On Saturday, I went to a support group. I was surrounded by women who, like me, have malfunctioning lady parts. In this atmosphere, I was finally able to utter the words that I’ve been terrified to say for so long…
”I feel unlovable. I’m struggling with my self-esteem. I’m struggling to accept these illnesses. And I’m finding it difficult to accept what they mean for the rest of my life.”
For the past several months, I’ve been pretending. I’ve been pretending to myself- and everyone around me- that I’m okay. I’ve been pretending that I know how to deal with these emotions and the loss of so many abilities that define me as a woman. And I’ve been pretending that I can deal with this on my own…without seeking outside help.
I can’t pretend anymore.
I have to ask for help. I have to give in and realize that this might be deeper than I admitted.
In a way, we’re all pretending. We’re pretending to be satisfied with the mediocrity in our lives. We’re pretending that it doesn’t bother us that our significant other communicates with their ex. We’re pretending that the way certain people treat other people is OKAY because history suggests that it’s the nature of mankind. And we’re pretending that we don’t feel the sting from the world every now and then.
We have to stop pretending. We have to stop downplaying our emotions and not allowing ourselves to feel.
We have to stop subscribing to the idea that not acknowledging your feelings translates to being a strong individual.
When did faking a smile become more socially acceptable than confessing that you’re struggling a bit? Pretending that feelings aren’t there doesn’t make them go away.
But allowing yourself to truly feel? That takes strength.
We all experience emotions- some good; some bad- at some point in our life.
I know that in a few months time I will be able to reflect on this moment and relish in the fact that I’ve come so far.
But for right now, I’m struggling.
By asking for help and acknowledging my genuine feelings, I truly believe that someday I won’t feel the need to pretend to be okay anymore.
I’ll just be okay.