I began this summer in a hospital bed on a psychiatric hold.
And ended it with over 30 articles written here on Elephant Journal.
I was encouraged by a doctor to journal, and when I picked up a pen, I couldn’t seem to put it down.
I don’t spend hours crafting each article. Instead, I write for a few minutes after I sob into a pillow and gasp for air. From the amount of articles I’ve written, you can guess how often I am stuck in a rain cloud.
I’ve been asked how I can feel so comfortable sharing my life on the web. When I get this question, I smile and say, because I’m human and so are my experiences.
Maybe the world learned a little about life.
Okay, maybe they learned a lot.
I am okay with this, though, because just like you, I struggle.
I struggle to get up and to keep working toward something better.
Some days I can’t get up at all.
Call it depression, mental illness, or deep sadness.
Some days are just too hard to be anything but my raw, emotional self.
There are times when I cry between working with my patients, or turn off my camera in class so I can rest my face on my table alone.
My life is messy and this is okay. I no longer want to pretend it’s something else.
All of us are sitting with something. For some, it’s the loss of someone. For others, maybe they struggle with a debilitating mental illness.
We often don’t know—because we don’t share.
We are taught not to share our lives with the public or air our dirty laundry. We hide our family secrets, fake a smile, and pretend words don’t hurt.
I no longer wish to do this.
I have secrets I want to share, I want to smile when I feel compelled to, and I no longer want to swallow the painful words of others.
I will wear my heart on both my sleeves and tell my story.
I encourage you all to do the same.
If any of you can relate to what I’ve shared, then I hope my words can be of benefit to you.
Write your story. If you need someone to read it, send it my way. I’m always willing to read.
Your friend, Rebecca