You’re not alone
Pause, release, make room for joy

By Macaile Hutt

It’s been an honor to write for Idaho Family Magazine over the past few years, and I have yet to find myself short on content ideas to write articles about. I have so many thoughts and ideas jotted down in the notes section of my phone, on napkins shoved in my purse, and pretty much anywhere else I can think of to write them down when they come to mind. As I sat down to write this edition’s article, I stared at the page for what felt like an eternity as I watched the little cursor blink. I couldn’t think of anything to say. I didn’t feel like anything would matter or make a difference.
It got me thinking about this season of life we have all been in. This season of discomfort, fear, uncertainty, and unknown. This season of unexpected change, division amongst loved ones, and immense pressure that has caused disruption to our lives as we have always known them. We’ve all been in it, and, yet, we’ve all been expected to keep trudging on as though our paths have been unscathed.
Over the past few days, I have felt low, depressed, sad, frustrated, and even hopeless. I have found myself wanting to stay in bed as long as I possibly can, and I’ve found myself avoiding things that usually bring me joy and comfort, such as spending time with friends and family or getting active and moving my body. As a therapist, I know what these things mean and, yet, when it’s our own bodies and minds experiencing these feelings it’s so easy to push them aside and try to move forward without acknowledging what’s really going on. I reached out to a few friends to share how I have been feeling and ask for a little extra support in a time my world feels as though it’s dipped below my optimistic baseline. I was humbled to receive message after message consisting of, “You too?! I thought for sure I was the only one.”
Sometimes knowing you are not alone is the exact exhale you need to begin a whole new cycle of breath. So I decided for this article, rather than giving you a whole bunch of new information to consume, I would give us all permission to pause where we are and release whatever it is we need to release in order to make room for more good.
More light, more happiness, more clarity, more peace.
We can’t take a step forward unless we release the shackles that have been holding us back.
If you’re in a season of darkness, please know there is always light that follows. No feeling is final. It takes two valleys to make a peak. The sun always rises again. We are all in this together. (Insert any other cliché phrases you can think of to help us reframe and shift our perspectives here.)
But, really, my dear Idaho Family Magazine family, we’re all doing great. We are all doing the best we can with what we have and we all deserve a pause every once in a while to be reminded it’s okay to let go of some of the heaviness the world has handed us over and over the past few years. I want you to know you’re not alone; you are worthy of deep, honest healing, and if you’re finding yourself in a hole it feels like you might never crawl out of, there are so many ropes and ladders available to give you a little boost.
This is your sign to make the therapy appointment you’ve been putting off, to schedule the doctor’s appointment that always seems to get pushed to the end of the to-do list, to take the bath, to pause email notifications for an hour, to get outside and take a deep breath, to call the friend you’ve been wanting to catch up with for months.
This is your sign to prioritize yourself, your own mental health, and ask yourself what you need in order to fill your own cup.
From my cracked-wide-open heart to yours,
this is your reminder that you are not alone.

Macaile Hutt is the Director of Occupational Therapy for Star Speech and Occupational Therapy located in Star, Idaho. Her therapy style takes a holistic and child-directed approach, with the goal of children succeeding across multiple environments. She holds a master’s degree in occupational therapy from A.T. Still University and has received continuing education as a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional for Children and Adolescents (CCATP-CA), Handwriting Without Tears, pediatric kinesiotaping, Interactive Metronome, and Beckman Oral Motor. In her free time, she enjoys creative writing, backpacking, and traveling.

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