Today I am hiding away. I am having one of 'those' days-a down day, a funk, feeling a bit low whatever you want to call it. It's been building for a few days and it generally passes within a few days but for now it's resulted in me sitting in my pyjamas feeling totally shit and then hating myself for it. And knowing it's probably only temporary isn't helping one bit. It's making me feel very angry at myself and at the world around me. I promised myself that I would talk about this. So I am. I have to share how I feel because I believe that in sharing and not hiding away it might make a difference-not only to how I feel but maybe if there are other people out there feeling the same it might make a difference to them. Or it might not. Either way I've started now so I might as well continue.
We hide so much as a society. A few days ago I was locked in the bathroom whilst out with friends taking a moment for myself having felt overwhelmed (when this first started to kick in) and it occurred to me how much we hide and how hiding can feel so isolating and lonely. I started to think about all the ways and things we hide. Hiding is a huge characteristic of our society, we all hide all the bloody time!
I hid my need for some space alone (a perfectly reasonable need? But slightly socially unacceptable?) by telling my friends I needed to use the bathroom-that always buys you a good 20 minutes before anyone really realises you're gone. I've taken days sick from work with 'food poisoning' because it's much easier and more acceptable than saying 'I can't get out of bed today and I can't really tell you why'. We hide the fact that we are pregnant incase something goes wrong and we wouldn't want people to know about that (i've never quite understood that, personally I would want the support but thems the 'rules'), we hide the fact that we want to get pregnant, or don't want to. We hide the fact that we are grieving (still), that we are struggling with relationships, that we feel scared, insecure, anxious. We hide the moments where we have fallen apart as human beings and where we thought we might never find a way to build ourselves again. We hide that we can't sleep or struggle with eating or drinking. That we feel fat, or thin, or unattractive. We hide that we worry about our future, that our children and friends are finding it hard to cope and it's tearing us up inside. We sometimes even hide when we are happy, or when things are going well. Or we hide our hopes and dreams for fear that they might not come true (or they might, that's scary too!) or we might seem arrogant. We hide what makes us unique for fear of being unacceptable or causing upset. We hide what makes us human. We hide what we all feel at times. We hide what ties us all together, what makes us love and cherish each other and what makes us feel connected.
It feels so unnatural to hide the bits of ourselves that society finds unacceptable but it has become so natural to us that we hardly recognise we are doing it.
I totally understand why we hide, sharing the difficult stuff sounds terrifying and i'm the first to admit that being around me on a day like today when I am not hiding is no fun for anyone! But I think it's equally terrifying being isolated and feeling like you are the only one in the world feeling like this on a day like today.
So I'm not going to hide today. And i'm not going to write anymore either-I've run out of steam. But for anyone out there who is hiding as well today-you are not alone. x
PS. I feel marginally better.