Why do I make myself vulnerable and share my struggles so openly?
First of all, I think it’s important. When I was growing up it would’ve helped so much to hear someone say, “I know what you’re going through, I understand you, and I have similar issues.” Because in moments of struggle, especially as a kid, you feel like you’re the only person in the world experiencing what you’re experiencing.
As a teenager that feeling only got worse for me. I felt alienated from my peers and I pushed away from friends and social activities. I felt like there was something wrong with me that kept me from being open about the things I was going through. While others seemed to be leading normal lives I felt mine crumbling around me. No one else was talking about their personal issues either. Because of that it took a lot longer than it should’ve for me to learn that every single person struggles with something - family, mental health, you name it...insert issue here.
Life isn’t easy for anyone, but we try to make it seem like it is.
We have this way that we conduct ourselves in society that doesn’t acknowledge our problems. Instead we are encouraged to keep personal matters to ourselves. But over the years I think I have started to see that form of societal thought shift for the better.
With the Internet we’re able to easily connect with people who have similarities to us and we create little communities with the people that make us feel like we're not so alone. So, I like being open about my struggles within my communities.
Not only does it feel good to vent my thoughts and feelings - it’s incredibly rewarding if I’m able to help someone else feel validated in what they're going through. I know it’s helped me.
I look at it as being a sort of mentor to people who need someone to understand what they’re going through and offer inspiration, motivation, support, and advice if they want it. I feel like I have experienced quite a bit and made enough mistakes along the way that I'd like to at least use that knowledge to help others.
Of course opening up on a large scale makes one very vulnerable to criticism and judgement, but I'm not going to let that stop me from doing something that I think is important.
Even if it is a little scary I'm going to continue to do it.
And I fully support and encourage others to, as well.
The more open we are the more connected we'll be.