Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Truth can be slippery for most of us. We want to be our authentic selves but we hesitate because we fear the judgment of society. We hide behind metaphorical masks and pretend that we fit in their boxes. So often we bury our truth because we think it's easier. "I'll just be normal. If I fake it long enough, even I'll come to believe it."
We hide the truths of our lives and our relationships. We pretend that our love affair is full of passion, that our partner is good and considerate and kind. If we just pretend that our relationship is happy, maybe it will become that way.
We pretend that we're fine and well and happy because we don't want the stigma of mental illness. If we just ignore our depression or our anxiety, maybe they'll just go away. The thing is, they don't go away. We shouldn't feel ashamed because we are struggling.
We can't just bury who we are; we can't pretend we haven't experienced trauma and pain because it will spiral back up bigger and more overwhelming than it was before.
We have to stop pretending that everything is ok when it isn't. When our partner is cruel or neglectful or abusive and they won't agree to seek help, leave. Tell everyone who they really are. Don't cover up for them. Don't play pretend for them. They don't deserve your loyalty.
If you are struggling, if you're depressed or anxious, please get professional help. We need to stop stigmatizing mental illness. It's an illness just like any physical illness. We need to be willing to ask for help and not let anyone shame us because we need help.
We need to be allowed the space and consideration to be our authentic selves. We shouldn't have to bury our truth or pretend for anyone.
I'm just as guilty of this. I've played the pretend game. I've covered up and even if I didn't lie to protect those that harmed me, I didn't challenge the lies that others were telling. I let the pretend game continue
Who they are was not ok. What they did was not ok. I need to stop feeling like I should protect the toxicity of others. Even if they tell you they love you, if they treat you poorly, they deserve nothing from you. You owe them nothing, especially not loyalty, especially not protection.
Expose them for the monsters that they are. Support and buoy up those in your life that have been struggling. Mental illness is illness. Full stop.
Don't pretend for society. The more of us that come out and speak our truths and lead our authentic lives, the more we'll realize that we are not alone. We've never been alone; we've just allowed the toxicity of our society to inhibit and control us.
We need to stop. We own them nothing; we never did. If they feel like they have to cover up or lie about who they are, that's on them. The fault lies with them.
It has never ever been you. You are not responsible for their bad behavior. Don't shield them. Don't protect them. Tell the truth of who they are and who you are.
We need to break out of our boxes and refuse to be well behaved and cooperative any longer. We need to rise up and be our authentic selves. Society needs to change for us. We don't need to change or pretend for them, not now and never again!