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.