We give ourselves a hard time. Women. It’s what we do. Almost exclusively, without exception. There are few among us who can sit down at the end of the day and guilt-free think to ourselves, I am going to sit here and relax for however long I want. We suck at giving ourselves a break, letting ourselves off the hook. No matter what we have accomplished in any given day.

I feel like I have to earn the right to sit still, to do nothing. I have to earn the right to just be. Where does that come from? When as a society did we decide that we as individuals had no inherent value? That our value lay in doing rather than simply being?

I am guilty of posting only my most successful, proactive, and accomplished moments on Facebook. And still, when I scroll through my newsfeed, I sometimes feel bad about my life because everyone else’s life looks so glamorous, productive, and full of love.

Mom-guilt. Woman-guilt. Person-guilt. It feels like a lie to even just write the words, just being is enough. I don’t have to do anything to be enough.

Do you give yourself a hard time? Let’s all take a few deep breaths through our guilt today.

Loneliness When Connections Are Everywhere

I am alone a lot. I work from home and E works long hours. He gets up between 5 and 6am every day and leaves for work before I’m even awake. He works long hours, made longer by other activities several days a week.

I have no friends of my own in Tucson (which is totally my own fault) and only see other people I know once or twice a week. Sometimes I go to the store just to be around other people.

I have a sweet and sometimes snuggly dog that I love very much, but she can’t talk to me. I talk to my family and friends on the phone regularly. But people on the phone are no substitute for a community of people right in front of me.

Anyone who has moved to a new place knows that making friends is hard on your best day. But having a mental illness can┬ámake it even harder to find a new community and new friends. Sometimes I hold my illness up as a shield, an excuse to keep from having to put myself out there and do something that makes me uncomfortable. And sometimes, my illness disallows me from making friends – my anxiety stops me, or my depression keeps me inside.

Those days, it is even more important for me to find other ways to connect with people. And so, I write this blog and I connect with people on Twitter.

My point is this, find a place, wherever it is, and make connections. You don’t have to make them in person. But you need connections to survive. Find a community – people who are interested in things that you are interested, whether it’s a hobby, a topic, or something else.

There are groups for everything on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram. And there are people all over the world who are looking to connect on these platforms as well. Social media has shrunk thw rold to your computer screen. Take advantage.