When you really stop to think about life, it is filled with so many coincidences, chance meetings, unexpected connections. Or, if you’re like me, you may feel like they aren’t coincidences at all. Maybe, instead, it’s actually fate and that they actually happen for a reason. Perhaps they have a greater purpose than we realize at the time.

It’s been almost five years since my time spent at the Institute of Living where I was treated for postpartum depression and anxiety. Despite having this beautiful new baby girl to love and care for, it was tainted by a darkness I felt I had no control over. I felt alone, sad, scared, discouraged, helpless, and anxious and I just wasn’t able to understand why. Logically, I knew I didn’t really have reasons to justify why I was feeling and acting the way I was. It’s scary feeling like you have no control over the overwhelming emotions you feel when dealing with what I discovered, about 6 months after my baby was born, was postpartum depression and anxiety. And trying to explain it to people who had never experienced it themselves sometimes felt even more challenging at times.

I met quite a few people during my treatment who were experiencing similar feelings and understood what it felt like. However, there was one woman who I instantly bonded with. She had arrived at the Institute a short time before me and immediately took me under her wing. It can be very unsettling to be completely uprooted from your life and put into a place full of strangers. As it turned out, she was also a mom who was being treated for PPD.

This complete stranger quickly and easily became a friend, a confidant, as well as a source of strength. We transitioned together into a month-long outpatient intense therapy program. Having her there meant more to me than I can ever express. She contributed to my desire and decision to write for this website and offer whatever support I can to other moms out there; to let other moms out there know they are not alone.

We exchanged phone numbers and periodically called to check in on each other. But as time went on, life became hectic as it tends to do, and we lost contact. That is, until recently when out of the blue I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed and there she was…her profile picture…under the “people you may know” suggestions. The funny thing is, we have no mutual friends so it’s even more surprising to see her there. I immediately sent her a friend request and we’ve begun catching up on each other’s lives. We’re even planning to get together for coffee soon!

It’s truly amazing to have and recognize these coincidences. Although we may not truly understand why we end up where we are at the time, why certain things happen or why we meet the people we do along the way, it often times feels like it’s for a reason. That reason may not always be for ourselves. You may be where you are to make a difference in someone else’s life without even realizing it. And isn’t that a beautiful thing?