I Wasn’t Smiling on the Inside
I wasn’t smiling on the inside.
I can remember this time in my life, these years of my life, like they were yesterday.
I was so sad, so broken and so lonely, but no one knew, I hid it so well (atleast I tried) that I often felt like I was hiding it from myself. And even people who picked up on my sadness, had no idea about the depths of it. I kept my secret close to my chest.
Although I have talked about it in small group settings, I have never really been public about how extremely difficult the immigration process was on me mentally and emotionally.
In all of my excitement to move across the world for the man I loved , I didn’t think about the emotional toll it would take on my soul, I didn’t think about only knowing one person in a country that wasn’t mine, I didn’t know how lonely rural New Zealand would be for me, I really had no idea how lonely I would feel.
I never thought about the deep grief I would experience leaving all I knew to be true behind me – my country, my family, my friends, my career, a piece of my soul, a part of me. A grief that would later consume me. I had no idea my greatest struggle to date would be my struggle with loneliness.
Up until this time I had never experienced loneliness, I had never experienced the feeling of having no one, no one to confide in, no one to talk to, no one I felt understood me.
Unless you have experienced loneliness, it’s extremely difficult to understand.
At that time, I had my boyfriend, he loved me and I loved him. He did is best to understand, but I also did my best to keep the darkness that I felt from him. I’m not sure if it was shame or embarrassment or fear of being more misunderstood, but I kept it close to my chest. I didn’t want him to think it was his fault and to question my love for him
I also, had my family and some dear friends, but they were across the world, I didn’t want them to worry, I didn’t want them to think I had made a mistake moving across the world (even though I wondered at times).
Technically having a loving man, distant friends and family I could call, you could say I wasn’t lonely, but loneliness is a feeling, a feeling that becomes your reality.
If you let it loneliness consumes you, it will and I let it.
I think the biggest wake up call for me was hearing some farmers talk about a farmer who had recently taken his life, as they talked about his loneliness, his sadness and that he never talked to anyone after his wife died, I realized they were telling my story and I didn’t want mine to end that way.
I knew I had to take serious action towards my mental and emotional health -I had to dig in really deep at this time in my life, I had to want to live more than I wanted to die.
For me it was opening up to a few friends and my man about how I was feeling, doing regular mindset work, moving my body regularly and being mindful of what I ate, using essential oils for on-hand-emotional support, regular chiropractic check ups to keep my nervous system balanced, working with a coach to shed the S#!T that wasn’t serving, doing whatever else it took to get my mind and emotions in a healthy state and lots of PRAYER and conversations with my Creator.
I also began sharing my story with others in rural New Zealand, especially with farmers, it filled my soul to support others and to know for myself, I wasn’t alone and so they knew the same.
I look back at those days and I am grateful for that time as it has made me who I am today and allowed me to deepen “my why”, but most importantly it’s allowed me to understand the pain that so many suffer silently and to be more mindful of what others may be hiding behind a smile. And I am so grateful I realized that I needed to make massive shifts in my life before it got worse.
On the other side of it all, I can see so clearly, but I’m the depths of it I could t see at all.
I share this post today, for two reasons:
If you are reading this and you resonate with it and you too are hiding your pain, know that you are not alone and that it is OK to ask for help, to start the conversation and if you have no one you know you can talk to message me.
And if you can’t resonate with this, but can understand a bit more about what even the person you love the most may be hiding about the way they feel, be mindful and don’t be afraid to ask simple questions, “How are you really doing?” Or “Do you need anything?” Or “How can I support you?”