Every Sunday, I scroll through the PostSecret blog. I came across it a few years ago and was intrigued. It displays postcards that people have sent in with their secrets on them. No two postcards are alike and every secret tells a different story. Some I can relate to and others I can't. Some make me laugh while others make me cry.
But, it got me thinking. Why do we keep secrets? We harbor these feelings and push them down. We carry this weight around each day. When it gets to be too much, we confide in a best friend, significant other, or family member. We feel the need to apologize for our secrets and mark them as failures. I want to challenge that preconceived notion. I want us to confess our deepest and darkest secrets or our brightest and happiest secrets. Feel the freedom that comes from the release. Secrets don't need to weigh us down. Lift yourself up.
I'll even go first:
I am an addict. I guess you could say that I've been to rehab but I've always referred to it as treatment. Two different words, with different connotations, but similar purposes. Yet, I feel like if I were to admit that I have gone to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction over an addiction for starving myself to death, I'd received different looks and judgment. But, that's just my opinion.
But, I am an addict. When I was at my sickest and lowest point in my life, I found a high in every day. My high was not eating. My high was passing out when I stood up too fast, becoming winded on the stairs, watching others eat foods I would never allow to pass my lips. I was addicted to existing but not living.
With the addiction to starving, came the addiction to exercising. Exercising wasn't meant to be a fun or enjoyable experience. It was supposed to burn, be exhausting, and push my body to its limits in the most unhealthiest of ways.
Today, I see the starved and exhausted bodies all over social media. I see the rib cages, the hip bones, the chest bones, and the hollow eyes. But, unlike the past, I also see the addiction. I see the relentless negative voices and body dysmorphia. I see the beauty and life that is no longer found within their existence.
My secret is that I am an addict. I overcame my addiction by telling others of my secrets. I let others in and my addiction out.
When you are ready, write down your secret. Whether it be in a notebook, a post- it note, or a postcard. When you are ready, say your secret out loud. First, under the protection of the darkness of your bedroom, next in the bathroom mirror, and then to a dear friend or loved one. Allow yourself to admit that you messed up, feel relief over an action that hurt someone else, or feel totally and completely lost in the world. Tell one secret, put it out in the open, and welcome the life it is preventing in.