“I’m good, how are you?”

* 6AM alarm goes off for the seventh time.* I abuse the snooze button almost every morning. In my head I’m thinking, “Do I really want to work today?” while reaching for my phone to quickly turn off the annoying alarm. Grudgingly, I roll out of bed, giving myself the pep talk “You can do this. You can do this.” Silently going through the motions of my typical morning: feed the pets, shower, pick out something you wear each week, get dressed, and out the door. The entire drive to my next destination, all I can do is daydream; subconsciously getting myself to where I need to be. Today, I just so happen to want coffee. Great. Starbucks, here I come.

I grab my mask and enter the small coffee shop, hoping no one wants to converse, but also wishing for a kind gesture that could possibly make my day. Again, I give myself a pep talk while waiting in line to order. “Fix your posture, speak clearly, and be nice.” I place an order for the usual, caramel macchiato iced coffee, add whipped cream. As I wait for my Venti sized coffee, I scan the room, wondering how everyone else’s day is going. Wondering what’s on their mind, or what kind of struggles they may be dealing with. All of a sudden I’m uncomfortable and ready to leave, because my anxiety is kicking in; convincing me that everyone knows what I’m battling with mentally, and because of it, I look like a fool. Nervously, I watch each stranger grab their purchase and go. I am relieved once my name is called. “Sha’la!” the Starbucks Barista slides my cup over toward the edge of the counter, pulls out a straw and says, “Thank you! Have a great day!” As usual, I reply with “Thank you! Same to you!”

Once I make it into the parking lot, for work, I’m hit with the reminder of all the tasks I have to complete, and how I have to face being an adult today. Ugh, *sips coffee.* I scan my badge, walk through the doors, where I am met with my first “Good morning, how are ya?” with great cheer I reply, “I’m good! How are you?” in my head I’m thinking, “Cover up. Make yourself look as present as possible. Walk to your desk with urgency, and be sure to acknowledge everyone with a pleasant “Good morning.” on your way there. Turn on your desk lights, start up your computer, take a seat, withdraw.” Yes, based on how my days have been going lately, I withdraw at work, sometimes. While at work, I go through, on a daily, an average of about 6 different emotions: anxiety, confusion, sadness, awkwardness, worry, relief.

Today, I’ve decided to admit these emotions, allow them to take place, and still look forward to my being okay. I used to think that just telling myself “You’ll be ok.” was a good enough solution to all my problems. When in actuality all that statement does is cover up the true issue. I’m done catering to the perfectionist in me, because sometimes it’s my own worst enemy. Forgive me if this writing is too dark or too deep for you, but my dark moments are just as important as my light. And acting as if I don’t have days like this, moods like this, and feelings like this, is the reason why my days like this have been so often. Excuse me if my “lately” has become the norm. My “I’m good, how are you?” caught up with me, and I’m just reaching for my breakthrough. If transparency, honesty, and wearing my deepest, darkest thought patterns on my sleeve, is the way to getting there, then here it is.

 

I’ve shared all this to say give yourself the time, energy, and space you need to get through. One day you’re gonna have to deal with how you feel under each “I’m good, how are you?” and the weight will be unbearable at times, so do yourself a favor, and stop sweeping how you feel under the rug, to put on a good face for someone else. Dwell in your emptiness, pain, and frustration, in a healthy manner; as best as you can. Don’t be passive about your deliverance or your healing. Don’t allow people who don’t know what it’s like to live in your head everyday, to tell you “Just let it go. Get over it. You’ll be alright.” No. You have permission to cry if you need to, feel depleted if you need to, and feel an explosive hot mess, if you need to. Just be sure to acknowledge it, and leave it there. Don’t be a victim to “it”, because YOU CAN and YOU WILL get through this!

Sincerely,

A girl who’s been hiding behind “encouraging words” and people pleasing for too long.

It’s time she sets herself free.

P.S for those in the back. (This is not a cry for help.) I know this isn’t what you’re used to. I know I’m “the strong friend” I know I appear to always have it together. I know you know me to be optimistic, prayerful, and hopeful. I know I’m always the one who’s there, and has all the right answers when you call, but I get tired too. It’s scary to put things out there like this, but I’ve lived in fear for far too long. It’s gotten me nothing but the same results. I’m human. I get stressed. I worry. I get very anxious. I’m sensitive. I care too much, sometimes. I get insecure, and I don’t always have grateful days. I believe that God is forcing me out of my comfort zone, and it’s manifesting in the most unusual ways for me, but I will allow it. I just ask, respectfully, that you do too. Thank you.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

1 Peter 5:10 ESV