Dear you,

I know you.

I was you.

And at times, I still am you.

I know how you feel to have the weight of the world on your shoulders and you don’t know what to do. You had this plan. You knew what you wanted to do with your life, but the rug was ripped right out from under your feet. You were the person in high school that had a plan. Heck, you had your whole life planned out right before you turned 18. Graduate college in under four years, start your profession, and get married before 25. Life had another path for you instead and you tried to fight it.  

Now, you sit there with the world crashing all around you, your plans all going out the window, and you have no idea what you are doing. But you don’t ask for help. You don’t tell people what is going on because you are so afraid that it will change people’s view on you. Instead, you walk around with a smile on face, pretend that everything is okay, and keep right on trucking with your day. No one never suspects anything, no one knows, and you are carrying around more weight than what you know to do with and more struggle than anyone can imagine. You continue to smile.

It is so much easier to walk around with a smile on your face because the world does not want to hear “I AM ACTUALLY DROWNING AND I NEED HELP!” That would be a sign of weakness and no one wants to be around that. No one wants be around the person that has an anchor tried to their ankle and cannot come up for air, no matter how hard they try.

You’ve been told your whole life that everyone wants to be around happy people. That is what you focus on. You stick to yourself while your friends never know that your panic attacks and anxiety are taking over your life. Keeping calm is much harder when you don’t have someone beside you. Staying in bed and not wanting to even go out in the world is easier than keeping calm. Your thoughts start overwhelm you, anxiety creeps in, and panic attacks occur when no one else is around. You don’t ask for help, because that’s a sign of weakness. The last thing that you want to is for people to know how weak you are; when you feel on the inside you are crumbling to the ground.

It will always surprise people when you mention this to them, because they look at you, get confused, and don’t believe you. They will say, “Someone as happy as you doesn’t have to deal with it.” “You are always so happy.” The words sting as you just grin and nod and pretend that you didn’t tell them what you just said. Eventually, there will be someone that reach out, bring you close, and tell you they know how you feel.

I am not here to tell you that it gets easier, that all of sudden you will wake up and not feel like you are drowning 24/7, because that just does not happen at all.

I will tell you that you will find your people. They will make getting out of bed a little easier. They are the ones who accept your quirky traits and make life a little easier. They are the ones who know when something is wrong before you can even speak it.

You will slowly start to come up for air and won’t feel the weight of the world holding you down anymore. Life will start to get easier and you won’t feel like staying in bed for the whole day. You will want to go out and have fun, because soon you will realize that you don’t always have to walk around with your smile on your face. You don’t have to pretend that you are always happy to make people like you or love you.

I was you.

And at times I still am you.

The Girl Who Smiles No Matter What


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