We pretend we’re okay because we don’t want our loved ones to worry. We don’t want to cause them any additional stress. We would rather suffer on our own than burden our favorite people with our pain. Besides, we don’t want them to feel like they have to tiptoe around us. We want to be treated normal. We want to feel normal.
We pretend we’re okay because explaining how we’re feeling would be too complicated. We aren’t exactly sure how to pinpoint what’s been making us so sad lately. Even if we have a few ideas, it’s hard to put the thoughts into words. It’s hard to find a way to explain such complex emotions to someone else, even someone who loves us.
We pretend we’re okay because we don’t want to be a downer. We don’t want to ruin everyone’s fun by bringing up all the reasons why we feel empty inside. It never feels like the right time to complain, because even when someone else is spilling their heart out about all of their problems, we don’t want to make the conversation about us by mentioning our own problems. We want to keep everyone else comfortable. We put their needs in front of our own.
We pretend we’re okay because we want to be okay. We don’t want to be miserable. We don’t want to spend the whole day counting down the hours until we get to crawl back into bed again. We can’t turn our emotions off like a light switch and we can’t lie to ourselves about how we’re feeling — but we can lie to the rest of the world.
We pretend we’re okay because sometimes it’s easier to fake a smile than to open up about how we are not okay. It’s easier to play pretend than it is to admit the harsh, dark, unfortunate truth. It’s easier to tell people what they want to hear instead of bringing them down with reality.
We pretend we’re okay because we aren’t sure what good the truth would do. We don’t want to embarrass ourselves by wearing our hearts on our sleeves. We don’t want to open up about how we’ve been feeling and end up getting pitied over it. We don’t want anyone else to look at us like a charity case or a drama queen or a burden. We don’t want to be judged over what we’ve been growing through because we’re already coping with enough pain.
We pretend we’re okay because we don’t realize we deserve to speak our minds. We deserve to explore our emotions. We deserve to act authentic. We have convinced ourselves we have to pretend to be someone we’re not in order to blend in with the rest of society — but that’s not the truth.
We should learn to embrace our emotions. We should learn to be more comfortable with uncomfortable thoughts. We should learn how to say we need help. We should learn how to take better care of ourselves.