It’s funny really. When you tell people you have a broken leg, they will tell you to rest, to take it easy, to follow instructions from your doctor. They might even offer to bring you groceries. But they most certainly won’t ask you to help them with theirs. Or to go for a run with them.
Yet, when you tell people you are not ok emotionally, they won’t see the cast on your heart. It is that type of a thing that is not easily visible. It requires a person to look into your soul. And most people are not ready to do that. They are afraid of what they might find. The turmoil, the storm. They’re afraid they even might see a part of themselves in there. They see you smile and assume all is good.
Then there are the ones who care. They will bother to look, but they won’t understand. They will expect you to snap out of it. To continue smiling. To go on with your life. To support them in their problems. To help them with groceries. They will expect you to run like your leg is not broken.
You will be told – oh, but you’re so strong. You will be told you will get through this. You will be told how there are people who have it much worse than you.
When I hear those things, I back off and retreat. I *know* there are people who have it much much worse than I do. But you see, when I’m not doing ok, I can’t help those people. My leg is broken, I can’t carry their groceries. And just for a second, I don’t want to be strong. I want to be weak and vulnerable and I want the world to be ok with it. I want an action plan on how to get through this, not empty promises of a better tomorrow.
I spent countless hours thinking about how did I end up here and what’s wrong with me. And it hit me just like most great realizations do – while I was taking a shower on some idle Tuesday. There is nothing wrong with me. I took a fall. And my body part is broken. Be it the leg, the heart, or the head – it’s just a body part, not the whole of me. It will be fixed. In the meantime – it’s ok not to be ok.