My Life Was Falling Apart But I Was Scared To Tell Anyone

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By Alison Jacobson, Guest Author - December 16, 2015

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Most women don't want to share what's really going on in their lives.

Social media has provided all of us a platform to over-share. Selfies abound, bad behavior is celebrated and the world at large knows our daily routine. But while we're willing to broadcast our lives on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, when it comes to having a personal interaction, we often hide what's really going on - especially when our life is falling apart - for fear of being judged.

It's much easier to put it out on social media than have an honest conversation with one person, look her in the eye, and admit that our life - well - sucks.  When it seems as if our friends have a happy marriage, more money, and a great job, it's hard not to try and "keep up." 

It's much easier to put it out on social media than have an honest conversation with one person, look her in the eye, and admit that our life - well - sucks. When it seems as if our friends have a happy marriage, more money, and a great job, it's hard not to try and "keep up." 

I was guilty of this myself. I’ve dealt with major issues in my life: the death of my first son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, my second son’s Intellectual Disabilities, the end of my marriage and the financial ruin it caused, and, finally, my second husband’s rapidly progressing Multiple Sclerosis. I frequently chronicled my life’s adventures on my blog, sharing the details with complete strangers.

But while I was willing to open up online, I kept most people in my “real life” at a distance. I maintained a good front with friends and refused to share how I was truly feeling: overwhelmed, stressed, and scared. Finally, one day, a new friend who was getting glimpses into my world reached out to me and asked two simple questions.

“Tell me what’s going on” and “How can I help?”

For some reason, I threw caution to the wind and shared everything with her – and I do mean everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I figured it would send her running for the hills. I waited for a reply, secretly afraid that I had shared too much. Sure, there are a few close friends who know everything, but they had been in my life for years and lived through it.

For some reason, I threw caution to the wind and shared everything with her – and I do mean everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I figured it would send her running for the hills. I waited for a reply, secretly afraid that I had shared too much. Sure, there are a few close friends who know everything, but they had been in my life for years and lived through it. Sharing all of this with a new friend was unchartered territory. I was afraid that it would alter our new friendship and that she would think differently of me.

Her response was immediate. “My heart is breaking for you. I can imagine how hard it was to tell me. How can I help?” she said. And with those few sentences, I was telling her even more and crying my eyes out. I confessed that while I could talk to literally thousands of people about my story, sharing with one person was close to impossible.

After that conversation, I began talking to more people one-on-one. I shared my story and they shared theirs. For some, it took me to "break the ice" and admit to the challenges in my life before they felt safe opening up and share their own. But, once we started having honest talks, we were able to support each other when one of us was having a bad day. Our friendships grew richer, and we've all grown personally and professionally.

Most women don't want to share what's really going on in their lives. They're afraid to admit to their friends that they're drowning in debt. They feel trapped in abusive marriages because they're afraid of the unknown and don't know how they'll support themselves. They don't admit to the struggles they face parenting a child with a disability. We've been taught to hide our fears and vulnerabilities because they're weaknesses that can be used against us.

The reality is everyone is going through rough times of some sort. Once we admit that we're struggling, keep our ego in check, and have honest conversations with friends, we allow supportive relationships to develop that can lead to true happiness. So instead of hitting the "Share" button, share with a friend in real life.

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