I’m here. The weekend has been a struggle but one I am working through. I spent a good part of it hiding out under my covers with my fingers poised over the delete button, ready to take down my last post. Shame and embarrassment washed over me like the surf, endlessly rising and falling. I asked myself why I was putting these private, twisted, dark thoughts out into the vast and merciless web for no one in particular to read and for strangers to judge.
But I’ve decided to leave it.
Because…sharing is caring.
I think one of the greatest gifts I have started to receive in the last few years is the gift of others’ stories. To hear them share their own struggles and to find myself in their voice. Over time it has lifted me out of my self induced solitary confinement because I was able to begin to understand that my thoughts and feelings and battles and fears do not separate me from the rest of the world. They do not make me different, evil, crazy, stupid. They make me normal. They actually bring me MORE in communion with others because we are having the same experiences and we can lift each other up.
My exploration into the power of sharing didn’t start by one day turning to a friend and saying “Hey, wanna hear about the sexual fantasy I’m most ashamed of?” (Not that I’m necessarily recommending that at any point in your life…)
I mean – TALK to someone? God no. I don’t even think that was something I knew was possible. The first baby step was through podcasts. I mean can you get any safer than a prerecording of someone that you can’t even see and can stop at any time?
My two favorites that I still listen to and support are:
The show where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share. You want to open your heart and your mind to the vast and amazing world of the human experience? In my opinion, Risk isn’t anything like the other story telling shows out there because isn’t just about a good story, it’s about digging into the depths of what it means to be alive.
The Mental Illness Happy Hour
Never liked the name, but love the show. Paul Gilmartin is out to de-fucking-bunk mental illness. You will not find a more amazing guest list of open, vulnerable, incredible people. And you will hear your story again and again.
There are more podcast out there but these are the two most precious to my heart. Later I would start to move past podcast would find support groups and eventually even a few precious relationships that I occasionally try to open up in. Still working on that. But it all started with brave beautiful souls sharing into the vast and merciless web for no one in particular to read and for strangers like me to judge.
So maybe someone will find my dark inner monologue and find comfort knowing they’re not the only one who thinks those things. Or maybe it will simply help me practice being open about who I am and what I’m feeling.