I’m very good at pretending to be happy. I’ve spent my life masking pain, pretending disfunction doesn’t exist, covering up the wounds of trauma, and ultimately faking a persona of light and confidence.
It’s a coping mechanism.
It means I can hold a public job despite the fact that I have social anxiety. It means I shower, pay my bills, and show up to work on time even though I’ve struggled deeply with depression. It means I’ve done physical jobs while being in excruciating pain, I’ve chatted comfortably with someone even though, beneath my calm exterior my skin was crawling because they reminded me of negative things of my past... the list goes on and on. The coping has served a purpose. Many purposes. That have made my life easier and more functional. It’s not healthy, but it’s what made me get by. I resent it (myself) sometimes for holding together so well, so well that sometimes people literally do not believe me that I am troubled. But I try instead to focus on the actually - truly - good thing that has come from coping. From faking.
And that’s that I understand others who are doing the same. I’m non- judgemental and willing to listen. When some one says they’re struggling or sad, I believe them no matter how big their smile was the day before. I understand that pain comes in all forms, all depth, it manifests in a hundred different ways. Sometimes it shows, sometimes it doesn’t. And I understand that, because of what I’ve been through, and how I chose for years to carry my pain in silence.
There’s always good that comes from coming out on the other side of evil. There’s always hope. I believe that, more than anything else.