A Post for Those in Pain


Hands typing on a computer.I haven’t published a post in a few months. There are many posts that I have started and abandoned. Topics ranging from Wordle as a symbol of motherhood to the village of marriage to the hours I spend in my children’s beds to reflections upon my 40th year.

I am sure I will return to some of them and publish them eventually. But right now, they seem inconsequential.

Often, people fall into the comparison trap when they want more. People see what they are missing and wish to have _____ (insert whatever noun fits: car/ clothing/ vacation/ house/ body).

Enter the scratched record of insecurity. My current publishing insecurity lies not in what I don’t have but in all that I have—a happy, stable, healthy life with my family.

I did not know who Stephen “tWitch” Boss was until after he died by suicide. I had never watched So You Think You Can Dance or The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In all my nights staying up late scrolling Instagram, my algorithm had never taken me to his dance videos with his wife.

That is, not until Instagram bombarded me with news of his death. And so I read post after post and watched reel after reel. For hours upon hours. His smile, moves, and connection to his family all seemed so bright. So happy. So full of life. I did not know this man, yet I felt a deep sorrow.

My discovery of Stephen “tWitch” Boss made me wonder about all the people I know experiencing pain.

There are so many stories I cannot tell because they are stories that are not mine to tell.
Stories about divorce, depression, eating disorders, cancer, abuse, financial insecurity, bullying, the list goes on and on.

They are stories that are told to me in confidence, told to me by friends who trust me to listen. They are stories that students write for my English class only, where they share pieces of themselves fumbling and faltering through adolescence. They are pockets of information, not enough to build a story objectively relayed by support staff about a student’s missed classes or well-being.

No matter how much I have been told or how well I know the person experiencing the pain, I will never truly understand the depth of their struggles.

So, I haven’t published something in several months because I am left thinking about all the people who are silently or vocally struggling. Their stories are not mine to tell, and I cannot help but fall into the comparison trap. I’ve taken a hiatus because I find my stories of happiness, stability, and health pale compared to those working through struggles.

I am not saying every story needs to be centered around pain, and I understand the irony of publishing a post about not publishing. Still, my words are dedicated to holding space for the people who need to be lifted up, heard, hugged, or remembered.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please get in touch with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.
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Maria F
Maria F. is a high school English teacher who naturally finds herself reflecting upon the routine and randomness that accompany each day as a working mommy. She relies upon humor and some sort of chocolate or frozen treat as survival tactics. She and her husband live in East Norwalk with their three kids, Abbie (2012), Charlie (2014), and Phoebe (2018). You can find Maria F. driving in her beloved dream car, a minivan, listening to audiobooks during her commute, or playing DJ and climate controller when she’s shuttling her kids around town. Forever a sorority girl and Ohio State Buckeye, she will (almost) always choose socializing over chilling on the couch.


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