IF I asked you today, “how are you feeling?” what would you say?
What would your reply be? Would you say “fine thanks” and give me a full beam of a smile?
Or say “I’m great? Never been better!”
Perhaps you would mean it. Perhaps you’re jumping around with utter joy today. I hope that is the case. Hell, I’d love to think this is the case, for all of you that may be reading this.
But what if you’re not doing so well?
Would you admit it? Would you open up? Would you say, “actually Kate, I’m feeling really low and I’m so unhappy”?
It’s hard to open up to people isn’t it? To admit our vulnerabilities. To confess our feelings. To put ourselves out there in such an authentic way.
So much easier to plaster on a fake smile, hide our tears and carry on ‘as normal’. So much easier to disguise the weight on our shoulders. So much easier.
Or is it?
Have you ever noticed that when you go out for a few boozy drinks with friends, that by the end of the night, all sorts of revelations come out, fuelled by some Dutch courage.
You might well say it’s the booze talking.
And it is of course, that’s true. But it’s also our hearts, don’t you think? Our poor suffering souls screaming out. Desperate to share, desperate to reach out, desperate to find a shoulder to lean on.
People are desperate to share. Longing to tell their truth. Really they are. And I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to notice it more and more.
It’s just that most of us don’t know how to do it. Or we don’t do it very well. We’re too scared of what people might think. Or we lack the courage to try.
And so we wait.
Wait until we’ve drank numerous glasses of lip-loosening plonk or until we just can’t take it anymore or until someone gently encourages us to speak up.
And in the meantime, we hop on Facebook and read the happy highlights from the people we knew at school and we go on Instagram and see all the beautiful people living their beautiful lives.
And we add our two penny worth too.
We tell people we’ve had the best day ever! Even though we’re terrified that our life is falling apart.
We snap the prettiest image we can and contribute to a beautiful feed, even when we’re feeling far from pretty inside.
And on it goes.
Pretending our lives are perfect. Pretending we’ve never been happier. Pretending we’re just tickety boo.
And so the days roll by and we bump into people we meet and we tell them we’re great and nod along smiling when they tell us they are too.
And we plaster on the make up every morning as well as the fake smiles and make sure that it looks like we’re having a blast.
And we keep our pain and our secrets and our fears and our dark, dark thoughts hidden away deep down inside.
And so does your best friend. And so does your sister. And so does your husband.
Until it all comes spilling out.