|My little niece's "big belly". I always|
learn a thing or two from her.
I’ve been brilliant at hiding for most of my life. I mean, I was downright exceptional at not letting people see the real me.
Why? The truth was too scary: I. Was. A. Mess. And I didn’t want anyone to think I was anything less than perfect.
There’s a reason why until recently, even the closest people in my life had no idea what was going on behind the scenes:
I was really, really good at it.
Call it a PK* skill, but hiding my struggles, and what was actually going on, just came naturally. Not only did I not want to burden anyone with my little problems, I didn’t want anyone to know I had any problems.
It was so much safer for me to pretend that I was fine, everything was fine, in fact, darling, my life is just AMAZING!
Q: “How’s the diet going?”
A: It’s going really well. I’ve lost 2 pounds this week alone!
(In reality: I starved myself for 5 days eating nothing but soup broth, so last night I binged on a bowl of raw cookie dough, 3 giant blueberry muffins and an entire box of chocolate macadamia nuts.)
Q: “How’s your job in New York?”
A: I’m learning a ton, meeting incredible people! It’s been such a great opportunity!
(In reality: I was told I’m losing my job next week and I’m completely falling apart.)
Q: “How’s married life?”
A: It’s so wonderful! Blissful, just like everyone says.
(In reality: My marriage is crumbling and I don’t know what to do.)
True story: When I finally ended my marriage, only two of my friends knew we were even having issues. My family was in complete shock. So were the rest of my friends. I literally had to repeat myself several times to my mom because she couldn’t fathom what I was telling her.
I preferred to keep my problems to myself. I would tell myself, I don’t need anyone. I’ve got this.
That philosophy didn’t serve me well. In fact, it was utterly exhausting.
What I’ve now learned:
There is so much power in sharing your struggles with others.
There is so much power in knowing you’re not alone.
There is so much power in just being you.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not advocating shouting your problems from the rooftops. (Seriously, please don’t do that). But, being open and honest about my struggles has opened the doors for others to relate, and for me to experience healing, acceptance, grace.
I’m beyond lucky that I’ve found an AMAZING group of women with whom I can be completely authentically me. And oddly, they still love me. (Shout out to my P31 homies. Love you ladies).
That’s what I wish for you, too.
*I’m a PK, aka Pastors Kid. Yep. Right now, I bet all kinds of fun stereotypes are banging around in your head.