Hidden Struggles

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We were talking to each other in the teacher’s lounge. She was making copies, and I was cutting out laminated papers with sharp scissors. I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing, and I suddenly cut right through my skin! That area between your thumb and pointer finger. I wanted to faint! But for some reason, I didn’t make a noise. I kept on listening to her talk, and I never said a word! All while holding a tissue over my bleeding hand. 〰️ Maybe it was because I was intimidated by this older, wiser teacher. Maybe it was because I felt so stupid by what I’d just done. Maybe I just didn’t want her to make a fuss. Maybe I just needed to finish getting ready for the students who’d be arriving in 10 minutes. I don’t really know. 〰️ But what I do know is that I’ve often suffered silently without telling a soul. I’ve been embarrassed in conversations but haven’t let on. I’ve been sad, depressed, and anxious but kept it all inside. 〰️ Maybe it’s because I’m introverted and hate any attention on me. Maybe I just don’t want others to worry about me. 〰️ Why am I sharing this? Because so many people are suffering in this world. Someone that appears happy, put-together, beautiful, handsome, confident, or lucky may not be feeling that way on the inside. 〰️ Anxiety, depression, insecurity, and even illness may not be visible. 〰️ Before assuming we know someone or before writing a person off, we need to remind ourselves that we are ALL suffering in some way. This brings great compassion and leaves an openness for understanding, even when first impressions aren’t great. Basically, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

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Kim Mavavich