role play.

i used to pride myself on being able to make people think whatever i wanted them to of me. i could create a character, play a role, and mould strangers – sadly even friends – into believing i was exactly that.

i was the girl who smiled when everyone else was stressed.

i was the extra girly captain of the cheerleading team.

i was the punk-lover with homemade necklaces and weird hair.

i was the i-don’t-give-a-fuck girl.

i was the party animal.

i was the studious nerd.

why does it matter? why am i telling you any of this?

it got to the point where i forgot who i wanted to be, and most importantly who i actually was. i spent so much time hiding feelings of inadequacy, sadness, anxiety, and self-hate behind an outward persona that i had no understanding of how to deal with the inner voice. she wasn’t me if i didn’t acknowledge her. if i faked it enough, i would believe it. i wouldn’t have to be defined by what i was dealing with.

it worked for a while. i was briefly very successful. until i wasn’t. until i couldn’t find a way to fake it anymore. in public i could still be whoever i wanted to be, but my home life consisted of crying and binging. it was my secret escape that solved no problems.

i decided to address this behaviour a year and a half ago, seeking help from counsellors, therapists, nutritionists, trainers, and coaches. i work privately and in groups. having to sit in front of strangers and reveal my problems was the hardest thing i ever did (until i pressed publish on this post, of course). the people who would have once viewed me as the happy, successful girl with her shit together – because that’s whom i played – now knew all my dark and dirty secrets.

perks-of-being-a-wallflower-5

i still consider myself a work in progress, with great days and horrible days. but i am making the effort to be my true self and not some made up girl. some days i even think my true self is pretty darn fantastic. i also learned my true self has genuine interests: fashion, fitness, writing, great conversation with fabulous friends, being in nature, lacrosse, and dogs, to name a few.

my diagnosis is for me, but the story is for you. today, on World Mental Health Day, i encourage you to learn more about all forms of health – mental, emotional, spiritual, physical – in order to breakdown the stigmas that still exist. you never know who is dealing with what. that has-it-all-together girl, may be cracking at all seams.

  • Fit In Heels Fitness

    Above all else, you’ve likely helped at least one person. You are an inspiration.

  • Anna @ Your Healthy Place

    This is such a common occurrence with people pleasers like you and me! I think that’s why you and I are probably friends – we recognize this in each other ;). Congratulations on the bravery to publish this girl! I would find it really hard if not impossible to push publish and yet reading your post is so inspiring so there’s really no reason not to. Much love to you, and congrats on all the (not easy) work you’ve done xxxx

  • Tara Gusmanis

    Your story will speak to so many people out there. You are one brave lady and you rock. xo xo Tara

  • Debbish

    Great post Laura and I love that you’re talking about your identity and authenticity! I just listened to a TED talk yesterday and Brene Brown talked about ‘connectivity’ being associated with self-worth and an ability to love and be loved. I was a bit like, #meh, until she explained she meant it in the sense of being ‘authentic’ and knowing who we are and being able to form REAL connections via our REAL selves. It hit a chord. I’m not too sure exactly who I am either!

  • Lauren S

    Great post-I think mental health is just as important as physical health and that any stigmas with it should seriously go away. Your story is probably similar to many peoples experiences. Thanks for sharing!

  • I feel like I am reading this post at the right time; life can definitely be highs and lows. Thanks so much for sharing :)

  • Thanks for sharing your story!! I think a lot of people “role play” and lose who they are but I’m glad you’re finding who you truly are and loving you!

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  • Jill

    Very brave to share this! I think a lot of people hide their true selves at least some of the time. I know I do. It’s hard and scary to be vulnerable. Great post.

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