‘R’ is for Remember You are Not Alone

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‘R’ is for Remember You are Not Alone

Not alone.

This is the third in a series, first published in 2021, in which I explore how to move forward when our journey is difficult. The first post was an introduction; the second, Tell the Truth, was the first to go more in depth into each of the six TRUDGE practices for long-term resilience.  


TRUDGE – being resilient as you move through a challenging time in your life. Navigating situations you don’t know how to manage. Either something you have never coped with before, or a level of demand that leaves you struggling. Often the initial sense of overwhelm makes it hard to figure out what to do next. When this happens, remember you are not alone.   

You are not the first person to be going through this. No one else has had your exact experience, but there are a lot of people who have come close. They have written about it, recorded a podcast, and done research on the subject. People you know have dealt with it. People can be amazingly generous and helpful when you reach out. My advice: don’t pick one book, blog, person or expert, but reach out to multiple people. Who do you know who has walked this path? Who do you know who has experienced something similar? The reality is that there are so many resources to consider:  

Trustworthy People

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Talk to real people about your real troubles.  Talking to an actual person, openly and honestly, requires vulnerability but is far more powerful than getting information. We are social beings; when you describe your situation and feelings to someone else you will find you understand yourself better. A good listener will encourage you to vent, explore your situation more deepl,y and will ask clarifying questions that allow you to gain a new perspective. Talking to others, those you know, or professional helpers is an ongoing part of getting through a difficult time. 

The Internet

Online you can get a lot of information very quickly. Where do you start? A great resource is the list maintained by the Crisis Text Line. These resources are free or affordable, inclusive, accessible, and reputable. The internet can also contribute to feeling overwhelmed – so much information and worst case scenarios. Make sure the content you are accessing meets your needs. One way to do this is to stop to think about what you need before turning your attention to that screen. 

The Library

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An American treasure. If you aren’t familiar with how much you can access through your library, check it out. Librarians are gold mines of information and can help you access just about any book or article you need. On-line or in person, you can get digital or physical information and stories. Simply looking at the shelves in the library you can see you are not alone. People have written whole books on your concern. You may not have much time to read; that’s ok. Read a few pages when you can – look for a good idea or something that comforts you.  

Support Groups

This is another level of talking to people. There are groups online and in person, 12-step or otherwise. You can find up to date information about support groups by talking to people you know or by looking at the Crisis Text Line resource page.  

If you find a group that is promising, but feels awkward because you have never done this before, take it as a good sign. Awkward usually means you are out of your comfort zone which is where learning happens. Give it a try to see if it is a resource to help you maintain your resilience.  


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Literally thousands of people volunteer millions of hours to maintain multiple crisis hotlines, text lines, and other online resources. If you are sitting alone and freaking out about your situation, reach out. You do not have to be feeling suicidal to talk to these people. If you are, they will help you consider what you need to do to be safe. Their goal is to check on your safety and to help you get to a calm place so you can take the next step in your journey. There are also “warm lines” – phone or internet based resources that are focused on more specific concerns. The crisis text line lists many of these. Nationally, you can call or text to 988 to get connected.  


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People with education, experience and professional skills. Most lawyers will do a free 15-30 minute consultation about their services. Therapists will do an exploratory call to see if they are a good fit for you. Doctors, physical therapists, bankers, and insurance people have information that may help.  Depending on what is going on, consider who might be able to give you the information or support that you need. Having expert advice can help with the T in trudge, tell yourself the truth. 

Helpful Strangers

image of someone offering help to another

The kindness of strangers is amazing. There is everyday help like little free libraries, online exchange groups, and caring neighbors. At times, strangers do heroic or generous acts. Years ago, I had a house fire. The news that night showed my dog being carried out of the house by firefighters. Strangers called the tv station and vet hospital to check on her. Unasked, they donated money to pay her (very expensive) bill. What a huge financial and emotional boost. It can be hard to accept help. The financial clerk at the vet hospital said, “Don’t you help people? Yes? Then let them help you.” 

The Divine

Another resource is your faith. Pray, meditate, walk. Stand outside with your feet on the ground and look as far as you can see. Do something that connects you with something larger than yourself. Know that you are not the only person to have walked this path. Know that you are part of the greater thing we call life, solutions exist for you, and you deserve love in all its manifestations.  

R is for Remember – you are not alone. Reach out for support, information and assistance. While you are responsible for your own journey, there are whole communities out there who understand what you are going through. Positive connections increase your individual resilience.  


Laura A. Gaines

Explore learnmodelteach.com to learn about our course, Shrinking Anxiety to Grow Resilience.