I stand alone. I always have (and it seems I always will).

I am not the girl with a lot of friends or even a few best friends. I am the friend who others have until someone or something better comes along. I cannot tell you why this is, it just is this way. I have tried being myself, and I have tried becoming someone else to keep the friends I’ve had, but it hasn’t seemed to matter much because here I am, standing alone.

I watch as my coworkers go out together for social outings. I hear them relish in the fun they had together last weekend. I sit silently as they recount the enjoyment they had and plan the next adventure together. All the while, I withdraw further inside myself for fear that if I expose my vulnerability, I will shatter from their neglect. 

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Many times I thought I had been accepted, only to find out I missed out on a celebration that others around me were invited to attend. Was I forgotten? Was I overlooked? Was I ignored?

Either way, I missed out, and that’s really all that matters to me. The cycle of rejection continues so I end up alone.

I’ve wondered why I struggle in this way. I’ve wrestled with this conflict my whole life. I hate that I only get invited to events if I’m the one who plans them. Even as a kid, I would ask my mom why it was that I didn’t get invited, why I was always excluded? She used to tell me it was because I was “mature” and “responsible,” so everyone just expected me to plan the event. Mature and responsible—in reality, that meant dull and boring. No one wants to invite someone who is dull and boring. And I guess I am. So I stand alone.

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I get angry that I am forgotten or purposefully ignored. But I get more angry that I let it bother me. I don’t want it to bother me. I want to be able to forget about them as easily as they seem to forget about me. But I can’t. I am easily wounded by their disregard. Every time I hear I’ve been excluded, I get knocked down with disappointment. But after too much striving, I endeavor to get back up so I can stand alone once again.

After a lifetime of frustration, I’ve realized this recovery takes more strength than I thought I had. But, I’ve realized I am a warrior, and I do have the strength. I desire to be accepted and included so much, yet I have survived on my own. I realize I don’t NEED others’ friendships or acceptance to keep me going and bring me fulfillment.

I can, indeed, stand alone.

I have the support of my family, the love of my husband, and the adoration of my 1-year-old. I have the talents, skills, and passions God gave me at my disposal to build me up. I can rely on God’s love and favor regardless of my circumstances, and none of this depends on my acceptance by others. I will continue to be struck down by disappointment from being excluded, but I will continue to overcome so I can get back up to stand alone.

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In time, I hope I find enough strength to support others in their struggle, as they likewise stand alone. Because if we stand alone, then we really stand together in solidarity through our struggle. Together, we can not be defeated. Together, we will prevail. So, stand up and stand alone proudly. This is who we are. We are lone warriors.

Rachel Meeker

I am married with two sons and lots of fur babies. I love animals and wildlife. I'm a self-proclaimed mental health advocate who wants to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. I love the Lord and am so thankful for His work in my life. I would like to share my journey with you, so come join me in my trials and triumphs.