It’s Not What It Looks Like

One thing I’ve learned as a therapist and a friend… majority of us all have some sort of shit we’re dealing with. Most people don’t have it all figured out or all put together even though it might look like they do.

Recently I posted a bunch of pictures from our summer on Facebook. I know a lot of people will look at them, see how much fun we’re having, probably think we’re so lucky to have such a great family (which we are!), how blissfully happy I am and that my life is just wonderful & a fairytale. They most likely won’t think or even know how difficult my life can be for me at times, how much I struggle to get out of bed most mornings, that I fight my inner demons almost daily, that I have to force myself to do most things and how much it takes from me to do those things we are doing in the pictures… And that I don’t feel like I have it all and that I definitely don’t have my shit put all together.

(Don’t the ducks look like they all have it together?! But we know they don’t!)

As I’ve said before, I know I have a beautiful life and a lot to be grateful for but that doesn’t mean that I can’t suffer from depression, anxiety, health problems, or struggle with relationships, parenting, and just pure mental and emotional exhaustion at times. When I share with people that I have depression, many are surprised… Because I don’t look like someone that has depression, because I don’t share my problems with the world (or really anyone as I keep to myself a lot)… to the outside world I really do look happy & that I’m living a fairytale life. And that’s how it is for a lot of people.

I shared “My Story” recently and in that I started with what most people might have seen from the outside but what they didn’t know was really going on in my life.

Whatever you see on social media or right in front you isn’t all that is happening a lot of the time. A lot of people are hurting inside, are fighting with mental illness, are unhappy, having marital problems or other family issues but we can’t always see it. We usually imagine people like this looking sad, disheveled, and just a mess! But that’s not the case. The people you think have it all and have it all figured out are often just as big of a mess as you feel sometimes (or most of the time!)

How many times have you heard the saying “everyone you meet is fighting a battle you aren’t aware of so be kind?” I can’t express how true that is. I don’t know if it’s my pessimistic thinking & distorted thought process but almost any time I find myself thinking how great someone else’s life looks … within seconds I’m wondering what battles they are fighting. What hell they might be going through. How miserable they might actually be or how much pain and suffering they have gone through to get to that point in life where they might really be happy. But I know they have suffered. I know we all do and that we can’t just assume other people haven’t.

I know one thing I struggle with at times is thinking “what could be so stressful in your life” or “how could you be so unhappy when you have so much that I would die for” … but I know that people would think that or do think that about me. I know I have so much that people dream of having. But yet I still feel like I’ve lost so many dreams and I have lost so much hope in my life. So with this (and with being a therapist, a friend & having some common sense) I know that no matter what your situation… life can be stressful, hard, depressing, painful, exhausting and whatever other word you want to use to describe it. And I hope other people remember that is the case for everyone.

Other people’s lives are not what they look like. Many people have or are suffering from something ugly and just because they look like they have it all doesn’t mean they do. There a lot of people out there that don’t! You are not alone.

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