Some people wear a brave face, still smile and give back in their communities, but, at the end of the day, they walk into a lonely home with no one there to give them a hug ,or just listen to what happened in their day. Their families might all have passed on, or they live far off and cannot make it to see them, because of work or financial obligations. Whatever the case, the holidays in the eyes of these people are just like any other another day- ALONE. This time of year is a bit more difficult, because in the back of that person's mind everyone else is spending time with family, having fun, and being thankful for another successful year.
We all are all able to deal with loneliness in some shape or form, and for most, those feelings do not last long, but for some, that feeling never goes away. Some people workout as a small break in between work and home, or take up a hobby, play video games or learn to play an instrument, so they would not be sitting alone in a dark room with nothing more than the TV on as noise. Busy time is better than the constant presence of silence.There are some people, however, that grind through the day and wear a smile even through their sadness. What if some are not brave enough to have an outlet? During the next few months, suicide rates increase because of this; some have thoughts that they are not good enough, and this can wear them down by making them feel less than they are worth. And before you know it the holidays pass, and some made it through ok, and some have a deeper sense of worthlessness.
People that are lonely for a long period of time are used to wearing masks and have mastered the art of small talk and fake smiles. Most of those people have become great actors, and are never found out. They became exactly that, a master of masking their emotions in public. It's really hard to know who exactly these people are. So what do we do? How do we know? I wish I had the answer. The only answer I have is to be kind to everyone; go out of your way to be a friend to those around you. A small act of kindness in someone's day may bring them a bit of light within the darkness of their day.
With Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, we can always pretend that we have the picture-perfect, happy life. Pretending is all over social media, the perfect home, family or relationship, not many of us show our real nonfiltered life to the world. What happened if we did show others our sadness and left the filter off? Sadly, people wouldn't be your friend. You would be blocked or deleted, because no one wants to hear about your worries, they want to see the happy filters that are used to portray our life.
I was told to write about what you know and write about the thoughts in your heart. You may even write a piece that is engaging and something worth reading to the end.
Emotional wellness is a huge part of how we tackle our day. Our brain can trick us to believing that we are a failure; if it wants to, it can convince us that we can do anything, and it can convince us to just give up. Our moods can dictate how we function at work, how we workout, if our dreams are just all smoke and mirrors. This opens up the door to either give up, or build the strength forge forward. Whether we feel like a failure or a success, we believe anything our mind tells us. Our thoughts can stop us or make us fly. How do we overcome this overwhelming feeling of being a failure if we are really alone without anyone to talk to? No friends, no family, no one but yourself?
I have no answer for this; I wish I did. I would want to scream it from the rooftops and help the world if I could. I battle with this type of depression everyday. There are only a few people who know this about me. Most days are good and I feel like I can tackle anything thrown at me, and some days I hide behind my own tears of that feeling of worthlessness. I help so many people, I listen to everyone’s ups and downs. All of them searching for the same thing, to be a better version of who they are now. I hear their cries for help, and I’m glad to help; I never think twice about it, even if my day is on the same level as theirs. I have truly become a great actress, I still have the realization that life isn't as bad as I make it out to be, and I still have some fight left, so I want to share that fight with whomever wants it, and trusts me enough to confide in. It does give me focus and a sense of accomplishment that I might have changed someone's life for the better by just being there. However they perceive me, as a role model, or just giving them words of encouragement, this may have changed their attitude for that one day. It just maybe gives them hope to move forward one more day and fight.
I have my good days when life is happy. I had a killer workout. I had a great group of members enter my gym that had nothing but smiles for me, and we had tons of laughs in a session, or I was successful at work, getting people on a much-needed program, and finally getting them to believe in themselves.
Then there are most days...I am sad. I smile through my tears that linger in the corners of my eyes. I feel like I am a failure and I have no friends, even though I do. My cell phone may not go off with texts, even though I have amazing people in my life for a long period of time, but mostly I feel I am invisible within a room full of people. I was always told I was a loser and I would never amount to anything, and a few other things about my character had gone under attack for years, now leave me believing that it must be true. How can it not? I was told this all my life. Maybe that is why I will never let anyone believe this about themselves. I don't long for attention; I don't want that actually. I am very self-conscious and I’m known by many, without being truly known. So I put on a mask, thereby only allowing for certain people to dive deep into who I truly am. There are people that I would trust with my story and my tears; and for me, those people are rare, and far and few between. The rest only see the actress wearing a mask, being who I need to be for them.
The next few weeks for me will be spent alone. While most are with their loved ones, I'll be at home, sleeping and watching TV, wondering why life has to be so lonely. I've done this now for many years, and, YES, I would love to find someone to share these moments with, maybe someone like me. But I'm used to it and I have learned to cope, but, none the less, it's still one of the most difficult times in my life. So remember when you are sitting around your Thanksgiving Feast or the Christmas tree, there are people out there that could use a hug or a smile this holiday season. You could be the person that saves them for another day, or even gets them through the season which is happy for most, and miserable for some.
Its funny sometimes how life works! Just as I am actually feeling happy, hopeful, and believe that I might be on the verge of finding happiness, I get shot down only a few hours later and spiral back down into the abyss that I am familiar with. Then low and behold someone sends me a text to say “HI, come and meet me and see what we are doing! You will love it! I thought of you and just knew this was something that inspires you so please come!” We chatted all night, and before you know it, I am genuinely smiling and laughing again. That same night, right before another friend of mine turns in for the evening, she reaches out to me and asks, if things are ok? We chat for a bit, make some plans for the day, and before I know it, instead of sitting at home on a perfectly good sunday afternoon, I have someplace to be, and a workout partner wanting to play. Then once again, there is hope; there is a light shining in the darkness. Its that simple. Reach out, be a friend, make someone feel that they matter, become someone's friend, you never know that your text came through in the nick of time to brighten someone's day and bring them out of a sense of not belonging.
Life can be hectic and the holidays can add to it. But be someone's light, text someone you haven't spoken to in a while, be a positive in someone's life, give someone a meaningful hug - the world needs more hugs anyways! Don't be afraid to reach out to someone this holiday season; you never know what a difference you can make in someone's life!
This article is dedicated to my friend Crystal and Amy you came through with some light when I was feeling the darkest.