One of the things that annoy people about me is that I do not like to share how I feel. This sounds absolutely absurd, since I have BreakFree23 and all I do is talk. But those people are right. I hate to talk about how I feel. When someone asks “How are you?”, I tend to answer with a standard, “I’m fine.” Or if I want to go a little wild, I answer with “Taking it one day at a time.” I am proficient at deflecting. My reason for this behaviour is simple. I believe with all that I am, that other people have it worse. This ideology is unhealthy and obstructs my connections with other people.
There appears to be a silent martyrdom with repressing truth when someone who cares about you inquiries about your state of mind. If I don’t share how I feel, then they will not have to hear me complain. I will not burden them with my issues. I know for sure, that others out there deal with much worse than I do. It is better to keep it in and allow it to fester, grow and alter my life in subtle yet lasting ways. You and I both know that these thoughts are lies. When someone cares about you, they want to know the truth. This does not refer to the casual greetings which happen numerous times a day at work, school, or wherever you choose to hang. Use your stock answer for those interactions.
Your feelings are valid. You are not on this planet to compare your pain with someone else’s pain. It is not a competition. It does take courage to tell someone how you truly feel. It is not easy and maybe it is not meant to be easy because in that moment you are vulnerable. In case you need to hear it, vulnerability is an act of strength.
Ok, I am done preaching, especially since I am that person in the congregation who will sit in the back, while eyeing all of the escape routes. The Other People Have It Worse sermon is over. Now it is on me to have a bit of faith, in the people who care about me. How am I today? Stick around and I will tell you.