Community Magazine

Stop Pretending

By Nina
Wow - consistent blog posting is difficult in the summer! Sorry, y'all! Please know that, even if I don't post every day, you can always leave a comment on one of my posts or click here to shoot me an email.
Tonight, I write to you having just recovered from a panic attack. During the attack, I rocked back and forth and tried to breathe deeply. I asked a couple of friends for ideas on how to stop the attack, in the short bursts during which I could type. But I didn't tell my husband, and he didn't notice. Instead, I tried to pretend things were okay.
The source of the panic attack is also pretending things were okay. I processed an event with my therapist today which I had previously not confronted, in part because I thought it wasn't a big deal. As a result, I'm now trying to face it head on long after the fact, which is not easy.
I imagine lots of you pretend things are okay, too. When your mom or dad or close friend asks how you're doing, you don't mention the fact that you've been suicidal, haven't eaten in days, or just recovered from a panic attack. Now, I'm not saying you should complain all the time or even tell them every bad thing that happens. However, I'm discovering that there's merit to being open about your struggles. Somehow, it helps to remove their power over you. You no longer have to struggle in secret.
So I challenge you to stop pretending it's okay, stop pasting a fake smile on your face, with just one person. Make it someone you really trust, and make sure they know you aren't asking them to solve your problems; you're just looking for someone to confide in.
Leave me a comment or send me an email to [email protected] to let me know how opening up goes!

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