You know how every once in a while someone on your friends list builds up the courage to talk about the real life shit they’re going through?
The bad stuff that’s going on with them at that moment in their life. Infertility, death, sickness, whatever it may be. They make a long post explaining what’s happening and how they’re feeling and just how fucking awful it’s been to suffer through it so far. It gets like 100 likes and hearts and a bunch of comments and if you go to those comments it’s a whole lot of “thoughts and prayers”, “light and love”, “stay strong” kinda stuff.
This person you supposedly care enough about to be ‘friends’ with has just poured their heart and soul out into the world because they can’t carry their struggles alone anymore and they’re blasted with people telling them they’re “thinking of them”.
The people around you are struggling.
Every single person around you is going through something, whether it’s a little thing or a big thing. Your friends, your family, celebrities, acquaintances. Society has shamed them into silence. Good vibes only, right? Except that’s not real life. Real life is hard and messy. Real life is highs and lows, bad vibes and good vibes, pure joy and complete and utter sadness. But we only share the good stuff with each other. We’ve turned into these people that are constantly presenting how great our lives are. Clean houses, pretty clothes, shopping bags, girl gangs, beach vacations, clear skin, cute babies. What about all the times people are getting fired, in debt, cutting toxic friends out of their lives or are getting stood up? We don’t want to bother anyone, we don’t want to look weak, we don’t want to trigger or offend people.
Plus, it’s easier to post a bullshit photo of our morning latte art than it is to reach out and say “hey, I’m kind of drowning over here”. You know what makes it even harder? When you actually do reach out and get hit with that wave of “thoughts and prayers”. Or when you go online and scroll through the very pretty lives everyone is sharing on social media. It’s hard for people struggling to remember that what they’re seeing is curated, or that when you’re sending them love it means you care. It’s not because people don’t appreciate your thoughts and prayers, it’s because reading a bunch of comments on a status update that are basically just variations of each other doesn’t help that person. They don’t need your thoughts and prayers, they need your help. They need you to reach out to them and offer them a life vest. They need more people to share the real stuff with each other so that they can feel free to do it too. We need to share our laundry piles and our depression. We need to share our messy homes and our messy heads. We need to actually do something to help the people around us instead of just keeping them in our thoughts and leaving a heart on their status update.
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