Months ago, I reached out through Facebook to let an acquaintance know she wasn’t alone.
I had the same problems she did. I had to get sober and I had to get mental health help, too.
She thanked me. Said our commonality was comfort. But also,
She had posted about court ordered rehab.
My last update had been banana bread or some shit.
“Your life always looks so perfect.”
See, I have a talent for faking it. A lot of women do. We’re go-getters, bright-smilers. Eloquent.
Excellent at hiding a mess, at cultivating an image, at fitting in.
If we struggle, we figure it out. We don’t talk about it. Why shatter the illusion?
Often, our families don’t even know.
We don’t want people to worry.
We don’t want to be a problem.
We fix the problems. Even other people’s problems.
We absorb them like walking sponges, make everything clean and shiny again.
(Just don’t squeeze)
Those other people, the ones who aren’t as good at hiding,
the ones who follow our social media feeds and think they’re looking at our actual lives and ask themselves
what the fuck is wrong with me?
Well, we tell ourselves that they aren’t our problem.
That they really need to get it together.
And then we upload another pretty, perfect, picture for them to measure their lives against.
I’m not judging anyone for having a nice life. For sharing beautiful moments.
But, in my own experience, I’ve edited a lot.
And I’m not judging anyone for not being ready to talk about something. I’ve retreated for almost a whole year, trying to sort things out. But I’m strong enough now.
And, almost eleven months sober, I’m sick of keeping secrets.
Of wondering who knows what, and how much?
It makes me feel like shit.
I don’t want to be fake anymore. Don’t want to hide or pose or pretend or lie.
Fitting in is a rejection of my life’s purpose.
If I was given truth and the ability to write about it,
How can I justify not?
I’m working on my second book now, a novel about brokenness and wellness and female friendships and taking up space in a world that asks women to be littler, simpler, easier than human beings can be. A world that asks us to be smaller, even, than the loads it gives us to carry.
And I want to talk about this stuff here, too.
For the past few months I’ve been asking myself how. How do I share this?
I don’t want to be a voice shouting in the wilderness. I don’t want to flood the social media feeds of everyone I’ve ever met with these big, vulnerable things they don’t care about. Posting it on here is difficult enough. And I’m wary of continuing to invite all of the internet into my personal social media accounts as I’d rather use those as a tool to stay connected with family and personal friends. I want to protect the privacy of my husband and children, who appear often in my personal accounts.
So, I’ve done a separation.
I’ve created an author Facebook page, Instagram account, and added a sign-up form to this site. I won’t be posting any more posts of this nature to my personal social media pages, but I will share them with those who are interested in subscribing to them.
Here, I’ll be discussing big stuff.
The light and the heavy.
And I’d love it if you joined the conversation.
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