How I stopped pretending to be well

 

When everything was going badly in my life, or almost, I was trying to pretend to be okay. I don’t know where I found the strength, where I got the energy to keep a smile on my face every day. I think I preferred not to think about it because if I stopped for a few minutes to think about all the things that were causing me to feel bad right now, then I would have collapsed. And I couldn’t afford to. Causes of sadness, fed up, angry, desperate, I had them and I have them; just like everyone else. And a little more than the average lately.

But I’ve been pretending to be okay.

I put my life on automatic pilot, I was aware that I was pretending but I was trying to keep control at all costs. My emotions, my feelings, my life. Why did I do that? Because I had no choice. If I let go, everything was going to fall apart. And nothing and no one could help me get back on my feet, rebuild what I had destroyed. So every morning I would wake up with rage in my stomach, a smile on my lips, a mask on my face, and I would dive into the big bath. “I go in, I don’t think, I have to. I pretend to be fine, because showing that I’m not well will make me hit rock bottom. And I tell myself that if I can hold on one more day, one more week, one more month like this, then I’ll be better. It will change. Something positive will happen to get me out of this hypocrisy that I impose on my conscience, that I impose on myself. So while waiting for this sign, this change, I hold on to life and pretend to be well. And finally, the trigger appeared and I stopped pretending to be well to be just good with myself.

Pretending to be well is lying to yourself.

I’ve been strong for too long. I know I have. Yet I collapsed at times but I managed to get up again. And I’m proud of that. And grateful. Only today life has decided to remind me that my strengths can abandon me and that while lying to others is possible, lying to oneself cannot last forever.

Pretending to be okay is a form of betrayal to ourselves.

There is a time for everything as they say so well, a time to act and a time to think. And now I feel that the time has come again to ask myself the right, the real questions.

Deep down inside, I know very well that I cannot continue to pretend to be well, to lie to myself like this.

But I also know that I don’t want the reality of my life to make me lose control of it, to make me sink. I have to find the right, the right balance between thinking and acting, between my thoughts, my emotions and my actions.

There are times in life when we refuse to think because we no longer have control over things, time slipping through our fingers, events happening one after the other. We do what needs to be done and we bury in a corner of our brain the big decisions that will irremediably have to be made at a given moment.

Pretending to be well, in addition to being a self-imposed lie, is also a huge waste of energy and a sign that you have lost control.

Sometimes we need to admit that we have lost our way, that we need to refocus, to know where we are in our lives, and pretending to be well is not the way to solve our problems.

The difficulty? To stop this mechanism, to face our fears, to make decisions to get better and above all not to pretend any more in front of others. This step is often complicated.

Pretending to be well in front of others: I have created a socially correct self.

Family, friends, colleagues, your entourage, all have a false image of you. You are in their eyes the smiling, pleasant, funny, good humoured, attentive, helpful and available person. So much praise, so many qualities!

You have created in spite of yourself an almost perfect social character to make you accepted, to accept yourself in the eyes of others.

To silence your worries, your malaise seemed to you the best thing to do, the best attitude to adopt in “society”. You made up a socially correct self from scratch, a self that pretends to be well and to control its life in front of others to give yourself the illusion and keep part of your life under control.

Only at some point in our lives, pretending is no longer possible and being socially accepted begins to be insufficient, to lose all meaning.

Smiling when we don’t feel like it, trying to be loved by everyone and to be perfect, is wearing out and we lose ourselves. We convinced ourselves that we were obliged to be happy, happy and tolerant of everything and at all times. Pretending that everything is fine is a painful thing, and it is time to realize that. There are difficult circumstances that require negative emotions such as sadness or anger, and one should not always repress one’s emotions behind a socially correct mask.

There is nothing more painful than trying to pretend to be okay when something hurts inside.

It ends up turning against us, as we enter a spiral that absorbs and overwhelms us. We have to allow ourselves the right to let go, accept that we can’t control everything and sometimes, yes, break down.

Even if it is possible to deceive others, you cannot deceive your conscience.

Pretending to be fine: when our conscience says stop!

By dint of pretending, our negative emotions develop and start poisoning us, because not only do we “deceive” others, but we also pretend to be fine by looking at ourselves in the mirror, which is not true.

For this reason, it is necessary that we get rid of the obligation to always be perfect and begin to show ourselves as we are.

Pretending to be what we are not, ends up causing us discomfort. We develop negative emotions such as irritability, anxiety and despair, then real symptoms that are dangerous for our health such as irritability, anxiety, fatigue or insomnia that can end up becoming a real illness, depression.

Our conscience is there to call us to order, ordering us to keep our authenticity, to remain who we are. In the same way, it is important that we allow ourselves to make mistakes and not be ashamed or feel guilty about them.
 
If we face all this, we will be able to take better care of ourselves and reinvent our lives. In order to achieve serenity, we must accept our share of shadows, and not constantly try to pretend that there is a light that no longer shines in us. We just have to give ourselves the time to rekindle it and get better, and that requires honesty that we owe to ourselves.
 
Pretending to be well is a long and insidious self-destructive mechanism that can lead you to the worst.
The most important lesson in our lives is to get to know, accept and love ourselves, even if it means getting rid of certain limiting beliefs, getting away from certain situations or people and making decisions. Of course, this will not happen in a day, but getting rid of this obligation to always be well when it’s not, allowing ourselves to welcome our emotions and analyze them, and getting back on track with our lives is the right thing to do.
 
Finally, I no longer pretend to be well. I’m fine, really.
So it can be difficult, painful, because we’ve been putting on masks for a long time, sometimes years. Mask of a good spouse, a good parent, a good friend, a good colleague… These masks of appearances, of pretending, weigh heavy and sometimes fall off after a click, but often on their own without you really deciding, after having held on too long.
 
So it’s not surprising that those around you don’t understand because you have always pretended to be fine. You yourself got lost along the way, so give them time to rediscover who you really are.
 
Because one day, whether you do it voluntarily or not, you won’t pretend anymore.
Sometimes it’s because we can’t take it anymore, it’s true, that we’re at the end of our strength and we’ve cracked. But in the end, it is an evil for a good. We must give ourselves time to rebuild and rediscover our true personality.
 
An ordeal, an event is often at the origin of this change, and serves as a trigger to transform the ordeal into an opportunity for growth. This is often the case for people who learn that they are sick, or who almost lost their lives. It can also happen after the loss of a loved one, once the mourning process is over.
 
Voluntary or forced, after an ordeal or a trigger, this awareness is the first step towards our “emotional healing”, towards our well-being, towards a reconciliation with our conscience.
It is as if we realize the value of life, the urgency of living truly and no longer pretending to be well and to be someone we are not.
 
You don’t have to be strong all the time, you don’t have to pretend you’re fine every minute. Accepting your weaknesses as your strengths is the best way to balance your emotions and stay in control of your life.
 

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