How many times have you written a message to a friend, and deleted it? Or started a conversation with your family, then held back at the crucial point, and brushed it off. ‘I’m fine.’ or ‘I’m ok.’ or ‘I don’t want to bore you with my story.’ How many times have you asked someone how they are, to find you know they aren’t being entirely truthful with their answer?
We will all often try to hide the parts of ourselves that aren’t perfect, to protect ourselves as well as others. Whilst this can often feel like pretending to be someone you're not is the right thing to do at the time, in the long term, it’s not doing your wellbeing any favors. It can also contribute to creating unhealthy norms for society as a whole!
With vital conversations around mental health now being had, many of us might now recognize it is ok, to not be ok. That doesn't mean you should keep it bottled in.
Talking is hard. But talking about mental health is one of the most important things we can do to help people to feel more empowered when seeking support. In order to stop the stigma, we need to make it a public conversation where no one is afraid to speak out.
Being unapologetically honest with how we feel and who we are puts us at the center of the conversation. If we all acted like that, it would be harder for society to ignore this issue.
How to be yourself and stop pretending
Why not take a moment to ask yourself why you don't already speak up about what’s hurting you? Why do you protect others from your prob