You will be found

If you’ve been on social media since Saturday, and are friends with anyone who was at East and West Scotland Summer School last week, there’s a good chance you’ll have seen more than a couple of FB, Instagram, Twitter and Blog posts. I think I’m going to write a couple of blog posts about my experiences last week, but I’m going to start with one based on the song I cannot stop singing, and that I know has impacted a lot of people who were there last week: You Will Be Found.

You Will Be Found is a song from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”, and is one I’d come across a couple of months ago after someone i follow on Twitter recommended the soundtrack. But I could never have imagined it being as impactful as it turned out to be this week. It’s a song Marjory picked out for the Girls Chorus to sing on Saturday, and as soon as she announced it, there were a few “yessss” responses from around the group, from people who already knew it. Before I go any further, I’m going to post the lyrics, so you can get an idea of what I’m rambling on about.

Have you ever felt like nobody was there

Have you felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere

Have you ever felt like you could disappear

Like you could fall and no one would hear

Well, let that lonely feeling wash away

Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay

Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand

You can reach, reach out your hand

And oh, someone will come running

And I know they’ll take you home

Even when the dark comes crashing through

When you need a friend to carry you

And when you’re broken on the ground

You will be found

So let the sun come streaming in

Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again

Lift your head and look around

You will be found

There’s a place where we don’t have to feel unknown

And every time that you call out

You’re a little less alone

If you only say the word

From across the silence

Your voice is heard

Even when the dark comes crashing through

When you need a friend to carry you

When you’re broken on the ground

You will be found

So let the sun come streaming in

Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again

If you only look around

You will be found

Out of the shadows

The morning is breaking

And all is new

All is new

It’s filling up the empty

And suddenly I see

That all is new

All is new

You are not alone

You are not alone

You are not alone

You are not alone

Even when the dark comes crashing through

When you need someone to carry you

When you’re broken on the ground

You will be found

So let the sun come streaming in

Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again

If you only look around

You will be found

Even when the dark comes crashing through

You will be found

When you need someone to carry you

You will be found

You will be found

I’ve highlighted a few verses and sections, but realistically, every line speaks to me.

The first 4 lines are something I can’t help but relate to. Have you ever felt like nobody was there? Yes. So many times. Have you ever felt forgotten? Yup. Have you ever felt like you could disappear, and no one would miss you? Yup, that too. I’m not being melodramatic, but feeling lonely, or isolated, or unwanted (with friends, not family!) is something I’ve struggled with on and off for my entire life. I’ve never felt like I fit in – i’m always too quiet or not interesting enough or not fun enough or too shy and boring. Even when I’ve thought I fit in somewhere, the feeling never lasts for long, and I’m back to feeling like the odd one out. I’m sure at least part of this is caused by my own low self-esteem, but whatever the cause, it’s a horrible feeling. And an even worse one to admit. I’ve always gone through patches of feeling really alone (side-note – this doesn’t mean i’m unhappy and I know I have so many lovely people in my life!!!!!!) – i think I even blogged about it once – but this week I realised something.

I’m not the only one who feels like this!!! Seems like common sense, but generally no one admits it, so we don’t realise we’re in the same boat. Tonnes of people feel like outsiders, like they don’t fit into whatever circle they’re in. Like no one would notice or mind if they stopped texting or contacting them, stopped making an effort. I know I have felt like this so many times – and frustratingly, even in the past couple of days – but it turns out loads of other people do too. I had a conversation early in the week with a staff member – someone I look up to, who appears to be full of confidence and has no issues chatting to anyone and everyone. But during our conversation, they mentioned that even they’d always struggled with feeling like they don’t fit in. I was really struck by this, as it was the least likely impression I’d have ever picked up from them, but there it was. It wasn’t just me after all.

Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you, when you’re broken on the ground: you will be found”

The next part of that first verse goes on to talk about how maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay. Because no matter how low we feel, or how alone, we can reach out and someone will be there with us. But something else that became apparent this week was how terrible we are – the majority of us it seems – at reaching out for help and support. And I presume there are a myriad of reasons why this is. Fear – of appearing weak, of embarrassing ourselves, of being judged, of being rejected when we do reach out. Not wanting to worry people, or burden them with our ‘stuff’ when they’ll have enough of their own to cope with. I’ve had multiple conversations this week with people who admitted that they bottle things up. They put on a front, and hide how they really feel.

Now there’s no denying that admitting how we really feel – especially if those feelings are on the negative side – makes us feel vulnerable. It’s scary. But as it turns out, so many of us feel the same. Without revealing anything personal, I was part of a conversation this week with 3 others, where 2 of us were upset about very similar situations. We’d barely ever spoken before, for no apparent reason, but it turns out we could relate to each other on so many levels. After an innocent comment of “do you two not talk about things?”, we’ve ended up doing just that – talking. About situations in our lives and feelings. With no shame, no judgement – just acceptance and listening. And even after a few days, it’s clear it’s special and important, and necessary to have people in your life who will listen like that. Support. A safe space to be vulnerable, and for someone to say ‘it’s okay that you feel that way’. Someone to remind you that “you are NOT alone”.

There’s a place where we don’t have to feel unknown. And every time that you call out, you’re a little less alone. If you only say the words, from across the silence your voice is heard.”

This post feels more vulnerable than some that I right, and I’m forcing myself to share it properly on Facebook (rather than hiding it from some and being selective like I often do!) because I think it’s an important topic, regardless of your age or stage in life. And the point in this post? Be honest. Reach out. We all think we’re alone in whatever we’re going through, but we don’t need to be. As a wannabe counsellor, I fully advocate for the fact that talking about how we feel is a positive thing. Often a hard thing, but a positive thing nonetheless. I’ve always craved close relationships and friendships, but there are several that i’ve sacrificed by trying to protect myself – isolating myself so I don’t need to face what I’m feeling. Making myself feel even lonelier by refusing to admit how I feel to people I’m sure would have supported me and pushed me back up. And it’s just not necessary. People will be there. You will be found. You are not alone. However you want to phrase it, it’s just as true.

So take that step (cue for another post about last week…), and reach out. Because no matter how you feel or how broken you think you are, no matter what you’re going through? YOU ARE NOT ALONE. None of us are.

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