This is what I am doing.
This prompt stumped me for a while. What was the biggest lie I ever told? I told a lot of lies as a kid, I still don’t know why. Perhaps I was just trying to be more interesting? I lied really well. I didn’t like it though. I remember once on the verge of a new year that I vowed this would be the year I would stop. But after all that, I never really told anything important.
But when I thought about it for a bit, I realised the biggest lie I ever told was one I told for years. Whenever anyone asked me if I was ok, I always said “yes”. And that was a lie.
I never really had anything serious going on, no depression or anxiety or anything like that. I was just a lost little kid who never belonged anywhere and didn’t think I had anyone I could trust. Anyone who would have done something even if I had answered “no”. But I was most certainly not all right, and I was not all right for a very long time.
Nobody really asked me much if I was all right when I was younger. So by the time I was in my early 20s and still not all right, I didn’t know how to answer yes. Saying I was struggling and felt lost and alone was a vulnerable thing to do and I was the total opposite of vulnerable. I was badass. I didn’t need anyone, no parents, no man, no friends, no nothing. I was a force to be reckoned with and I was fine, thank you very much. But a lot of the time, I was not ok.
Being a solo warrior was useful as it taught me very much about myself. And about other people. and I realised that other people were having great lives with great relationships while I was busy pushing everyone else away, although their relationships with each other was something that I wanted more than anything. So I set about changing my mindset and trying to be more approachable. Less prickly. Less remote. Less excruciatingly shy. I peeled off my anger blanket that covered every single emotion, little by little, and I fought to dominate the negative self-talk my brain played over and over. Nobody could beat me, not even myself. I would be the boss of me, and I knew that cynicism and suspicion should not be my default setting. It was hard and there were lots of false starts, but one day I realised I was thinking from a place of positivity, and I was letting people in. I still didn’t know how to ask for or accept help, but if someone had asked me if I was ok, I would have answered yes. And it would have been the truth.