Every day, I wake up in pain. And every day I get up, and put on “The Act.”
It’s something that most don’t notice.
I smile. I laugh. I keep going.
I experience both joy and sorrow. I live each day with happiness AND anger.
I move throughout my work day without talking about how much it hurts to stand after sitting for 30 minutes.
I teach without telling my students that the reason I don’t use their names all of the time, is because I am afraid my brain won’t be able to remember.
I don’t complain to my colleagues when something happens at work and I have to completely tear down 45 chairs and music stands and then reset them just an hour later.
I sometimes pretend that everything is okay when a friend or family member calls because it is too hard to try to explain how awful things have been and, to be honest, I don’t know if telling them about it will make me feel better or just make me sulk.
All of that takes a toll, and I wind up coming home from work or hanging up the phone feeling deflated, exhausted, and drained.
It’s not that I am being fake. If someone asks, I will share with them. And most of the time I am feeling both angry and happy, tired and excited, happy AND sad. I just try to focus on the positive while I am at work. If I feel like I am going to burst, I talk to colleague. When my husband gets home or my mom calls, I tell that it’s been a rough day and I talk about it. I have a group of supportive friends and family, BUT I refuse to let the pain I feel, the frustration I am experiencing, and the sorrow in my heart ruin my chances of having a good day.
The tricky part with making that kind of choice is finding time to work through all of those feelings and not let them pile up. While I may have had a successful day of teaching, I may feel really depressed when I leave. And making room for my mind, heart, and soul to process all of that is important, but also time consuming.
I am dedicated to taking time to deal with it, but I want to do it in my own time. So I put on a face and hit the ground running, until I am home and can curl up on the couch and allow the sadness to rear its ugly head.
I imagine many people feel like this, but it is so taboo that we all just continue our “act” one scene at a time. Each of us, behind our masks that we remove only behind closed doors.