I often wonder about the demons that hide themselves within people. Namely the people I know and love. We hide our true selves under shells believing that nobody will ever find us out. Those who naturally wear our scars on their sleeve are a beautiful rarity. Those who admit from the start that they are plagued with depression and anxiety are few and far between. Yes, those scars bared for all to see, run the majority of the population away. Vulnerability is seen as weakness. Those who wear it openly forces those who hide it, to admit that the same demons also reside in them.
This is uncomfortable at best. When the facade crumbles and all they are left is the truth, is painful. When you are forced to face that which is a part of you, a part you don’t want to admit to, a part you don’t fully comprehend is difficult. Wouldn’t live be a little easier if we all embraced our flaws. If we all found pride in our scars and strength in the battles that we have won. Those who deprive themselves of weakness create a vulnerability within themselves. The truth is, we can not always be stoic and strong. We are human beings. We will fall. We will crumble from time to time. It is knowing how to be in those moments. Knowing how to find the strength in our weaknesses. That is true strength. Never being weak or vulnerable, is not strong, it is ignorant.
I still struggle with this. So often I find myself pretending that I don’t have emotions. Pretending that the horrors of this world don’t phase me. I smile when I am asked about my full-time college student course load, on top of my full-time job, on top of my 23-year-old social obligations, family responsibilities and self care of my mental health. I act like it’s nothing. When the grittiness of my past is brought up, I shrug sometimes, to show just how little it all affected me. The truth is that it did affect me. The truth is, that some of it broke me down and I lay crumbled for a long time. The greatest lesson I am trying to learn is to make peace with that. To embrace the human condition. To own all that I have gone through, all that I have witnessed, all that has built and destroyed and rebuilt the person I am today. I believe that is where true strength lies, in the truth of our lives. In being proud of our human experience.