“Putting on a brave face”. Otherwise known as “suffering in silence”. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, sometimes we can’t bring ourselves to show others what we’re going through.
But, that means that sneaky little issues, like depression and anxiety (and any other issues you feel are relevant), slip through the cracks, going unnoticed by the outside world.
In a world where everyone and their mum seems to have some kind of mental health dilemma, this is shocking. Why do we still feel the need to put on a brave face and not let anyone see how vulnerable we’re really feeling? I don’t know the answers, but we do. And that leads people around us to think everything’s OK, you’re better, life’s peachy. It’s not their fault. They see the brave face we present them with.
But, at the end of the day, it just makes us feel worse, paving the way for frustration, stress, snappiness and all the tears. This is my experience, anyway.
I realise that we all have good and bad days, whether we’re struggling with an issue or not. I also realise that we all need to get on with our lives or else run the risk of falling into (or deeper into) the depression hole. But, like I’ve said, pretending to be OK when you’re not also takes an emotional toll.
People constantly tell me how happy, smiley and laid-back I am. I love that that’s how the world perceives me. That’s who I am, underneath everything; an eternal optimist (this is where most of my frustration arises).
That eternal optimist finds it harder to shine through on the inside, though, when it’s buried in it’s sad, teary, anxious counterpart. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want to be a depressed wreck every day. That wouldn’t be helpful or productive for anyone. I’m just saying, sometimes putting a smile on my face all the time is the hardest thing to do in the world.
I’m sure there are lots of people out there who feel the same.