Updated: Aug 20, 2020
"I post a picture of myself 'cause I'm lonely - everyone knows what I look like, not even one of them knows me." - Everybody Hates Me, The Chainsmokers
Who can relate to that? Out of the hundreds, even thousands, of people you might be 'friends' with on social media, how many of them actually know you? How many people do you actually let into your life to know the real you?
I can count on one hand... 1, 2, 3. Maybe one who knows every little detail of my life in excruciating detail. And we wear pink on Wednesdays ;-). Truly, though, that's it. Those are my people. I love and appreciate everyone in my life, but letting people in has always been tough for me.
I am so careful as to who I put into my life and who I tell my stories to. I have always been so self conscious of sharing my writing because - gasp - people I know would read it. I've always felt more comfortable sharing my life with people I didn't know. Because then I wouldn't have to face those friends and family if they didn't agree with my decisions.
I have made some poor decisions in my life. My pictures that I post are the good moments and areas of my life - just what everyone else does. Who wants to post the pictures of them at their lowest? Because if you start posting pictures that don't show your best side, then people will really get to know you. And that's scary.
Truth: I have had a lot of lonely times.
I have had times where I felt like there is no one else in the world but my immediate family. But at the same time, I felt I couldn't really tell my family what I was going through because I didn't want them to be disappointed in me. That was a theme in my life: I didn't want to disappoint people.
I have hid a lot of feelings and emotions from the people who I should trust the most. I hid my feelings on a marriage that was falling apart at the seams due to his alcoholism and my unwillingness to face my depression. Once I started to face that and went to therapy, I knew it was right for me and my son if I got a divorce.
I was now facing a new kind of loneliness - being a single mother. I had to make hard decisions on co-parenting (just as an fyi - my son's father is in recovery). I had to figure out how to manage my finances on one income and how to help my son through the new world he was seeing. I was also still dealing with the emotional anger of my ex husband.
Those are two of the MANY times I was facing loneliness. I was lonely when my best friend ghosted me and never told me why (twice - and I learned my lesson. I won't be in a friendship when it is convenient for one person). I was lonely when I would drink too much in college to 'fit in.' I was lonely when I used to compare myself to others on social media.
I'm sure I'll have more lonely times. But I feel that I have the tools now to recognize it and talk about it. Not with a friend or family member who will sugarcoat things, but with my therapist.
Therapy: Just Do It
If you've followed me for any amount of time, you know by now that therapy changed my life. Taking the time to take care of my mental health helped me feel whole again. I am successfully managing my depression. I know that I need to take care of myself in order to take care of others. I know that I can reach out for help and I have a network of women that will help.
Sometimes, when we feel lonely and depressed, the thing we want to do most is hide. We don't want people to know that we are hurting because we think that will be perceived as weakness. I'm not going to lie, asking for help was the scariest thing I have done. But it was also the smartest decision I have made.
We don't want people to know that we are hurting because we think that will be perceived as weakness