The world we live in can be so utterly cruel and isolating. Relationships are complicated, through social media we often have a distorted sense of how everyone else lives their lives. No one ever posts the bad days. The days where for the first time in months you wake up with a stomach like a washing machine. No one posts their loneliness and often if they do they are mocked for being “attention seeking”. So we go through life reading Facebook/instagram/twitter wondering how everyone is so happy, so on top of life and so loved.
I used to think the one thing that made everyone happy was money. Deep down it seemed that all most people wanted was enough money for food, clothes, labels, cars, houses, jet skis….. delete as appropriate when you get further up the food chain. Then you realise no money is ever enough, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone rich or poor who’s said “I have enough”. However, more than that, I’ve never gone through life meeting someone who’s said “I am loved enough, I don’t need any more”. Tell people you love them.
We can feel happy with what we have, we can love our friends and family; but what the majority of us crave is the security of being loved regardless of our deepest flaws and our own sense of self worth. It’s so easy to put on a front and say “yeah I’m good, amazing, totally fab”. When inside our world can feel frightening and turbulent. I wonder if when someone asked “how’s you?” And we answered “you know something, not great”. Then maybe the honesty of it all would help with the atrocious numbers of people suffering with poor mental health. Honesty would prevail and the urge to compare our selves with the social media tinged rosie lives of others wouldn’t make us feel even worse.
I’m not saying for one minute we should constantly moan or we shouldn’t share our most joyous moment with our friends and family or John that was in your primary five class for four weeks, on Facebook. What I am saying is that it’s ok NOT to be ok. Mental health will only be de-stigmatised when we start talking about it and sharing about it like we would anything else. I’m never done seeing “I’ve got the worst cold” on status, but I rarely see “my heart is heavy and I want someone to reach out to me”. Why? Because we fear being mocked. So we put up selfies (Im the Queen of it) or photos of our kids, cars etc and hope after a few likes the answer to “am I loved?” Will be yes. It won’t. But you are loved.
So what’s the answer? I spend a lot of time wondering if I will get a boyfriend, husband and have the picture perfect family. Guess what I already do. Not the man part but I have a bloody amazing family. I fail to see it sometimes. I make the family amazing because I am the man and the woman and I do a damn fine job. My kids are funny and loved and cool and bad behaved and feisty and smart and amazing and I DID THAT. When people ask me why I don’t have a man I make jokes, laugh and make excuses but the reality is, I haven’t found my perfect fit and that’s ok. I just need to find my love in other things.
So what if you don’t feel loved.
1) Reach out to someone else. Even if you think you have no one there will be someone who feels just like you. Do you ever notice someone quiet or down on FB? Reach out to them and you’ll be amazed.
2) Look at what you already have. Good friends? Good family? A good boss? A nice neighbour? You’ll have something, or someone. You just have to look.
3) Dont be scared to ask someone who you know for sure loves you. Do you love me? If you need reassured then so what?? Get that reassurance and feel warmer.
4) Love you. Genuinely you are brilliant. Tell your washing machine tummy tonne still. Look in the mirror and just say I am loved.