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  • Writer's pictureShannon Duskie

The Smiles We Hide Behind

Not necessarily our own. Sometimes we hide behind these cute faces.

As I took this picture yesterday morning, though I was smiling...because how can you not when you’re looking at this?...I had tears streaming down my face.

It’s not that I’m not happy. But the last few days have been hard. Happy things make me want to cry. My patience is short. The demons in my head are loud.

Why can’t you just be a good wife? Why can’t you just make your husband happy? Sorry I’m such a crappy mom that I can’t handle two kids today. Sorry I asked for help because yesterday was hard and all I want to do is snuggle my baby all day. Sorry that I feel like If I’m home with both humans needing me, I’m going to completely lose my shit. Why do I throw things? It just makes everyone upset. It does absolutely no good. It’s something I’m working on. When I feel the urge, I remove anything that could possibly be thrown. I never (usually don’t) throw anything hard and never in the direction of my kids. I want to scream. But that won’t do anything but elevate my anxiety and make the older human cry. Even if I was the perfect ______, it’s still not going to be good enough because guess what? Striving for perfection doesn’t make anyone happy. Not you and not those around you. Because even if you are perfect, other people’s happiness does not depend on it.

At 9am yesterday, I wanted to get a bottle of wine. Have some wine and relax. That’s not going to make you feel any damn better, Shannon. Plus, you’ll have like a glass and be buzzed. One and a half glasses, you’ll have a headache and realize it wasn’t a good idea to begin with.

I’ll rearrange the house. That will make me feel good! Things are clean. In new places. It’s a fresh start. Ahhhh it did feel good. But why was I expecting praise when the other grown human who lives here returned? Why was I doing it expecting praise? I guess it doesn’t fucking matter because I like the new adjustments. I should get the fall decorations out.

Will I enjoy anything today?

Yes. This cool weather this morning. Sitting on my deck. My mint tea in my Nuts About Fall coffee mug. I want to go inside and warm it up and maybe get a little more, but don’t want to make contact with that other human.

I need to meditate. I need oils. I need my own happiness today. I need to rid this negative energy that sucks balls right now. I need Jesus. I’m braving it… I need more tea.

I did it. I went in. While my tea was brewing, I put some Peace & Calming Oil on. I grabbed my high school tennis blanket and a beanie. There was less than desirable interaction. Back outside. Shit. My tea is still not warm enough. I’m going back in.

“I love you, Shannon”

“I love you too, dear. You’re a wonderful husband and father.”

The smiles we hide behind.

What is your perception if I would’ve simply posted the picture above with a #blessed. Everything is fine. Everything is great. She has it all together. Or - when you’re in a hard place, it might be easy to play the comparison game and say why don’t I have all my shit together or ducks in a row? How is this so easy for her and yet I’m over here riding the struggle bus down a long bumpy road?

The truth is. I don’t have my shit together, my poop in a group or my ducks in a row. My ducks are all over the place quacking orders at me and I don’t know which one to respond to first. Which duck is the loudest? Are they all yellow ducks? Do you have a visual yet like I do?? Imagining little plastic ducks hiding around my house quacking orders at me? Just me? Ok.

As I finish this post, I feel better. If you’ve made it to the end of this, thank you for taking a ride through my unfiltered brain. This morning I just allowed the words to spew out through my fingers on the keyboard. Partly inspired by Shonda Rhimes because that’s what she does in her book The Year of Yes. It is now time for Jesus. I’m not going back to proofread. I am going to go warm up my tea again. I need an insulated mug. Peace.

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