To Rachel Platten, Whose Song Showed Me I Don't Have to Be Alone

To Rachel Platten,

I know you don’t know me. I’m one of the many fans you have found along your way. I wanted to share with you that your song “Stand By You” has allowed me to feel hope and love in ways I had previously not known were possible.

Let me give you a little background for this letter. I am at a hard place in my life. Last year my son was diagnosed with autism, generalized anxiety disorder and sensory processing disorder. This year another heavy diagnosis was added, eosinophilic esophagitis. Shortly after, we were told my younger son also has autism, generalized anxiety disorder and showed signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

These things were hard for me to fully accept, although I may have known inside for some time. I feel these things changed who I am as a mother and who I am as a person.

two women wearing black tank tops selfie
Casey (left) and her friend.

A few months back, a dear friend of mine sent this song to me and told me this song was written for us. This friend has been there for me no matter what. This woman is so strong, the most mature and clear-headed person I know. I could go on for days about what she has done for me, and for herself. Still, as we get older and have more kids and responsibilities, it becomes harder and harder to find time together. She, another woman and I try to make sure we see each other from time to time and stay in touch via text, probably more often than our husbands would care for. This song has become our anthem.

She sent this to me and I cried. This song brought me to my knees. My son had just been told he could no longer have milk, soy, wheat, eggs, nuts/tree nuts and fish/shellfish until we could hopefully figure out what trigger food was making his esophagus close. I was thrown into another world, especially when paired with existing eating and sensory issues. I felt broken and fearful.

Relationships have always been hard for me. Friendships are few and far between because I have a tendency to stay on the peripheral, pushing people away rather than opening up. The support my friends haven given me and listening to your song have pushed me to be someone who is there for others. It has given me hope that I can do this.

This song shows me I do not have to be alone. It pushed me to open myself up and accept others in what could have been a dark time. This song, and the support behind it, has allowed me to grow into the person I was meant to be.

Ms. Platten, I’m not sure if you wrote this song based on a personal experience or if the song was sent to you by a muse. I’m not even sure if you wrote it, co-wrote it or just chose to create it. Still, I believe every word with all of my heart, and you express them so beautifully. Thank you for this amazing song. Thank you for giving hope a song.

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Lead photo courtesy of YouTube/Rachel Platten Vevo

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