Another Jerah, in a different life, wrote that post a year ago and it wasn’t until Facebook reminded me today that it was the beginning.

I remember quietly whispering to a friend that things were hardly as perfect as I was pretending and she and I shared with anger the pressure to protect the image of our marriages.

And I get it- you aren’t supposed to air your dirty laundry in public.

But aren’t we all struggling a little bit? And doesn’t it feel dark?

Ive been in hiding, in transition, and out of reach.

My best friend for many years has been the polished stones under my raging waters. She is brave and beautiful and contradicts me well; Someone I cherish and adore and am inspired by. She is deeply, tragically depressed.

A breeze that started as ironically inconvenient has now ripped her roof from its posts and left her vulnerable and sopping wet. She has no words to vocalize how she’s doing- but she is struggling, she is hurting, and things are tough.

Another friend is going through a breakup. Her first heartache; No amount of empathy soothes this hurt.

I recently reconnected with one of the fastest, sweetest, and closest friends I have known yet. It is a strange, fragile balance of all at once and slowly growing in friendship. She just sold the first home she owned and is leaving a job and city she loves to support and further her husbands career. She is heartbroken and excited and I am inspired by her selflessness.

We had a disconnect as I left my ex. I wish I had realized sooner that my actions impacted more than just he and I. I am so grateful that her selflessness spilled out to me, “I never stopped and still do pray for you, J,” she wrote to me explaining her hurt and excitement for my blossoming new love.

I was too proud to push send on any of the messages I had written.

I suffered in silence as many often do. I felt discouraged by the faith displayed by others and jealous of their seemingly effortless joy.

I was struggling and it felt dark.

My life is slightly more beautifully captured these days, by no doing of my own.

And I live too far away from the few friends I do have to eat cheese puffs over shots of whipped cream vodka, much less take photos of it.

I spend more time that I should admit wiping down the paws of an 85 pound mountain dog who loves to dig in the sand to eat the clay.

My hand are too full at this moment of my life to snap photos of, or even write about, my experiences and the lessons I learned yesterday. I still haven’t called my mom back, and I miss her. I only respond to 40% of the texts I receive: “I need to hear your reply, not just in your head,” My honest friend followed up earlier this week.

One long year later, my hope is still to see more messy photos and to inspire others to know its okay to only get one hop out of your skipping rock.

Do what you gotta do to be okay and help your friends be okay too, if you can.