I am physically exhausted. I am mentally exhausted. I am just exhausted.
My mind has gone numb. I sit here staring at the blank screen. Not one word written. I have so much to say, yet nothing to say. My eyes droop. I sigh. I close out of WordPress and I watch Netflix.
In all my 21 – going on 22 – years have I ever felt just so exhausted. Everyday by the time 9pm rolls around, I am ready to just collapse into bed and let my dreams steal me away.
A lot has happened in my life in the last year. A total upheaval from everything I knew, and I have been tossed into an unknown. This scary world with so many problems, and hurdles I never knew existed. And I’m gonna say it. it’s hard. It really does suck sometimes.
We don’t often talk about our problems. And for so long I joined in with this chorus. I rode the wave of “ignorant bliss” and pretended to the world, to myself, that everything was perfect. Yet, I knew it wasn’t. There was so many things wrong. Some major. Some minor. There was good things too. Some perfect, some not so perfect.
But for so long I carried all my problems on my [broad-ish] shoulders. I thought I would be able to control everything. I am a control freak, and when things aren’t in my control, my stress levels rocket. I thought to myself, I can handle this, I don’t need help.
And for so long I got away with this. Things ticked by and I had a handle on things. I thought everything was actually going quite well, and that I didn’t need any help. Things seemed to working themselves out. Like they had always done in the past.
But then, things began to slip my grasp. My iron fisted control quickly found itself melting away, and before I knew it everything was falling apart. The world around me I had built, came crumbling down. I desperately tried to save it, throwing my whole weight at the ever-growing ruins, quickly trying to rebuild this false world I had created. But, alas it was too late.
I had failed. Everything I had tried to hide from myself and all those around me spewed out into the open. And I thought so strongly that I had failed. I was always The Strong One. That’s what people called me, and I felt like I had failed.
I remember clearly how, I just broke down, in tears. Any shimmer of silver from the clouds vanished, and in their place rolled in dark thunder clouds. My head was so fuzzy. Nothing made sense. And all I could say was “I don’t want to be strong anymore.”
Too often we tell people “you are so strong.” I believe it’s time to stop. It is time to say to people “It’s okay not to be strong.” It’s okay to feel bad. We all hurt. We all feel pain. At the end of the day we are Only Human.
When things bother us we need to stand up and say it. We need to let somebody know. In our society, we have trained ourselves that this is bad. That being emotional is “weak.” The “you are so strong,” attitude. Men are especially affected by this, including myself, being told it is “unmanly” to feel emotional pain.
The problem is however, that unlike physical pain, emotional pain is completely invisible. We cannot tell the wounds and cuts that exist within someone. Emotional scars leave deeper marks, yet can never truly be seen.
I was the same. I can keep my demeanour so well. I have trained myself never to let emotions slip out. I have created this cold exterior. A barrier almost. This way, I believed I could never get hurt. But this is all lies. Because unlike a physical shield, when an emotional sword hits, the shields just collapses around you.
And yet through it all, simply opening myself up to someone helped. My world was over. It was in ruins. And yet after that it got a small bit better. I was brought back to reality. Back to life.
This was 2014 for me. And as it began to draw to a close I realised that I just couldn’t go on living this way. I was just sick of it all. As I mentioned earlier, it finally got to me. It got too much to control. Thankfully I found myself surrounded by people willing to listen, willing to hold my hand as I rose from the burning ruins of my emotional world.
2015 was going to be the year I became myself again. It wasn’t going to be easy. And it hasn’t. I am physically exhausted. I am emotionally exhausted. But, I am happy again. Not 100% happy. There are still moments of sadness. But I’ve accepted them and I talk with people about them. No longer does every emotion turn into a nightmarish turmoil.
Talking really does help. Everybody at some point feels the way I felt. And most of us, act the way I did in the situation. I just want everyone to know, that at the end of it all we are only human and that we cannot control everything. Sadly bad things happen. And by not dealing with it, it begins to build up until it is no longer controllable.
I broke. But I was fixed. And this is possible with every human. We just need to let someone know that “we are not ok.” And if they say “you’re so strong,” let it be known it is ok to say “no I am not. And I don’t want to be.” Because that truly is the strongest thing you can do. Let people in. And then that sliver lining will begin to shimmer.
All my love,
PS the song that inspired me to write this post