When I’m upset I hermit. A lot of us do that. We obsess over our own issues and build them up to be these mountains that we have to climb, and we feel we have to climb them alone. We become haunted by the things that stress us out and isolate ourselves from the people around us because we don’t think they could understand what we’re going through — the very unique burden that we carry — or we don’t want to put that weight on them. They’re fine. They’re happy. Our issues are not relatable. We are the very first to ever experience struggle.
No one? Just me?
It’s a very egocentric way to look at the world.
But the problem is that many of us have created these personas that portray a life that is unrealistically carefree. We don’t always talk about what’s bothering us, not even with the people closest to us. We view the highlight reel that is social media as reality and we compare our experiences to that. Suddenly you seem to be the only one dealing with financial hardship because no one talks about money. You’re the only one who has experienced heartbreak because so many people speed through the process of recovering from a relationship for the sake of saving face. No one wants people to understand how much their suffering or how hard it can be to just make it through a day.
When those feelings are repressed it becomes trauma, and trauma has to be dealt with.
A lot of great art comes from a place of angst and pain, but you don’t have to be in pain to create great art. You also don’t have to be fine all of the time. You don’t have to have it together. There’s no point in life in which you outgrow struggle. No emotion is unique to you. Someone somewhere has felt that feeling before. When you let people in, when you talk about the less Instagram-worthy aspects of your life, when you get real, you become relatable. You become fully human and people are attracted to that humanity. People need vulnerability. Everyone needs someone to talk to.
Check on your friends often.
The friends who are doing well and the friends who are struggling. Ask them how they are. Ask them what they need. Make time to sit with them and listen. We’re all connected by our emotions. We bond through shared experiences. You won’t get the complexity of a person through their Twitter feed. Everybody hurts. No matter what your purpose in life is, part of your responsibility is to be a refuge for your people and let them be that for you.