Be Yourself

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The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well. 
Joe Ancis

In my journey through depression treatment, I have encountered many things that frightened me. One of the most frightening has been getting in touch with who I really am, and putting aside the person I presented to the world.

For as long as I can remember I have craved acceptance, approval, and admiration. The catch was that I really believed I had nothing to offer. I was also very afraid of being ridiculed – either in my presence or behind my back. The only way I could think of to guard myself against that kind of harm was to create a fictional character. I thought this pretend version of me was everything I was not. Confident, nice, attractive, smart, happy, and engaging. I was wrong. The false version of me was really plastic and shallow. She was not a real person, therefore, she was incapable of feeling any real emotion.

My motto was “Fake it till you make it“. That attitude was tiring. I had to keep myself wound so tight – hoping none of the real me leaked through. In my mind, one of the worst things that could happen to me was if I relaxed for one moment, and let any part of the real me surface.That fake person guarded my heart – making it easy for me to keep the world (and myself) from being able to see the real me. No one really knew me, including myself.

Eventually, I got too weary – soul weary – to keep presenting the fake me. I was so depressed that the person I could have been was still hidden away – underneath sadness and pain.

We are what we believe we are. ~ C.S. Lewis

The first person I showed the real me to was my counselor. She was safe. Unlike other people, she is trained to not be judgmental. I did not have any worries about what her response to the real me would be. If I went in and said “I feel like crap today.”, her response was usually “Ok, do you want to tell me why?” Other people – who do not have her training – usually responded with advice like “If you would just get out more you would feel better.”

Eventually, the real me – that I was showing the counselor – started showing up in other places. Not often, but often enough for me to realize that life was so much easier as the real me. I became determined to do away with the pretender. There were three key things I did that aided me in that process.

1. I began sharing things about myself with other people. Usually, it was something that I may have not done exactly the right way, however, at the same time it was humorous. I learned that people enjoy hearing some of the silly things I do, and that I do not take myself so seriously that I can’t laugh at myself.
2. I started listening to other people – really hearing what was on their hearts, and minds. I listened without offering advice – unless asked – and let them know that I cared about them.
3. I learned how to relax. Not only by myself, but with other people as well. I found it was impossible to build walls up between myself, and other people when I am truly relaxed.

Who are you? Are you a different person than you allow other people to see? If so, try being yourself for a change.

Margaret Tidwell

I am a 32-year-old blogger. I write about my life and my struggles with Multiple Sclerosis. I also am a huge book worm and I have been doing book reviews for years now. I also blog about adoption, Multiple Sclerosis, and things that go on in my life.

Margaret Tidwell

Margaret Tidwell

Margaret Tidwell

Margaret Tidwell

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Comments

  1. The Blog Writer says:

    I wanted to applaud your story! This was heart-warming. 🙂

  2. New follower here from i love my online friends monday hop:)) Your post is very heart warming:))
    Happy Blogging to ya

  3. Melissa Shell says:

    Thank you very much!

  4. dana dillon says:

    love this look…. feels good to me..hugs melissa keep on inspiring all of us..and kiss your new grandbaby for me..shes so cute…yummy

  5. Good Afternoon,
    Great article about yourself! I admire your desire to change and being more truthful about yourself and your life. I never tried to be someone else, I guess I always have been straightforward like it or not. There was a time when I was a child and was affected by the negative thoughts of people around me. The obstacles of my life made me so strong and unbreakable, now I laugh at those weak moments. Hope I will see you in my blog soon: http://pfinusa.blogspot.com. Have a great evening, Greetings from Terrans

  6. tawna6988 says:

    Blog hopping today and am your newest follower. I hope that 1 of my blogs interests you too.

    http://tawnasplan.blogspot.com
    http://btrbb.blogspot.com
    http://tawnassecret.blogspot.com

    I also do a weekend blog hop, you can link up on tawnasplan.blogspot.com open every Friday-Sunday!
    Thanks
    Tawna

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