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To My Fellow 'Hunger Games Mums' I Met at the Hospital

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I took this photo exhausted one night and sent it to one of our gang – “The Hunger Games mums.” I wanted to make her giggle, to show her I got it and to show I would always be there.

Let me explain.

The Hunger Games” salute, “May the odds ever be in your favor.” It started as a throw away comment, a giggle between a group of beautiful mums who know what this path is like. A group of people fighting for their lives and the lives of their children altogether.

It became an easy way to connect and make each other giggle across the corridors of the hospital and as we left a ward bedroom. It’s a way to say, “I get it. I see you. We are in this together.”

I think about this connection and the love we have for each other often. We talk or message every day about things that would make other peoples head fall off. We laugh, we sob, we connect in the challenges of life and its joy too. I would be lost without this gang.

Just like in “The Hunger Games,” our love for each other is a sustaining power. We endure through our acts of kindness and our love provides strength when we need it the most.

We never would have met in any other circumstance. We are from different places, with different jobs (before kids) and moved in different circles. The space station — and our little astronauts — brought us together.

In “The Hunger Games” movie, one of Katniss’s strengths is her stoicism. She uses it to go into survival mode; it’s her “mask” as she calls it. I get that too…we all do. We have all been there. But part of her journey is learning to accept it’s OK to have all those emotions fear, dread, sadness, happiness and joy and that they are a strength in addition to her stoicism.

We disconnect from our heart when we feel like we have too much to handle, but we are created to belong and to feel connected. Self-compassion and then reaching out helps anxiety, depression, chronic stress, exhaustion and loneliness. We are all in this together.

But when you are lying face down in the pit of despair…turn your head to the side.

There is a whole bunch of us down there with you.

Wave! Hiiii!!! I see you! People you didn’t expect.

“Hey I thought you had your shit together.”

“Hey I thought you did too.”

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Why didn’t you?”

I want you to know nothing you will ever say will be too much for me to handle. I want to hear what you have to say. I get it, because I live it too.

And one more thing, I am never going through too much to be unable to hear you, listen to you, connect with you because your stuff is somehow less. That’s a story you made up.

So let’s make a deal: to connect, to share.

Together we can do anything.

Photo submitted by contributor.

Originally published: October 18, 2019
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