I woke up this morning in one of "those" moods...the kind of mood that I tend to not share with other people because it makes them uncomfortable (heck, it makes me uncomfortable) and causes life to get a bit too awkward. So I put on my happy face, jumped out of bed, and put one foot in front of the other, just like I do every other day. I do a great job at faking life when I need to...I always have. Today was no different. But it's tiring and draining and so when I got done with my church stuff, I figured I should take a nap. There's just something about hiding out from the world, under the covers, that is always so inviting. Of course, as happens on days like today, I couldn't fall asleep...there were just too many thoughts and feelings floating around in me...so I opened up my iPad and clicked on my kindle app to find a good book into which to escape.
I use to hate to read, well that's not exactly true. I hated to read what I was told I "had" to read (which is still true today), but I love other people stories and as soon as I discovered the world of non-fiction, I pretty much got hooked on books. Anyway, that was the plan.... to sit in bed, curled up in a blanket reading a book that would allow me to get out of my head and lost in someone else's world. I thought that's what I needed and I got it...that and the complete opposite (if that makes any sense)!
In my backlog of books I've purchased in the last year (with the intent of reading at some point), I came across the title, "If you feel too much" by Jamie Tworkowski. Now to be honest, I am apparently really behind the times. While I remembering hearing about "To Write Love on Her Arms" in the sense of it being some sort of popular "campaign", I really knew nothing about it until today. I don't even remember exactly why I decided to buy this book (although I think it had something to do with a recommendation the kindle app made after I finished "Scary Close" by Don Miller...but I could be wrong). All I know is that as soon as I saw the title, it was like the book was screaming at me "Read ME!" and since I'm definitely in one of those I-Have-Feelings-About-My-Feelings kind of moods, it seemed only appropriate to do just that.
Now because I am me, I read the entire book in 2.5 hours.... I tend to do that when I really connect with something. I get sucked into the story, into the lives and I don't want to leave until the end of the book makes me (and even then sometimes I hold onto the "new world"). There are so many things in this book I needed to read, things I could connect with, words I'm pretty sure I've thought, journaled or even dared to say. While I decided to read to get out of my own head and lost in someone else's world, in a way I found myself back in my own thoughts and my own world with every word... And that's okay.
I'm not trying to say that I've lived the same life of any of the characters. I've never tried drugs, I can't say I've ever intentionally cut myself, and I don't know a single famous person....But... I've felt those feelings, I've felt pain and lost, I've felt like a failure and alone, I've felt like nobody understands and nobody ever will. Even writing this I feel scared of judgment, of not living up to other peoples expectations of who I am suppose to be. But in this moment, I also feel like I've connected with someone...and like I just found out, once again, that I am not alone in the world... and there's a comfort and a peace in that.
I won't deny, because I am who I am and because I have a hard time just letting things go, that after finishing this book, I immediately watched the movie, and started reading through the blog on the website (which I will continue reading when I am done writing this). It's weird to admit to the world at large (okay, let's just be serious, to the friends and family that I know will be reading this), that I struggle and I put on brave faces for them...but I do. I fake it sometimes with you guys.... mostly because I don't want to lose you and also because I fear your judgment. But then I have nights like tonight, where I've found something, a way to connect with other people who feel the same ways that I do, and because for this brief moment I feel less alone and more understood, I am able to be honest... to take my mask off... and to admit I struggle.
This isn't the first time I've admitted that, to some this may seem like old news, but you don't know the half of it. If you could read my journal from the last year you would realize just how much I never say, how much I keep to myself and how alone I have really felt. However, there's a quote in this book that says, "The thing about the idea that you're not alone is that it doesn't do us much good if it's just an idea. We have to do something with it. It's like having no money and then someone hands you a check. You have to take it to the bank". So that's what I'm doing tonight...ever so slightly...I'm opening myself up... I'm being vulnerable... I'm admitting in front of everyone that I'm not as strong as I seem to be. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep. Sometimes I binge eat in order to cover up my feelings. Sometimes I sit in the shower and contemplate if my life really matters. I'm human. I hurt. I need to be able to admit that.
And just so I don't getting any freaked out emails from concerned friends, I'm also fine. I don't usually admit these things because then people start to get all worried and jump to conclusions that they don't need to jump to. I need to be able to talk about these things. I need to be able to be honest and take off the mask sometimes. I think we all do. This shouldn't be a bad thing. Please don't make me feel bad for it. I'm not breaking down. I'm not falling apart. I'm not even depressed at the moment. I am just being real......and it scares the crap out of me!.... please don't make me regret it!
Anyway, to finish off this blog post, I really just want to say thank you to Renee Yohe, Jamie Tworkowski and pretty much everyone whose opened up to share on the website or create the movement.... Like I said, I'm so late to the game, but what you guys have done by telling your story and reaching out is pretty astounding. I'm so glad I came across your story, your book, your movie, your website, and your movement today! Thank you!