A few days ago, I had somewhat of an emotional breakdown, which required me to “cancel my day.” As I’ve discussed many times before on the podcast, depression has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, so experiencing various emotions is nothing new. However, this particular day was “heavier” than most and was accompanied with endless hours of tears.
I feel lucky because in the past two years, I’ve acquired more self-awareness than I thought possible, which has led me to acquiring tools and resources that influence my mental health. So now when I experience anything that identifies as “negative,” I instantly go to my toolbox of tricks, which according to last week, clearly doesn’t always work.
I decided to talk about what happened to me last week because many people are under the impression that once you implement one strategy that makes a difference, you are now on your road to recovery. While that may be true for some, it’s certainly untrue for many, like myself. I’ve learned the hard way that when certain thoughts or emotions show up, I have to address them. Last week, I underwent a plethora of emotions that impacted my level of stress, but I kept moving forward because in my mind, “I didn’t have time to stop and reassess.” Well, I now know that whatever I suppress, I’ll eventually have to address.
The build-up of the personal negative circumstances I was a part of and the rollercoaster of emotions that later followed eventually manifested in many different ways. One morning, I woke up and I could no longer hold it together, but I was afraid of showing that face to the world, so I remained silent. Looking back on why I avoided facing myself, I think much of it is due to what we don’t see on social media. How many of us are actually posting pictures of us crying in our bed with Netflix in one hand and pizza in the other? Exactly.
The standard that social media has set is dangerous and impacts many people on a daily basis. Many individuals seek permission to be imperfect and like me, need to be reassured that these feelings are normal and it’s okay to not always go 1,000 miles per hour. Luckily, I have people that I can call to remind me that as ambitious and driven as I may be, this doesn’t exempt me from exhibiting human-like characteristics such as feeling emotions of sadness. While I smiled most of the day today, that’s not always the case and although we’re flooded with the highlight reel that social media can be, I want to remind everyone that you never know what’s behind that smile. Pictures don’t tell the full story and because of this, we’re often afraid to share our own experiences.
I encourage all of you to be more honest about your life because you never know who you’re inspiring. If it weren’t for my friend sharing her occasional “canceled days” even though she’s a successful entrepreneur, I’m unsure of how much longer I would have continued trying to hide my personal struggles. Vulnerability is courageous, so lets embrace it together.