Sunday, March 27, 2011

You don't wear my chains

Everyone has problems. Some are enormous and some are not.  The young guy who goes to your church tried to commit suicide four years ago. That married couple you know that just seem to have life so easy? The husband is addicted to porn. That man who you see at the coffee shop has insomnia. Those people down the street who always smile and wave? She suffered from post-natal depression. These old people? They could never have children. That perky teenager at the local takeaway store? She cuts herself. That teacher who goes on all those holidays all the time? She wants to get married but her boyfriend doesn't. That woman with the three beautiful children? Her mother is sick. That man who is always on stage with the local performing arts society is constantly questioning his own worth. The beautiful woman who you see at playgroup and whose husband sings so well and seems to adore her? They are struggling to make ends meet.  That woman over on the other line at the supermarket? She struggled with anorexia as a teenager. That moody pre-teen has a father who has just left and she thinks it's her fault. And maybe some people are just struggling with life in general.

It's easy to look at people and think they've got it all together. But how well do we really know those around us? We don't share everything. Sometimes we don't need to. But at the same time, don't judge another person based on the tiny bit you know about them.

Often I get quite frustrated because, (living in my home town especially) I am surrounded by so many people who know me. They've seen me grow up, or they know my family, or they are my family- and therefore they make their judgments on me based on what they know. But we don't know everything. You don't know people's innermost secrets. You don't know what's going on in someone's mind.

I struggle with my self worth many days. I have trouble looking in the mirror sometimes. Many nights my husband comes home and I torture him with my behaviours, for no good reason- simply because he's there. As a  teenager I had huge problems with my body image and struggled on the brink of bulimia in my final year of school. I had problems with friends and social interaction sometimes at school and spent many of my childhood days hiding in the library or in the toilets. I worry some days that I have post-natal depression (I don't think it's possible not to have your first child and not struggle with PND on some level). And that's just a fraction of what is in my head.

This is not to be all doom and gloom and say 'Oh look at me, isn't my life hard? Feel sorry for me!' Life is not all pain and difficulty. But I am trying to say; Look at me, I have GREAT family support, and many of my life lessons have been relatively easy. So if I struggle like this, how much more might others?

You can't tell who people are just by looking at them. Now I know that there's some horrible things that happen to people. Many people have been dealt terribly unfair blows. And some of us are just dealing with the little everyday things that come our way. But people's problems are just that. Their problems. We all struggle with something. But regardless, I just think that we shouldn't judge books by a few pages.

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