Life can be hard sometimes, it can feel as if everything is on top of us, pushing us down, pulling us under. It can feel as if we are completely alone in the world, as if we are the only ones dealing with emotions that make us feel trapped, angry, afraid. It can feel as if we are always watching everyone else get exactly what they want while we sit here wondering, “What about me?’
And all too often we are afraid of these feelings, embarrassed by them. We immediately answer a question about how we are doing with, “Fine,” because we don’t want to burden anyone with something so ‘trivial’. We become so good at hiding our pain that we may even begin to believe we are okay. We start to accept that maybe this sinking feeling is just a part of us now, maybe it’s normal to wake up dreading the day and feeling afraid of the dark because there’s nothing to distract us from our spinning thoughts. We make excuses for disappearing when we need to cry and we return with a smile on our face because it’s just easier that way—to pretend we are absolutely fine, when in reality, we are breaking inside.
But it needn’t be this way. There really is no reason to wear a mask around the people you care about, the people who care about you.
So I think it’s time we started being honest about our pain. I think it’s time we learned to accept our emotions rather than push them away, rather than be embarrassed by or afraid of them. I think it’s time we started answering, “How are you?” honestly. I think it’s time we started to talk to each other, to hear the way we feel in the silence, to understand how it makes us feel when we hear it aloud. It’s time we stopped hiding in the bathroom and crying on the floor, time we stopped having a shower simply to drown out our tears. It’s time we faced up to it, moved through it, dealt with it.
It’s time we let the pain in because if we don’t, it will only grow, it will only consume us, bury us, become us.
So the next time you feel the darkness rushing in, embrace it. The next time someone asks how you are doing, talk about it. Maybe not in depth, maybe not a lot, but just try to let someone else in. Just learn to be honest about the pain, learn to accept it. The next time you feel as if you might fall apart, let someone else try to hold you together. Let someone brush the tears from your face and keep you steady. Let someone pull you close to their chest as night falls and enjoy the feel of their warmth against you, let them soothe you.
Remind yourself you are not alone.
The next time you pick lashing out over coming undone, remember that anger is not the answer but honesty is, letting love in is, acknowledging the pain is.
Because asking for help does not mean you aren’t independent or strong or capable. Needing to feel someone’s arms around you does not mean you can’t soothe yourself, it doesn’t mean you need someone else to pick up the pieces.
It just means that sometimes two heads are better than one; sometimes someone else can tell us the words our broken hearts or tangled minds can’t find right now. It just means someone else’s arms often feel better wrapped around us than our own. It means that we all need a little help sometimes and that’s okay.
Sweet girl, it means it’s time you were honest about your pain because it’s real and it’s scary and sometimes it can be too much. It means that there’s a world of people out there who love you and want to help you and all you have to do is ask.
It means that you are strong, you are a warrior, you are allowed to ask for a hand to hold.
Because sometimes, just sometimes, that hand can guide us to the surface.
Sometimes being honest about our pain allows us to breathe.
by Rose Goodman