Smiling On The Outside

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

I woke up today, and I felt like two cents but spent an hour trying my best to look like a million bucks. I dragged myself to work (kicking and screaming), and when I arrived, the first person I encountered said, “good morning, how are you?” My response, “I’m great!” Great? Really??

Like many days, I was smiling on the outside but crying on the inside, at times even screaming. I screamed out of pain, frustration and sheer exhaustion. Muscle pain and weakness was rearing its ugly head.

Although these feelings are familiar to those battling chronic pain and muscle weakness, unfortunately, individuals suffering from anxiety and depression experience similar internal struggles as well.

At some point, most of us have struggled with some degree of anxiety or depression. Maybe, it was due to the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship or a job loss. Sadly, millions of individuals in the U.S. alone deal with this internal war on a daily basis. Yet, they are smiling on the outside.

Today, we have so many pressures to be perfect, or at least almost perfect. I am the mother of college age children, and over the years, I have watched the level of pressure evolve from school work and athletics to school work, athletics and social media.

Life is a journey, and as we travel from one stage to the next, we pick up a few life lessons along the way. We learn that it is perfectly acceptable not to be great and to share feelings of pain, anxiety and depression with family and friends. Also, we learn if we change how we think about ourselves and not worry about how others view us, then possibly we will change how we view ourselves.

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