It has been said that being physically naked is the easiest thing in the world. Baring your soul however is a much, much harder thing to do.
For years I took on the facade of Wonder Woman, there was nothing that my exterior couldn’t do. I worked 7 jobs at once, attended university and escaped to Asia for photo shoots in my spare time. From the outside it appeared I was living a “charmed life”, I was intelligent, I was on posters and in magazines, and I had a lot of friends….but on the inside I was crumbling.
Those who knew me well knew of my depression and my depressive episodes. Through hospital admissions and suicide attempts I STILL managed to keep up a very strong façade, “acting” like everything was ok became second nature.
I used keeping busy as a way to avoid my emotions, I was able to prop myself up with superficial happiness obtained through achievements that I thought made me happy.
Despite being hospitalised three times with depression I rarely spoke of my unhappiness or life battles with anyone outside of my direct family and friends.
It took a very, very long time but eventually I let down my guard… one of the catalysts here was me wanting to help others. I realised the help I received came from people sharing their stories with me, so why not do the same for other people? Time to let my barriers down and share my story (oh the fear!!)
Peeling off the layers one by one I began to reveal the layers of my soul.
I’m going to be honest with you, exposing the truth is raw, it left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of my place in the world.
There were people who advised me to keep it in, that no one needed to know, and that sharing my story would be detrimental to my ‘brand’. Apparently people may think I’m “crazy” (Ha!)
On the flip side there was relief. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, there was a lot of pressure to be this woman who was “amazing”, and had her life together on every front, at every point in time.
The beauty of the whole experience was learning to be true to myself. I found that I was often doing things because I thought I had to do them. I thought I needed to look, be and act a certain way, when in truth I didn’t. The pressure that I THOUGHT was coming from an external source was in fact my own perception. My perceived ideas on what I thought I should do or be. Looking back I could see these were my fears, and not my reality.
Have you ever asked yourself WHY you have a feeling you have to do something?
I had this happen and it really opened my eyes. I thought I had to act a certain way… and why was that? Because society said so? Who is society to determine what you think? Yes there are rules and laws to abide by, but I don’t see any laws or rules about being true to yourself and others about your struggles.
Being transparent may help others, but it will also help you understand yourself. By sharing your journey you never know who you are going to inspire.
It isn’t often that you are the only one who feels a particular way. In fact for every struggle you have there are probably hundreds of people experiencing the same struggle. Imagine how you would feel if you knew you weren’t alone.
For this reason I have decided to strip off, I have decided to be 100% transparent with my struggles. I will continue to be naked, I am no longer afraid of bearing my flaws. Instead I am afraid of remaining silent. For silence serves no one.