Here’s Why Your Hidden Pain Should Not Stay Hidden

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No one likes to show weakness. We used to say things like, “Never let them see you sweat”. That has always been a rather odd statement since every human has to sweat. It is a biological imperative.

The idea behind the phrase is that we sweat when very nervous or ill at ease. When you are feeling like that, you should hide the fact so that no one will know about your discomfort in a high-stress situation. Again, that is a rather odd goal since the situation, by definition, is one calling for high levels of stress. To never let them see you sweat is to present yourself as a superhuman who does not have normal human reactions to things. That is not healthy. 

Here is some better advice: Let them see you sweat. Let them see that you are a normal human moved in normal ways by normal stimuli. Let them see you work through it and overcome it. Let them see the struggle, the heartache, the defeat, and the rebound. Let them see the entire, unfiltered, messy process of life. Sure, you are a private person who would rather keep your private affairs a secret. But here are a few reasons why you should let your hidden pain be seen by others:

A Path to Recovery

People who have addiction issues believe they are doing a good job at hiding it from everyone else. That is seldom the case. Other people already know about the path to self-destruction you are on. Now, it’s time to show them your path to recovery. Many of them are also suffering from the same thing and need someone to show them a way out. Under the heading, Inpatient Detoxification, this is what one rehab website had to say:

Detox is a crucial aspect of the inpatient program as it addresses the body’s physical dependence on a substance. Detoxification allows individuals to rid their body of toxins and focus on the emotional and psychological elements of healing.

Many people silently struggle through the emotional and psychological pain of addiction and have no real hope of finding a way out. They need to know that those emotional and psychological elements of healing are real. They need to see someone they respect summit the mountain. The need to know there is a path to recovery. By being upfront about your private pain, you can help others find their way out.

Share the Burden

If you don’t share your private pain with others, no one who cares about you will be able to share the burden with you. In some ways, it is an act of selfishness to keep your personal agony to yourself. Why do you even have a community if you cannot lean on them to help you through a struggle? Most people who keep their pain hidden away are insistent that their friends come to them with their pain. You believe it is essential that others let you help them with their burdens. But you refuse to let anyone help you with yours. This is one of the most offensive forms of hubris you can practice.

Trust your friends and family to help you carry your burden. And be present for them when they need help from you. That is how society functions. No one person should have to carry everything by themselves. No one is an island, not even you.

Be a Realistic Example

Many people idolize celebrities and powerful people because they have achieved great success and seem to have it all together. Like it or not, you are a role model in and out of your professional life. However, if you are hiding your true condition, people will believe you are achieving something you aren’t. They will feel like a failure for having so many problems that you have somehow avoided. But you are not avoiding those problems. You are just hiding them. Let people see the full picture so they can have a realistic example to follow. If your success is not private, the price of that success should also not be private.

Everyone has good reasons to keep personal things private. But by sharing your pain, you are in a position to share your recovery, your burden, and a more realistic example

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