Facebook Status: Today was a terrible day. -feeling lonely.
You leave it up for 10 minutes, check it, see no feedback, then hit delete. People don’t want to be brought down by your negative status.
Facebook status: Whoa! I got 98% on my term paper! Yahoo! – feeling proud.
You leave it up for 3 minutes, then hit delete. You don’t want anyone to be annoyed and think you’re bragging.
Facebook status: My heart literally hurts. Why did she have to do this to me? -feeling heartbroken.
You leave it up for about 30 seconds, then hit delete. You picture that meme with Leonardo Dicaprio wearing sunglasses and laughing at people who post “problems” on Facebook and shudder. People hate drama. What are you thinking? You take a cute picture of your puppy and post that instead.
So much insecurity.
So much guilt.
Why do we feel so uncomfortable being real?
You stare blankly out the bedroom window and wish it wasn’t sunny. Maybe then you wouldn’t feel like such a loser, lying in bed in the middle of the day while your husband takes care of the children. You hear them laughing as they get shoes on for outside, and your heart sinks. You try willing yourself out of bed to join them, but your aching body doesn’t want to cooperate. You place cool hands on your forehead, try to relieve the throbbing pain. Precious moments pass by wasted, as your family plays in the back yard without you. You bury your head in the pillow, squeeze your eyes shut. There’s no way you’re going to be able to fall asleep. You haven’t slept properly in months. You are sleep deprived beyond belief, but your racing mind keeps you awake any chance you get to catch up. Cursing yourself, you jump out of bed, angrily swallow down some Tylenol, and rush outside.
Your daughters race to greet you, giggling, fistfuls of dandelions in their hands. You put on your best smile, kneel down and let them crash into your arms. You squeeze them tight until they fight to get free and run off again.
“Did you get any sleep?” Your husband’s brow furrows with concern.
“No. No, I didnt.” You snap.
“Why not? Why don’t you go back and lie down?”
“Because! I can’t sleep! My head hurts too much! I’m not well, don’t you understand? Something is very wrong with me! I’ve felt absolutely awful for MONTHS!”
You turn your back so your daughters wont see, and sob into your hands. Your husband gives you a tight hug, you cry into his shirt. You indulge in the comfort for a minute, dry your face with the back of your hand.
“I’m sorry, Love. I’m okay, don’t worry. I’m just really tired, that’s all…..Did my mascara smear?”
Oh, how I wish I had the power to travel back in time, to you as you stood in the dandelions and apologized to your husband for crying on that sunny day. As you looked him in the eye through your tears and lied, pretending you weren’t breaking inside. If I had the power, I’d hold you tight, I’d whisper in your ear that your pain is not weakness, your anger is not a sin, your tears are not a burden. I’d tell you I admire your determination, caring day after day for your family, when you desperately need care yourself.
I’d tell you to let it out, scream if you have to.
You are afraid.
You are strong beyond words, but you are tired of being strong.
You just want to be truthful.
Please stop saying sorry.
Be truthful. Be real. Be brave, and hold your head high.
This world needs more truth.
And the truth, in time, will set you free.