Are You Suffering in Silence?


Do you feel that you need to always hold it together and put on a ‘pretty face’ during a setback?  Do you often feel isolated and alone but are afraid to share your feelings?

Last year my son experienced a significant setback when he became overwhelmed with grief and sadness through loss and emotional trauma.  He shut down and withdrew to the point he was unable to go to school and he hid from everyone and life to cope with his pain.

I learned a lot about myself during that season, and I discovered that I too have the tendency to withdraw when I’m experiencing emotional pain. Those closest to me knew what was happening with my son, but they didn’t know what was going on inside of me.

They didn’t know the fear I had of possibly losing my son. They didn’t know I was worried that the rest of my family might fall apart. They didn’t know I was feeling like a failure as a parent.  They didn’t know that I was afraid of appearing weak. They didn’t know only because I didn’t share. Why do we do that?

Why do we choose to deny ourselves and feelings over a false sense of security?  

I didn’t realize in my attempt to stay strong I was actually weakening myself. I was becoming susceptible to unhealthy thoughts, my health was declining and I was starting to creep into a depression.

I’m so grateful God’s truth can uncover any lie we believe and tell ourselves.  As I began to slowly to take down the walls I had built and be more vulnerable in sharing, I was able to experience the amazing peace, love and comfort God was waiting to give me.  I didn’t have to carry this thing in my life and I certainly didn’t have to carry it alone.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. – 1 Peter 5:7 tweet

I sought out guidance from wise and honest friends who listened without judgement and helped me regain my footing. They showed me how to begin healing, have a new response towards my pain, and extend compassion to myself.

The beautiful thing is as I’m opening up more I’m coming into contact with other moms who have been on a similar journey with their children or have suffered in other ways.  We never have to ‘do life alone’.  We can lift others up and our soul can be lifted by the encouragement of other women.

By God’s grace and healing, my son is recovering.  He is laughing again, trust is being rebuilt, and becoming more excited about life and letting us love on him.  We’re also letting him own his journey while God is working profoundly in his life.

If you’re in a difficult season with your family, your health, your job or just feeling stuck, find 1 or 2 empowering women who you can share with.  It will not be easy at first if you’re like me and tend to withdraw, thankfully it gets easier the more you do it.

Ask these women to hold you accountable and reach out to you if they notice that you are withdrawing.  More importantly, know that God is always wanting to offer you a space for healing and comfort and He often does that through people he places in our path.



Special invitation: Consider turning your group of girlfriends into a NACWL tribe where you can intentionally come together on a regular basis to share authentically without judgements and grow into the beautiful women God has created you to be.

Posted in Barbara Gustavson, Move On and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Barbara Gustavson

Barbara is a Life Coach, Speaker, International Trainer and Founder of Discover Next Step. She has been married to her husband for 25 years and they have 2 sons. The women she works with are hungry to find new meaning in their life and willing to grow and live boldly regardless of their past, responsibilities, or challenges. She equips them to draw out the best in themselves while finding fulfillment and peace in their journey. Visit Barbara's website

One Comment

  1. Excellent words, Barb that speak from your heart to ours. Thank you for reminding us to be real, authentic, and open to using all of our experiences to grow and help others in the process.

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