Some days, I’m lucky to get out of bed. To wake up into a world that puts me down, judges me, laughs at me, rolls its eyes at me, and makes sure that any moment I have confidence is fleeting.
This isn’t just because I’m a woman, men walk into that world everyday too. Don’t cry, you can lift that, hold your composure, don’t be a creep but talk to women first, have confidence but not too much or you probably take steroids.
Not only are we bearing down the weight of our society’s gaze but our personal realities could be crashing against the walls of our skull trying to break free, and all we can do is keep the tears in.
We are warriors in our own minds, conquering the darkness that latches on so tightly. And we think we are doing so well. Until we hear, “Where’s your smile today?”
I don’t know, maybe glued to my bed with my depression. Maybe it’s chain smoking cigarettes out back with my anxiety, or maybe it’s hanging by its neck in the lobby with my hopelessness.
This incessant demand for a smile to be pasted upon my face for the world to enjoy is nothing but an inconvenience that I just can’t handle anymore.
I understand that it is common pleasantries to ask people to smile. But I’d like it better if it wasn’t.
I’m known for how positive and bubbly I am. It is part of my disorder to be extremely high one moment and drowning in my lows the next, but my public portrayal is often happy.
Because it’s just easier.
But when I don’t have the energy, I don’t need to be reminded how miserable I am. I’m just trying to make it through the day.
And I don’t need to smile about it.