The Misconceptions of Community
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
Hello friends! For a short period in my life, every time I went online I would see someone give a new hot take on community and mental health. I would see a lot of posts talking about how people absolutely *need* to have a community to be a part of. And how "people don't heal alone" and " you can't heal where you got hurt". And I do believe that people mean well with these posts, but I fear that people don't understand how all of these statements are dripping with privilege, throughout every single one of them. Community is literally not a guarantee for (dare I say) most people who deal with mental health issues; and ESPECIALLY those who are also within other marginalized populations. Finding a community that supports people even online is extremely hard for many people to find, so finding one in person for many people is even harder. A community that supports, listens to, and centers mentally ill individuals on a categorical scale (meaning not just one good therapist or person in the group) is VERY hard to come by. At least in my experience, I can say as a fact that it is. Community is *NOT* easily accessible for many people in our society, so finding a group to heal with is a privilege. So because of that, the phrases "you can't heal alone" and "you can't heal where you got hurt" are incorrect and they help to add anxiety to an already stressed out and marginalized population of people. Some people literally do not have the option for community in family, friends, mental health help, churches, or even online. Some people literally simply do not have the access to reach out to others or the financial means to move away from traumatic environments. Are we saying that these people are simply trapped and can never be healed? Because even though it is EXTREMELY harder to grow, and transform yourself while still living in toxic environments, it IS possible. And I don't want people to think that it's impossible just because many people online believe it to be true. If you want to heal yourself in the midst of being in a traumatic environment, you have the power it takes to do that. You do not need a group of people to support you or empower you because you have everything that you need inside of you. You may be physically alone, but you are never spiritually alone! And there are many other people who are in the same situation who are piecing together their own inner healing right now, piece by piece. It may be hard but you can do it! You can do all things!
I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
Philippians 4:13 GNTD
But he would go away to lonely places, where he prayed.
Luke 5:16 GNTD