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We Look Like The Perfect Couple But If They Only Knew ....
Feel like you have people fooled into thinking you're fine, kids are fine, everything is fine but really - things are falling apart and you've never felt lonelier?
Thank you, thank you for sharing this weekly newsletter with others. If you’re a subscriber - this week I am giving you a big pep talk, so if you need some encouragement - listen to the audio.
Here’s a truth that might bring you some comfort… everyone, and I mean E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. has issues. (I know you knew that - but still, sometimes we need a loving reminder.)
No one is above the daily grind and the pain and suffering that comes with being alive.
That person you are comparing yourself with on social media or reality television?
The couple who lives in your neighborhood?
The successful co-worker or family member?
They have issues they're dealing with too.
Maybe their marriage is great, but their relationship with a child is strained.
Maybe their finances are impressive, but they're struggling with mental health.
Maybe they’re attractive, but they're deeply lonely.
Even the bestselling “self-help” authors, coaches, and inspirational influencers - people who make a living telling you how to improve your life - all have issues they're dealing with.
If you have a beating heart, you are struggling with something.
Let’s not let the fact that we love someone who is struggling with substance use disorder make us feel different.
We don’t need to feel ashamed or embarrassed.
The truth is: that the ones we love are wonderful people who struggle, just like everyone else walking the planet.
If you would like to project the image of a happy family as a defense mechanism, that’s fine. You do you.
You definitely don’t need to attempt to be vulnerable with everyone by filling them in on your personal issues.
Maintaining a layer of protection by presenting a healthier family to your community than your reality - is okay. That can be a healthy boundary.
Just know, that the “messiness” of loving someone struggling with addiction is nothing to be embarrassed about.
I have a friend who is a member of the women’s “fancy bougie club” in her community (this isn’t actually a club, but you get it - basically, the fancy moms).
Whether she was in the grocery store, at the car wash, or walking with friends, she looked amazing. Her hair was blown out, her nails manicured, matching clothes, the works. She even wore silk scarves(!!!), and they looked stunning. So impressive.
Her daughter won local beauty pageants, and her sons were captains of their sports teams. All three of the kids were in fabulous colleges, and the pictures on Instagram of their family vacations were incredible.
And to top it off - she was NICE! Like, truly kind. Ugh! Can you believe? lol.
If you passed her on the street, you might be envious of her fancy life, her sense of purpose, and her privilege.
Over the years, however, she has trusted me with some of her greatest struggles. She taught me that if you get the special opportunity to get a closer look, everyone has pain and issues they would rather not have aired in public.
You’d just never know.
All of this to say, this disease can be so consuming we can feel like our suffering is so unique that our pain is unrelatable.
Your pain makes you normal and completely relatable. It’s ok that things are not ok right now.
You are doing the best you can, and so what if it’s not perfect? Perfection is a lie anyway. Be yourself. No need to change who you are or your personal story.
Let’s not white-knuckle it and work so hard to achieve the lies of perfection other people are projecting.
Addiction and loving someone suffering from addiction is absolutely nothing to ever be ashamed of. Our lives may or may not look perfect to outsiders, but the fact that we are struggling makes us just like everyone else.
I would love to hear what’s going on with you this week in the comments.