In My Soul

Smiling on the outside, not so much on the inside

I’m going to be completely authentic here, it’s actually kind of scary to put out here for anyone to read.  But- It’s what I want this blog to be, its why I started it.  Every post I thought about publishing the last week seemed fake…forced.  I needed time to ponder this.

Do you ever step back, away from yourself even and think “How did I get like this?”

I heard this term in a podcast I was listening to last week at the gym…during some ME time I took…the only day I went to the gym in the last week and a half…. but I digress… this isn’t a confession…haha

Smiling Depression.  I’m familiar with Depression (which never seemed to fit me), Postpartum depression (I do believe I had after Colt was born), but WHAT…is Smiling Depression?  Now, I am not a trained anything in the psycho-analytic world.  But what I am, is someone who is perceived as always having it together, achieving things I put my mind to, being driven and motivated. This term resonated with me….

In 2013, I was planning and strategizing a way to develop my “brand”.  I wanted to make sure what I put my heart into was a reflection of who I was and what I stood for.   I reached out to a few people who knew me well both personally and professionally.  I asked them when they thought of me, who I was in person, in business and on social media, what came to mind. (Thank you to AP, JG & JB for your insight and feedback!)

  • open
  • spunky/ high energy (–>I’d like to get THAT back!!)
  • colorful (bright)
  • sassy
  • shine in my eyes
  • fun/ busy & social
  • passionate
  • confident
  • ambitious
  • friendly /easy to be around
  • trustworthy

Wow– thank you.  Thank you for viewing me as this strong character, and truthfully, these are probably words I would have also used to describe myself.  But on the other side, was a girl searching for her worth, her value, her purpose.  Have you been there?  Is it just me?

It’s never made sense to me, how I could feel so conflicted.  How I could I think so poorly of myself, yet also feel so confident and still appear like I’ve got it all together?  I’ve pointed fingers and hypothesized on this, but never landed anywhere that really felt like the right answer.  And then I heard this podcast.  And I spent the last week reflecting (note above– I’m passionate.  Which also means when I start exploring something, I’m all-in)

Ladies.  I don’t.  I don’t have it all together– and chances are the other ladies around you that look like they do, or you think do, don’t have it all together either.  (remember don’t compare your blooper reel to their highlight reels….)

Inside, there’s this voice.  Its not a truth-telling voice.  It’s manipulative and twists things around.  It’s a voice that tells me I don’t measure up.  I’m not doing enough and what I am doing isn’t being done good enough. I’m not worthy enough for people to truly love and value me- including my family. So the voice pushes me not to let others see my vulnerability.  They won’t respect me.  They won’t like me anymore.  I’ll have less worth and value.  And it just stayed trapped in there.  Honestly, that voice has been in there so long, it’s subtle and comfortable.

I’ve mentioned I spent 2016 exploring the unique person God created me to be.  I supposed all of life is a journey figuring that out, but I put intention behind it last year.  And as truth-telling voices became louder, the non-truth-telling voice started to get called out.  What is that thought in there for?  Do I really believe that lie about myself? How do I get rid of it?  As I drew closer to my Heavenly Father, possibly in the most authentic way I ever have, I heard truths about me.  He values me.  My worth is in Him.  He adores me.  I am good enough and I am special.  John 3:16 really sums that up—

For God so loved the world {Mandy} in this way: He gave His One and Only Son (Jesus; gave= to die on a cross & rise again), so that everyone who {when Mandy} believes in Him {she} will not perish but have eternal life. – HCSB version, with personalization by Mandy

Drop mic.

Do I have smiling depression? I don’t know.  I certainly can check some of the things on this list (which I found googling & coincidentally shared by the Today Show around the same time the God-Centered Mom podcast was released):

Tanya Komblevitz, a Chicago therapist, advised monitoring your feelings and noting if you’re experiencing at least five of the nine symptoms of depression on most days:

  • Depressed mood or irritable most of the day, nearly every day
  • Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities that you once enjoyed
  • Significant weight change or change in appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness)
  • Purposeless motions like pacing or wringing your hands
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Guilt or worthlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts

And thanks to Kathi Lipp and her new book Overwhelmed, I’m working on my personal manifesto (Chapter 3). What I do know, is that I am an Adored Daughter of the King.  I have hope. I have worth. I have value– and I AM GOOD ENOUGH.  And you are too! Don’t forget that.  Don’t lose site of that.  NO. MATTER. WHAT. I need help remembering it too.  No matter what I’ve done, what the world tells me, what others (liers) tell me, I didn’t earn it….#AdoredChaos ….Love, Mercy & Grace were given to me.  Freely (We just have to accept it).

**If you find you are struggling with depression, insecurities, unworthiness, etc., Don’t go it alone.  There are friends who love you, resources/ counselors out there to help you find the right tools, and a Heavenly Father who wants to hear YOU and your honest thoughts too. He’s waiting for us to reach out so he can say, “Finally.  I thought you’d never ask.”

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2 thoughts on “Smiling on the outside, not so much on the inside

  1. Nancy Poffel says:

    Mandy, I love you so much! Your honesty amazes me. You are truly a Child of God, a great mother, wife and friend! Please always know I am here for you if you need me! I VALUE you and your friendship!

    Liked by 1 person

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