Warning: Adult language ahead.
My lips stretch upward, but what lies below?
Pain, anxiety, uncertainty and all the other things I never want to talk about.
The scariest truths often hide behind the biggest smiles.
And, behind my big, toothy smile, insecurity chips away at my soul; fear consumes me, daily.
Yet I go about my days saying that I feel good. That I have all the answers. That I’m happy.
I keep it together, tightly, so tightly.
I act like I’m bold and glittery, confident as sh*t—but it’s not real.
I want to be more real.
It’s the only thing I thirst for; it’s the only thing that can sustain me.
What does real even mean?
I can’t pretend to know.
All I know is that I need to talk about this fragile insecurity that shakes from within me, precisely because it feels nearly impossible to talk about.
I need to say that I don’t have all the answers. That I’m scared sh*tless. That I want to fall apart. That I feel ashamed of who I am. That I tremble with anxious self-doubt, daily.
My honesty isn’t pretty, but it feels like a refreshing glass of ice-cold water on a hot summer day.
Because the truth—no matter how grotesque—is far more nourishing than the prettiest, sparkliest lies.
I’ve made a nice mask for myself; it’s become a comfortable, shiny home.
But, this perfectly-put-together facade is suffocating me.
Goodbye, sweet mask, you have served me well. I thank you for protecting me.
But—I don’t need you anymore.
I don’t need to hide behind beaming smiles.
I don’t need to smother angry thoughts or suppress thrashing rivers of sadness.
I am allowed to feel every color and taste every f*cking feeling.
Peeling off my layers, one by one, I am stripped raw.
No bulls*it. No facade.
I sit here, naked, in the mouth of my darkness, letting life twist me and turn me.
I dive deep—deeper than I’ve ever dared to venture before.
I’m alone. I’m afraid. I cry. I sob. I want to give up.
This is transformation.
It’s a bloody mess; it hurts like hell.
I surrender to my tears.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Rikard Eloffson