church and State. For better or worse, “it is what it is” and at its core, what “it” is is heartbreaking and bullshit and all-consuming and unimaginable and scary and the reality of the situation - all rolled into one.

This wasn’t in your plan, your vision, your hopes and dreams.

I see you.

You’re not doing this to inspire or to motivate others.

You’re not doing this to be strong.

You’re not doing this to be a hero or a martyr.

You’re doing this because you don’t have a choice.

I see you.

Your struggle is real. Your struggle is yours.

I know it’s not about me. How could it be? I can’t fix it any more than you can. But I see how you carry yourself, how you just keep on keepin’ on, how one foot just keeps being placed carefully in front of the other, even though it must sometimes feel like you’re just going around in circles, dizzy, grasping at whatever objects you encounter, trying to steady yourself. “One day at a time” must get tiresome. The increments in which you are dealing with all of this stuff can’t be measured in linear time.

I want to tell you that I’m here and I’m listening. But that may not be what you need. You may not even know what you need right now. And who the Hell am I to try to name it for you, much less solve it?

While these words may only come across as fluffy platitudes and in no way lessen your pain or lighten your load, I acknowledge you. And I wish you peace and grace. I wish you strength. I hope you find the time and space to shed the weight of the world from your shoulders. And, at the risk of being super cheesy, to borrow from Dolly Parton, “above all this, I wish you love”.

I see you.

And when you’re ready, I’ll be right here, still wishing you all the good things, without judgement.


About the Creator

Shelley Carroll

Ms. Carroll is a 40-something year-old veteran public servant and mother of three adult children. She and her partner Hal live in Amherst NS with a sweet, anxiety-ridden rescue dog. Shelley loves running, red wine, and laughter.


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  • Salifu Koroma5 months ago


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