Getting honest with yourself is hard.
Staying honest even harder. It’s so much easier to avoid, ignore, compartmentalize, and just turn our heads the other way. We can. We do. Doesn’t everyone? Well, eventually we pay for that detour. It hits us over the head one day and forces us to look at that old and familiar ugly mug of reality. What we have refused to acknowledge, what we minimized, sneaks back to visit us through the back door. Lying to ourselves can be so much more comfortable then honesty and vulnerability. Whether it be avoiding looking at something inside of ourselves or doing emotional reconnaissance on someone we love.
Is living in denial a bad thing if we are enjoying the ride? Or does acceptance of the obvious eventually give us a longer ride at the end?
Insight is cheap unless we are willing to do what’s hard.
Making honest choices based on truth. A comfort zone is a wonderful place, but nothing ever grows there.
not in character.
“Sadness is what you feel when something in your life goes wrong.
Depression is something you feel when everything in your life goes right”
IF YOU ARE IN SUICIDAL CRISIS,
CALL 800-273-TALK (8255)
Do you wear a mask? What do you not want others to know about you? This gets to the center of your fears and insecurities. Everyone, yes everyone has baggage. Things they struggle with or things that make them feel poorly about themselves. Some are better at hiding then others, some ignore it and their issues end up “leaking” out in other ways in their behavior or through an addiction. It takes a tremendous amount of emotional energy to hide parts of oneself. Especially the things that bring us shame. It keeps us isolated, afraid and often left to feel very alone. Our perceptions can become distorted about how we see others and ourselves. It really becomes a lot of work and makes life so much harder on us.
When we hide who we really are, it keeps others from truly loving us. It keeps us at a distance from others and that prevents us from having and developing closeness and intimacy. When you do something you feel was an error in judgement or a mistake acknowledge it, talk about it, be open about it, but don’t hide it. Own it.
You will feel “cleaner” emotionally, not only because you were honest with yourself but you addressed it and you took the step to share it with someone. Those who truly belong in your life and love you will see the mistake you made but more importantly they will see you, more then the mistake itself. Everyone has problems everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has things to work on its just part of being human. Acknowledging it and working on it separates the wheat from the chaff. Be who you are. Let people you care about see you.
Toss the mask, your worth it.
To experience such intense private desperation inside that you want to end your life? To be such a tortured soul that not even a pin of light can be hoped for or any chance of ever getting out from under yourself. You become the source of your own darkness and despair. You blame yourself. A hostage to your sadness with no end in sight. How does it feel to be so profoundly depressed?
I suppose It would be like you finding out that you just WON 100 million dollars: OR that you just LOST everything you have. Your reaction would be exactly the same. Complete indifference to either scenario. That’s a glimpse into the sheer flatness of the way you feel and experience the world. Nothing matters anymore. Nothing.
Your compass is broken, you are so swallowed up by your own distorted thoughts and hopeless cognitions that your perception changes. Completely.
Those who suffer from depression try anything for relief. Robin Williams, and so many others famous or not, (who suffer from bipolar disorder, depression, or another mood disorder on the spectrum) use alcohol or drugs to self medicate, and try to escape from this feeling. Robin Williams did this with cocaine and alcohol. Then of course a secondary problem of substance abuse or addiction emerges, then you end up with two problems. Depression and substance abuse or addiction. This is called being dually diagnosed, and requires care from those who are trained in both addiction and mental health. One feeds off the other. For those who have never really experienced what it’s like to hit an emotional wall it’s similar to a huge truck going 70 mph striking a piece of glass shattering it into pieces. Then you learn you have glue all those hundreds of shards and broken pieces back together with no tools or template, and your can’t see very well. It’s overwhelming, it can be just too much. In the wake of Robin Williams suicide, by asphyxiation (hanging) watching news coverage, hearing the reactions of fans, journalists and celebrity physicians, it makes me sad how often those who appear so happy and so put together on the outside, can be so very distressed. Depression comes from the INSIDE not the outside. It does not matter how wonderful or fortunate the individual appears to be. I always tell my clients who compare their insides to other people’s outsides that you never really know anyone’s private hell. Its not always the ones who look like crap, or don’t go to work, or have few outlets or friends. Mental illness crosses money lines, class lines, cultural lines, religious and spiritual lines, right wing, left wing, in the center. The homeless guy down the street, the well put together woman in the cubical next to yours at work, or the amazingly gifted and loved comedian and actor, Mr. Robin Williams.
Very often it is a person you never thought was troubled by life at all. Suffering happens deep inside and most often can’t been seen.
There is always hope. There is always a way out, there is a way to get beyond it. For some, they just couldn’t make it or see it.
Be compassionate to the angry bitchy woman who you interact with in the workplace, or your neighbor who can never move her head to make eye contact with you. You just don’t know the private pain people carry around everyday.
Being nice or reaching out with a kind word can make a difference in their life. Even if it’s just a moment. I have heard that those moments can change a persons day or even their faith in humanity.
Another reason to trust your gut.
If I could give one piece of advice I would say to “Trust Your Gut”. Clients pay me a lot of hard earned money so that I can teach them to trust and use the gift they already have that is not only powerful but very effective. Their instinct. The problem is they don’t trust themselves enough to listen.
I spend countless hours reviewing with clients what their perspective was at the beginning of a recently failed relationship. I ask them to look back with me and ask themselves in retrospect, did they see any red flags? Did they see or hear something from him or her that struck them as bothersome?
The answer is most always is ” yes…but.”
“I noticed that he drank heavily BUT he was going through a hard time”, “You know, I did notice that she became angry easily or her reaction was not in proportion to the situation BUT I thought it meant she really cared about me or that I was making too much of it”. Or “..he worked a lot and we didn’t have a lot of quality time together BUT he was trying to make partner and I figured it would get better”, or ” She didn’t share much about her last relationship but I didn’t want to pry”. The bottom line is this folks:
LISTEN to your gut.
Your instinctual sense of something is keenly accurate. Too many people second guess themselves and find that the very thing that alerted them in the beginning of a relationship with that person was very often the impetus of the relationship not working. For those of you who were brought up in homes where there was an addiction to alcohol or drugs, you have the best instinct of all. I call this your “Superpower”. When a parent has an addiction to alcohol or drugs, children learn to sense the predictability of unpredictability. Addicts are inconsistent, unpredictable, they break promises, and create an environment of fear that also produces shame in their children. After a while the child develops a very good sense of being able to “read” mom or dad. This default skill develops in adulthood into a sense of “reading” people very quickly and most often quite accurately. Look back now at any relationship in your life that didn’t work for you. Can you recall if the reason was something to do with what you spotted early on and just ignored?
Learn to trust your instincts and listen to yourself, because in the end your probably right.
theresa perfetto ®
That to which we pay attention