MASK [ed]

I don't think I've been honest. Lately I've been extremely cognizant of who I talk to and what I talk to them about. I am so afraid of being completely open and honest to people due to the recent shame and judgment I feel has been passed on me. I have been told that I "seem to" always have bad days, that I'm never happy, that people feel like telling me something great in their life isn't acceptable because maybe things aren't so great in mine. At first comments and thoughts like this had me feeling hurt. But the truth is, I am angry. I am angry because this past year has been all about me finding out who my friends are. It's been about being open with my journey, new beginnings, a new chapter, and being myself. It's proven to be challenging and full of plenty of ups and downs. I've accomplished so many things that people in my life never had faith in my ability to do. I've learned that people aren't who they say they are. But I am angry that I can't even be open and honest with people in my life without feeling like a burden, feeling ashamed, being made to feel like I'm always negative and there is nothing positive about me. I am angry because I put so much thought and effort into reaching out to my friends, and I honestly feel like I don't get anything in return 90% of the time. Why can't I talk to someone, who knows I have this struggle and hurdle to jump through daily, and walk away feeling better? Why can't I be brutally honest about how I'm feeling and in turn be supported? People are so quick to point out all of the things in my life that I have going for me, as if I am blind to those things. When I start to worry, or get anxious or scared and go into fight or flight mode none of that means a damn thing. It sucks, and it's not fair, but that is how the brain works. Having great things in life does not mean you can discount dark and scary feelings. I'm also very tired of fighting. I'm tired of having days that are tough and rather than giving myself permission to take a break I fight on. I'm tired of hiding the real pain in my eyes behind a smile. I am tired of wanting to do nothing more than sleep, or at least lay in bed but forcing myself to get up, dress up, and show up. I am tired of wanting to hide but pushing myself out the door anyways. I am so tired of fighting. I'm fighting feelings and it's exhausting. If I have a purpose to fight stigma, share my story, be honest about my journey, including good and bad days, then I am not doing myself any justice by wearing a mask.


It's hard. It's so hard that I don't even know how to put it into words. I had an amazing week last week, comparatively. I laughed more than I do in a month sometimes. I didn't get stressed out about little things. I let myself engage in leisure activities while putting off household responsibilities. I complimented Matthew more than I ever do and thanked him over and over. I showed more compassion for everyone. I felt good mentally and I was happy. This week has been the opposite of that. This week has been trying mentally and physically. I've been fighting off stress and anxiety to the point of giving myself headaches. I've been waking up in the middle of the night with my mind racing. I've had to leave group settings. I've felt completely and utterly worthless. That's a lot going on considering it's only Tuesday. Maybe  you can understand how exhausting it is, maybe you can't. Maybe you're thinking "just suck it up, you'll be fine". But what I ask is, even if you don't talk to me, when someone reaches out to you, listen to them. It's reasons like the ones I listed above that I shut down.


I have a lot of work to do, and I feel like it's going to be me against the world to get it accomplished. Bring it on.









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