MASK ON! F**K IT, MASK OFF!
I saw this video and it resonated with me so deeply that I had to write about it.
As some of you are already aware, I have been going through the hardest period of my life thus far. Prior to #collinsVScps, I had lost some people who were really dear to me in various ways and I was struggling to accept their absence when things got progressively worse. I am a natural born fighter and have never accepted defeat in any area of my life so accepting that there was nothing I could do was something I just couldn't come to terms with.
When people would ask me how I was, I would tell them exactly how I was feeling at the time. I was often surprised by how taken aback they were with my honesty and the awkward silence that would follow. Everyone who encounters me quickly observe my straightforwardness so I didn't understand why those who knew me so well were expecting me to say I was fine when I really wasn't.
I got similar advice to what Mona describes in the video clip above, to keep my true state of being hidden and to project an "everything is great" demeanour. I strongly felt (I could be wrong, I was all the way in my feelings at the time) that I was being told to do that to make others comfortable with no real consideration for the negative affects that smiling on the outside while dying on the inside could have on me. So I did what was best, I stopped interacting with them.
The interactions have since resumed but the distances created were necessary at the time in order to prevent permanent damage to the relationships. As I stated in a past post, fighting isn't always a valiant show of strength, it's simply having the fortitude to overcome and for me, overcoming meant I had to face my reality and put my energy into surviving instead of using it to convince the world that I was fine. My advice to anyone going through hard times is to do whatever it takes (in a healthy way!) to keep you going and to do so at your own pace.
"The worst of times, you take that and you use it to take you to where you're trying to go. You don't succumb to it. You don't drown in it. You don't surrender to it. You fight through it!" Mona Scott-Young
Living in your truth doesn't mean telling or showing the world what your truth is, it's being comfortable within yourself about that truth and doing so unapologetically.