Research has proven that, through connecting with others who have experienced the same traumas as ourselves, individuals can truly do something amazing and open the door to healing — whether that be connecting with others who have struggled with depression, anxiety, self-harm or been through a loss.
Opening up can be difficult but it is the first step to recovery. When people hear others’ stories, they begin to realize that they are not alone in their journey.
For me, joining a support group has changed my life. Many people had told me to join one but I was very reluctant to, because I thought it would be a stereotypical group like the ones shown on TV. Also at the time I was in seventh grade, and struggled with talking to others about how I was feeling. It scared me. Why would I want to sit in a room full of strangers and tell them about the worst time in my life?
Two years after my mom passed, I realized that I needed extra support. After sharing my story with many counselors and teachers, I knew that I was ready to try a support group. I am so glad I did. To be completely honest, the first meeting was scary, but the time flew. It was over before I knew it and by the end I found myself wanting to stay longer.
I have been attending a support group for five months now, and in that short amount of time I can see a huge change in the way I handle my grief and also deal with other things. I am not one to openly discuss my feelings but when you are with others who are feeling the same things you are, there is a connection that provides a level of support that nothing else can.
Often times you feel a certain way and cannot put those feelings into words. But those who are going through the same struggles you are, may help you find those words. When you realize that they are feeling the same way you are, you feel like you are not alone! Groups allow you to open up and participate in life. Through them you will find that amazing experiences can happen. I encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out and try going to a support group. If you don’t feel comfortable, bring a friend or family member! All you can do is give it a try.