Friday, 7 June 2013

Behind The Smile

A smile is a versatile facial expression. It can be used to express happiness, joy, comedy and love; but equally, it can express or cover up disgust, hate and sadness. People tell me that I smile a lot. A little girl once said that it would be really hard to tell if I was actually sad because I would still smile. She is right. Most of the time, no one knows that I'm hurting, no one sees the pain; my smile is my mask.

Behind the smile is a desperate sadness, it is a pain that cannot be put into words. I am left with this feeling and I don't know where it has come from or what to do about it. It seems to have a protective mechanism; when threatened with exposure; the pain, like a puppeteer, contorts my face into a smile to combat the vulnerability that is attempting to take control.

I hate my life. I hate what has happened to me and what continues to happen to me. Why must I carry on? Why do I have to do as I'm told? Why do I have to continue to fight? And for what? What good does it do for me? What do I gain apart from more scars? Be positive, I'm told. What other option do you have, I'm asked. I am suffocated by my struggles and all I want to do is scream. This is as honest as I can be about how I'm feeling at the moment. But there are no answers that will take this burden away from me.

I write this with tears streaming down my face. I knew that this eruption was fast approaching. I could feel it gathering momentum over the last few weeks but especially the last couple of days. I tried my best to stop it from surfacing but it is cunning and chose to manifest itself in other ways. Irritation, trouble sleeping, non compliance, and the feeling of a constant lump in my throat were just a few of the signs. I tried to get ahead of the game and resolve the issue before it dissolved me. I tried to give myself space, because that normally works, by escaping off the ward last night so that I could remember what it was like to be free but unfortunately, I was spotted, twice, so had to return. Next time, I must take a mask. I wanted to keep walking, never to return, but there would be nowhere to go without being immediately being frog marched back to hospital. I know what I did was reckless and I know I shouldn't have put my physical health at risk like that, but I was desperate, I wanted to be me again. I have no control over anything in my life and trying to regain it is futile, as I have found out.

I guess this had to happen. I guess, at some point, I had to grieve over the pain and the loss. This is the pattern; once the immediate physical threat has subsided or kept at bay, I unconsciously start to deal with the emotional baggage until it surfaces to the conscious. It guess it is probably better to deal with one onslaught at a time, maybe I should be grateful.

This time, I have no epiphany, no hope inspiring words of encouragement. Just grief. But it is grief that is necessary for healing. This is part of the storm. I've know what's behind the smile and now you do too. Maybe it is the first step to knowing comfort.

1 comment:

  1. Painful to read Stari - I can only continue to pray for things to change for you. There really are no perfect words to say...mainly because little letters on a screen can't take away your grief. What I do know though, is that you have the faith to come through this - we can all see it there laid out across the many colours of the blogs you've posted so far. You've said the kind of things that many of us have felt to varying degrees at some point in life, but rather than withdraw and keep those thoughts inside like most people do when they hit rock bottom, you've laid it all out there for others to see that they're not alone in their suffering. Your words inspire us to just keep plodding on - believing we can get through anything, despite all the rebellion and anger along the way - just like you. Lots of love xx


Please leave your comments and questions here. Some people have had problems with this box so it might be worth saving your comment on a Word document first before you publish it in case it deletes it. Alternative ways to contact me are through Facebook and email on