A few days ago, I texted my two good friends and let them know I’m not doing so well.
This was difficult to do. Not because I’m in denial about how I feel, but because I didn’t want to burst the bubble of what others think of me. I didn’t want to be taken out of the category of “the strong and resilient friend.”
I don’t feel resilient, I just feel like sh*t. God does it feel good to say that. To admit it. To write it down. To have it be real, without apology.
I have lost my love of life and that is the truth. I’m not sure where it went, but boy, it found a great hiding spot.
I used to have so much passion, energy, and drive. Now, I just want to take a big ol’ nap.
I used to care about people until I realized they probably don’t care about me. So why am I making such an effort?
I used to believe that if I worked hard, had integrity, and followed the rules, my life would work out.
I’m still waiting.
I don’t think this is depression, although that runs in my family. I know it isn’t just a phase because it’s been going on for a while. It could be anxiety on steroids, but that doesn’t fit either.
It feels like everything I have been taught, known, and told to believe or do is a complete facade. A mirage. A magician who got caught behind the curtain.
It feels like I have been wearing extremely dirty glasses, and after someone offered to clean them, I put them on and saw that the world is not what I thought it was—and it terrified me.
Because who am I without those beliefs, views, and opinions?
It feels like everything that has been forced down our throats about what is important, real, and acceptable is simply someone else’s ideas and limitations. They wrote the rules and now we have to follow them. God forbid we question our elders and God forbid we say, “You’re a close-minded idiot. I’m headed this way.”
Talk about a shock to the system.
Most of us have gotten the memo that certain feelings are not acceptable. Dirty. Soiled. We aren’t supposed to say certain things so we don’t disrupt everyone’s happy illusion. We aren’t supposed to rock the boat so others remain comfortably numb.
We aren’t supposed to not love life, because so many who have passed on would have given anything to have another go around. We aren’t supposed to have a bad day and be honest about it because we may be judged as weak, insecure losers.
I am here to affirm and say that all feelings are valid and it is our conditioning around them that feels icky. It is our labeling of “good” and “bad” emotions that sever our authenticity and connection to our deepest truth—even if that truth changes in the next 30 seconds. Even if that truth is not-so-nice.
We don’t feel bad that we feel bad, we feel bad because we have a belief that we shouldn’t feel bad. We chastise what’s truly going on because deep down, we have been taught that anything except roses, butterflies, and a glass half full approach is selfish, greedy, and makes us wrong on some level.
“I have such great friends, a family who loves me, and so much to offer the world. What’s wrong with me?” we ask ourselves.
What’s wrong is that we aren’t allowing what’s wrong to simply be there. We are not well-versed in sitting with uncomfortable stuff. We want to “fix” it immediately so we can feel better and keep it moving—in other words, so we become acceptable again.
As I texted my friends and told them the naked truth of my inner life, I started to feel relief. The relief of being real. The relief of being true to myself, even if that meant I couldn’t be the version of me that they have come to know.
The relief of dropping my internal clothing and saying, “This is what my soul looks like right now and I still want you to love me. I still want to love me.”
“Yes, that felt good,” I thought to myself. “I think I will keep going down this road that leads me back to who I truly am, even if it’s not who I was taught to be.”