Don’t Struggle in Silence

June 4: “Silent struggle is not a signal of strength.” (600)

I am sick. And, I am tired of navigating the world as if nothing is wrong.

In a recent video blog, I opened up about how complications with anemia and endometriosis affected how I spent my 30th birthday. Though most of my “friends” (largely on social media) saw an outpour of online joy and excitement, closer friends knew that in-real-life, the fuller story of my birthday included being bed-ridden most of the afternoon after fainting and puking at a barbershop from how intensely my body responds to its monthly cycle (because of anemia).

The process behind drawing this post for the Sticky Note to Self project. It expresses "Silent suffering is not a signal of strength."

So often, we receive messages from social groups, families, histories, media, and cultural norms that tell us to hide our pains and give the world only our best selves. This pressure to always be “on” leaves a lot of people—including myself—navigating this world in silence about the struggles we face. For some, it may be a hidden sickness. For others, it may be a financial challenge. And for more, it may simply be struggles with insecurity, confidence, inadequacy, or even mental health.

I would never want something to happen to me and have my loved ones be left with shock or surprise because they did not know something was wrong. I am not ashamed of my anemia, and I know that there is a community of people who can help me navigate its complications and live an energized, healthy, and long life.

Find the power in opening up, welcoming people in, and owning your human-ness.

Don’t struggle alone.