I don’t like being vocal about my problems. It’s scary and uncomfortable. It feels as if there’s so much wrong with me, so much to be fixed. I suffer from asthma, which makes my body feel weak. Training with others is a nightmare because even the least fit ones outrun me. I also suffer from anxiety, extreme worrying, and fear of failure. It doesn’t matter that I’m extremely smart, I still doubt myself too often and think I’m not capable of accomplishing anything. And to add to all that mess, I didn’t have the best childhood and also crossed paths with too many assholes.
Just thinking about all these things makes me feel ashamed of myself. Writing about them feels wrong. I’m ‘high functioning’, so people usually don’t notice that there’s anything wrong with me. I’m smart, hold a good job, have a stable income, and I have a boyfriend and great friends. I rent my own apartment, I rarely drink and I’m not a drug addict. I never harmed myself, never tried committing suicide and I’ve never taken off time from work because of my problems.
My problems are invisible and easy to hide
My mind may do over time, be filled with worries, worst case scenarios, and what-ifs, but I rarely feel emotionally drained. I rarely feel tired because of it. I don’t hyperventilate or get (visible) panic attacks at work. My therapy appointments are after working hours as well. People don’t know there’s anything wrong. They don’t know about my irrational fears, my worries, my doubts or my worst-case scenarios.
It’s easier to let them think I’m ok. It’s easier to not write about my problems. It’s easier to write the fluffy clickbait articles. It’s easier to ignore my problems. Every time I publish a personal post I’m scared to read the responses.
What will people think of me? Will they think I’m stupid? Stop reading my blog? Unsubscribe? What if someone I know reads this? Will they stop being my friend? Will I get fired?
Stigma around mental health won’t be removed by writing Buzzfeed articles about cat facts
It would be so much easier to just stick to writing reviews all the time, or to only post pictures of the Norwegian fjords, or write about my cat. But that’s not what I want. I want to help to create an environment where people aren’t afraid to speak up. You’re not stupid because you have problems. You’re not a lesser person because you have flaws. It’s ok to have problems. It’s ok to be imperfect.
I’m a good developer, a good worker, a good leader, a good person, a good friend, and a good lover. I may doubt myself, I may be scared a lot, I may run out of breath all the time. But I’m not weak, stupid or weird. I’m the same person I was yesterday before I spoke up. I’m the same person you always thought I was, I just have some flaws. I’m not perfect, but I’m human.
Having flaws doesn’t mean being imperfect, but being human
I want people to know it’s ok to be imperfect, it’s ok to have mental or physical problems, it’s ok to be scared and it’s ok to make mistakes. I want people to know that it’s ok to step forward and open up. It’s ok to talk about your problems. It’s ok to show the world your imperfections. The rest of the world isn’t perfect either, they’re just hiding their flaws just like I used to hide mine.
I want to live in a society where all of this is ok. Where having problems doesn’t mean being imperfect, but being human. A society where people can talk about their issues and collectively work on improving them.
And the best way to achieve that is by setting an example and stepping forward myself. Putting my fears and doubts and worst case scenarios aside for a moment and just hit publish and give the world a peek into my life and show everyone they’re not alone.
I don’t like being vocal about my problems, but I do it anyway. Because it’s important, because it’s needed and because it might help someone.
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