How often do you walk past people or see people and ask how are you? How often do you hear the response, “I am fine.” Now think about yourself and ask yourself, how often has someone asked you how you are, said you were fine, but really you weren’t fine?
We pretend we are okay, when really we are breaking on the inside. We wear a mask and hide within the various roles we play as a parent, son, daughter, colleague, manager, and so forth. We never take off our mask. Others see us through the masks we wear and we feel that we need to keep these masks on. When do you drop your mask? When are you brave enough or strong enough to drop your mask? People who are brave and strong aren’t afraid to admit when they aren’t okay. It is seen as a sign of strength to ask for help even though people may perceive it to be a sign of weakness to go to therapy. It is a sign of weakness not to ask for help because you are not willing to look inside and ask yourself what the problem is. You aren’t willing to acknowledge your own self. When do you acknowledge yourself, to look inside and admit that you are not okay. If I admit that I am not okay, then it is about me and helping myself feel better.
Yes, this all makes sense, but the real question to ask is who are we to ourselves. Why don’t we drop that mask and actually say that we are not okay? Why not just say that I am hurting? Often times we do not disclose how we are really feeling because we are afraid of being rejected or being labelled. We are afraid that the person on the receiving end will say something along the lines of whats wrong with you? Or just get on with it. We hear it all the time and it can be quite debilitating.
We are sometimes afraid to say anything because of the reaction we may get from the other person. Reality is that sometimes all you want to do is cry. Sometimes you don’t want anyone to tell you that it will be okay because in a way that keeps you from feeling what you are feeling. It is as if you are being denied your emotion. Sometimes we just need to feel. We just need to breathe the same air. Like in Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore is always depressed, but they always sit next to him and just breathe the same air. Sometimes we don’t need someone to say anything. Sometimes we just need someone to hold the space for us and just acknowledge your emotions and let you experience it in that moment. Letting people feel what they feel without judgment, comments, or speculation.
This is why speaking with a therapist can be so helpful. Go and talk to someone with an objective point of view. If you talk to someone you know, such as a friend, sibling, parent, etc you will be given advice from the subjective perspective based on the relationship you have. If you speak with a therapist, the whole focus is just on you and you don’t have to pretend. You get to just be you and you don’t have to wear a mask. You get to understand and know yourself. Majority of people forget who they are. When I ask my clients, who are you?, people will say that this is my job, marital status and have this many kids, etc. But no really, who are you? They don’t know how to respond. If you ask them what do you like to do for yourself, they don’t know. Speaking with a therapist means you get to find out who you are and how you can also be yourself around others without having to wear a mask.