(i know this is a long one, gals and guys, but i’ve needed to get this one out for a while)
I have issues.
I’m sure you do to.
It’s called being human.
But the world and all the social media and unrealistic
read:fake news, reality shows, and images, etc., would have us believe that there is such a thing as “The Perfect Human”. And not only is this perfect version of a human being real, but there are loads of them, living daily, normal lives all over the world. In fact, most people are perfect and we’re just a rare messed up breed with issues.
So we should pretend. Fake it til we make it. Put on a mask. Ignore parts of who we are and shove them deep down inside where they will then technically not exist.
Because no one wants to see your “human”.
I don’t think it is humanly possible for me to roll my eyes any harder.
Everyone is messy. Emotions are messy. Life is messy.
We are constantly changing, adapting, growing, or we are becoming stagnate and atrophying.
Humans don’t come with a Non-Mess Version.
We have problems. We struggle. We feel a wide range of emotions and think a vast amount of conflicting things – all at once. We’re pretty amazing. So why do we look at this like we’re bad, wrong, or defective if we don’t only feel one thing?
I’ve had enough of feeling like I can only do a blog post, tweet a tweet, or record a video when I’m in a FANTASTIC mood.
At this point, I’m beginning to feel fake.
I’m not lying or acting as if I feel something I don’t. I’m not making stuff up or putting on a mask. But I AM hiding my entire personality.
A lie by omission is a lie nonetheless.
My struggle is thusly: I want to uplift and inspire and help others. I want people to know how amazing this life can be and what wondrous things they can do. That everyone has the choice of becoming who THEY want to become, no matter their circumstances and struggles.
Honestly though, I feel like a fraud. A fake. A phony.
Because I’m really struggling right now.
With my gut disease – which has literally taken over my life and made it hard for me to do any real living. I’m struggling with chronic pain and exhaustion from other chronic issues. With the reality that I might not get better and will have to figure out how to deal with the way my health is (and it’s gotten much worse lately) and still work part-time, participate in life, and still try to do things that I enjoy. I’m struggling with a lot of shame over not working full time because my body literally stops me. With the shame of not being in a good mood all the time. I’m struggling with bi-polar depression and anxiety that are swallowing me whole. I’m struggling financially and with the shame of not being able to financially support myself. With restless leg syndrome that won’t let me rest during the day at all and keeps me from sleeping well at night, even with the pills. I’m struggling with lack of sleep and lack of calories and not being able to eat anything I enjoy.
I went off sugar for a month, for crying out loud! And nothing happened. I swing back and forth between eating only what my gut disease lets me and getting physically sick of the foods to the point I stop eating – and eating something I like and suffering for it (and looking like I’m gaining weight due to inflammation, which causes a whole host of other internal pains).
I know people aren’t in a good mood 24/7. But lately, I’ve grown apathetic, angry, bitter, overwhelmed by depression, numb, and scared. I’m swarmed by these struggles for days or weeks on end. It’s exhausting to force myself out of bed.
I don’t want to be the person who is grumpy and drags people down. I don’t take my upsetedness (yes, I know that’s not a word, but I’m a writer, I’m allowed to make things up) out on others. But I’m not as peppy all the time any more. It takes a lot for me to focus past the pain and remember how to be a human and do the human things.
And no, I don’t look sick. My chronic illnesses are invisible. I’m not missing a leg. I don’t have swollen arms or oozing puss. I don’t have rashes or any sort of visible symptoms.
It’s all inside. And I try to ignore it as much as possible.
But it’s getting to me. And I feel ashamed about that too.
But I’ve had enough of expending what little energy I have on pretending that I’m not in pain. On being there full tilt for everyone else and ignoring my own health. Expending my energy on digging deep into the optimistic and peppy reserves I’ve got left and forcing it out.
Something occurred to me.
You might be struggling with the exact same thing.
Maybe you’re a mess too.
Maybe you feel like you have to pretend to be totally okay and happy-go-lucky, as if it’s your responsibility to be in a great mood and capable of doing all the things everyone else around you can do, so that everyone feels comfortable around you or uplifted and supported by you. As if others’ emotions and happiness are your responsibility. (It’s not, by the way.)
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to be an inconvenient truth. It’s okay to be a mess. EVERYONE is a mess to some degree. We are all struggling and pretending we’re not so that others won’t judge us or exclude us.
We, as a society, don’t like to look at things that make us feel uncomfortable.
But you know where the magic happens in life?
In the UNcomfortable moments.
So be a mess out loud.
I’m not saying emotionally vomit on everyone that walks past you. But be honest. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to be happy for someone that happens to exist in the same space as you.
The people who love and respect you will understand and support you. And what’s more, they’ll probably feel a bit more comfortable around you because you’re giving them the room and safety to be NOT perfect too.