By Kirby Trahan

My name is Kirby. I am a mother, wife, radio DJ, business owner, human.
My name is Kirby. I am depressed, anxious and drink more than I should.

What if we could strip away the non-stop filters and pretty pictures we find ourselves scrolling through, endlessly comparing ourselves to those who seem to “have it all?”

“She looks so put together all the time … so happy… always smiling … Her kids are always perfectly dressed and posed … her house is always so clean … her makeup is perfect … she and her husband look so in love …” Deep down, you probably know it took twenty re-takes, the perfect lighting, three outfit changes, the right filter and a closet full of the mess she moved to make her home appear in order. But somehow it doesn’t matter in the moment. We believe our lives should look like the picture, too. Why?

From the outside looking, in my life looks pretty good. And it is; I live in paradise with my husband and two happy healthy kids, have a “cool” radio job, my own side hustle and a really nice roof over my head. What could I possibly have to feel depressed about? I’m writing this to strip away the belief that anyone’s life looks the way you think. No, my life is not bad; I haven’t suffered abuse or poverty or hit total rock bottom. Yet sadness finds me. I cry often. I get so anxious I want to crawl out of my body. When my husband travels, I find solace at night alone on my beautiful porch with a bottle of Ketel one.

We are so afraid as a society to talk about the things that aren’t pretty. To admit our life is more messy than clean and that our minds may torture us. So we bottle it up, smile, laugh, post pictures that look like it’s ok so people think we’re ok. Why?

If we could learn to be brave enough to answer the question “How are you?” honestly, could we ease some pain by allowing that truth to breathe?

We’ve lost too many lives in our community these last few years, and too many times we hear “I had no idea he/she was going through something” or “I had no clue it was that bad.” We are very good as humans at filtering our lives and letting people only see what we want them to see. Maybe we believe that if people think we have it together, we might actually believe it too.

By suppressing our pain, we allow it to grow deeper inside of us. By not living life honestly, we are doing a disservice to everyone: our partners, our friends, our kids, our co-workers, but most importantly ourselves.

I’m not a doctor; I hold no license; I have zero qualifications as a healer or therapist. Hell, I’m still figuring out how to heal myself. But I do know that talking about our pain is the first step and an immediate release takes place in admitting not just the good, but the bad and the ugly.

You may also feel depressed. Anxious. Drink too much. Have an unhealthy relationship with food. Or with men. You may harm yourself for a release. Or feel like you’re failing at work. In your marriage. As a mom. In life.

Be kind to yourself. Give grace. And breath.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for sharing and perhaps getting the conversation going. I tell my customers I feel ok when I feel ok and most respond with a “come on, you’re just ok?”. I get tired of having to somehow explain myself to them, that I dance around it or just start saying what they want to hear. It’s not fair to not be able to express it without judgement. So thanks for starting the conversation. I’ll do better to say what’s real with me.

  2. I tell people I’m hanging in there. Technically, it’s true. I am hanging on. What they don’t know is that I’m hanging by a very thin, frayed thread and that I fear it, and I, will snap at any moment. And what is causing that thread to fray thinner and thinner? Well one thing is the constant filtered, pretty pictures with perfect makeup in a perfectly clean house and posts about perfect lives, perfect kids, and perfect husbands. Now occasionally I’ll know one of these people personally. I will have been to there always messy (like mine) house or I will have talked to them over dinner about how they no longer feel happy in their relationship. And I don’t know what’s worse. The ones that I know are a load of lies or the ones that I don’t. The ones where I don’t know the person well and therefore there is the possibility that it’s not all a lie for them. Their lives may really be perfect. Those depress me. Why do they get to have the perfect life and I don’t. They are no better than me. I’m a good person. Why am I not deserving of happiness. But the situations where I know it’s all a fairytale, all make believe and make up, those ones upset me too but in a different way. Why do they get to lie to themselves and everyone and have everybody convinced that they are living the dream? Why can’t I do that? Why do I feel the need to be truthful, honest? Why can’t I just lie and have everyone, even the people who know I’m full of shit, envy me.
    I guess what I’m saying is. Not only am I depressed, but these perfect pictures and posts make it worse. I think it needs to stop. People need to stop fabricating these perfect lives. Or at the very least, do it knowing that it can be a serious detriment to the mental health of their friends, family, and anyone who sees or reads it. Some may say I’m being overly dramatic about it but it’s no different from the blame we put on advertisers for making young girls belief they need to be thin and beautiful and that anything less is unacceptable.

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