Weakness only weakens us when it is withdrawn or withheld, and I’m tired of the bullshit stigma surrounding mental health.
We’re pressured to bottle it up and slap a silly smile on our face and go about our days pretending everything is fine, fine, fine, and when it’s not, not, not, just add a filter and fake it until you make it. Even if you can barely take the shame and hurt that comes from hiding your truth from the world, just hide it anyway.
And whatever you do, definitely don’t express the darkness in your mind or the gloom in your chest because then people will know that you’re not perfect. And God forbid, we can’t have that. Besides, if we all play pretend, we can all fit in, and isn’t that a happy little ending?
“One, two, three… smile and say ‘CHEESE!’”
It seems to be working but it’s not, and the only boat that’s rocked when we avoid vulnerability and honesty at all cost is our own. We’re thrown overboard gripping an anchor for support as the whole world is yelling at us to float and telling us to stop whining, that we’re fine, that it could always be worse.
Here is the advice we’re given: Just hide and lie to disguise what’s really going on inside yourself. Play pretend and make believe the things you need aren’t worth speaking, aren’t that important, aren’t a necessary part of living your best life. Besides, why speak your mind and share your heart when you can just bury it and tell the world you’re fine?
“Really, I’m fine.”
“It’s all fine, fine, fine…”
FUCK. THAT. SHIT.
Here are an alternate set of facts to use when trying to decide how best to proceed:
Fact: Shit happens.
Fact: Nobody has it all figured out.
Fact: It’s okay to feel however the hell you need to feel.
Fact: If you don’t want certain people in your life, you don’t need to keep them in your life.
Fact: You are braver than you think, and sharing weakness is a sign of strength. Weakness that is acknowledged, accepted, and shared is not weakness at all. It is courage. It is brave. It is strength.
Fact: Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed, mistaken, scared, or an asshole.
Let’s help each other be strong by helping each other feel weak, okay?
SPEAK YOUR FUCKING TRUTH.