I am a Superwoman, yes I am
Even when I’m a mess, I still put on a vest with an ‘S’ on my chest
Oh yes, I’m a Superwoman”
~ Alicia Keyes
Are you a Superwoman? Or a Superman?
Do you go around wearing a vest with an ‘S’ on your chest, instead of being honest about how bad the situation really is? I know I do.
Even writing about this is hard – because I’m having to admit that things aren’t always as rosy as I try to make them seem.
During the worst time of my life so far, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I couldn’t bring myself to tell my family, because I felt they already had more than enough to deal with. I think I believed I could sort it out without them having to know about it.
I eventually I told my dad and my sister 3 months later, the day before I went into surgery – because I couldn’t avoid it any longer.
I’ve always seen my job as bringing joy to people – cheering people up. So it’s very hard for me to tell people about the dark things in my life. Where’s the joy in that?
I was talking to my dad on the phone the other day. He still misses my mum, so we generally have very silly conversations, trying to brighten his mood. When, at the end of this particular phone call, I realised he was still feeling very low, I felt as though I had failed.
I know it’s not up to me, really, to “make” other people happy. Nobody can “make” someone else happy or unhappy – it’s the choice of each individual to feel happy or unhappy.
Nevertheless, I find it difficult to be truthful about the pain in my life, because I know that my friends and family tend to worry about things more than I do, and I don’t want to cause them anguish.
I don’t think I’m unique in this. I think, when we’re having a tough time, we tend to hide the truth of the situation, because we’re afraid of two things: looking like a failure or a victim, and making other people feel uncomfortable.
Whereas perhaps, by telling our story, we are giving others permission to be honest. And by telling the truth, we show our strength, and that we are not a victim of our circumstances.
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