I Am Slowly Learning I Don’t Have To Keep Pretending To Be Okay

Girl pretending to be okay
Pexels / Daria Shevtsova

I am slowly learning how much energy I waste by pretending I am okay. Fine. Just tired. A little out of it. I am slowly realizing the lies I tell are causing me more tension than comfort.

I am slowly learning I do not have to do everything alone. I do not have to snuff out my emotions out of fear of being burnt. I do not have to put on a never-ending act, pretending to be emotionless. I do not have to isolate myself. I do not have to lie to myself and to everyone around me. 

I am slowly learning vulnerability takes strength. Acting okay is the easiest thing to do. It is much harder to be honest about how many times I smash snooze, how difficult it is to wrench myself out of bed, how draining it is to repeat the same hell over and over, day after day.

I am slowly learning it is possible to have trust issues, to believe that most people will disappoint me in the end, and to still put my faith in people anyway. I am slowly learning some people are worth the risk. Some people will help me through the roughest terrain. Some people will be the rope I need to climb back to saftey — they can’t save me themselves, but they can play a part in the rescue. 

I am slowly learning there are people out there who genuinly care about my well-being. People who care whether I am fine or whether I am only pretending. People who will show up when they hear my voice calling for help, who will answer my drunken text messages at four AM, who will yank me off the ground and give me bandaids after I have fallen onto seeping knees. 

I am slowly learning the reason I feel so alone is because I make choices that leave me that way. I never tell anyone about the war raging inside my entrails. I never give details about the living nightmares that make it hard to fall asleep at night. No one knows that I am secretly suffering. No one helps me because they don’t realize help is needed. They think I am okay. I keep tricking them into believing I am okay.

I am slowly learning that I am allowed to turn the conversation uncomfortable. I am allowed to ruin a good night out with friends by telling them the truth about what I have been going through lately. I am allowed to use my voice. I am allowed to say how I feel.

I am slowly learning that I am not alone. There are so many people who would give me a couch to sleep on, a hand to hold, encouraging words to keep me afloat. There are so many people who want what is best for me — and I have to stop pulling away from them.

I have to stop pretending to be okay. I have to stop lying to myself. TC mark

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