The cracks and fractures that we all carry with us are usually easily hidden. The problems start when the cracks start showing. It won’t be long before someone notices. And that’s what we’re most scared of. But we forget that there are people who look. We forget that there are people who care.
The cracks and fractures that we all carry with us are usually easily hidden. Usually we can smile and go on. Usually even if we know we’re slowly slipping we don’t let that impact on how others perceive us. The problems start when the cracks start showing. The smile becomes forced and the jokes become old. The carefully composed layers that we have ordered around us start to crack and the carefully built walls that were created to protect ourselves and others start to crumble. We still try. We try to repair the damage to the layers and the wallpaper, but at some point we have to come to the realisation that the cracks have become chasms. And it won’t be long before someone notices.
And that’s what we’re most scared of. Because if people notice just how badly we are losing control then we have failed. The barriers that we have so carefully created are there as much as anything to persuade everyone around us that we are normal, that we fit in, that we belong. We’ve slipped up before and been ostracized and we know how it feels to be sat on the outside looking in. We’re scared of being that person again, the one who nobody wants to be with, nobody wants to talk to. It wasn’t fun the first time round and the second time round could come with the loss of a job, of a livelihood, of everything we have worked for.
So we scramble for excuses and hope that we can just scrape by for a little more time. But by trying to fill in the canyon that is steadily getting larger we succeed only in isolating ourselves further from those around us, because even those who might want to help can do nothing for as long as we try to persuade them that everything is all right. In essence to protect ourselves we isolate ourselves and cut ourselves off which is what we were most afraid of. We’re so keen to protect ourselves from harm that we end up hurting ourselves further. It’s a vicious circle and there doesn’t seem to be any way out.
Everything is crumbling around you. The cracks are growing and there is no way you can keep the act up much longer. Even the ways in which you have found to cope are considered unacceptable, and so you cover the cracks, only to have to wallpaper again because you aren’t acceptable. Your life has become a sequence of lies all covered with the same forced smile, and the rest of the world is quite happy to believe them as that means they don’t need to see your pain.
But we forget that there are people who look. We forget that there are people who see. We forget that there are people who care. We can get so locked into our own private world that we forget to look outside and see that there are people there who will truly try to help if we’ll let them. There are people who can see through the lies you’re telling every day, and often or not they’re standing and watching at the sidelines, they just can’t do anything until you let them in.
Sometimes we need to be reminded to look around to see the person standing with a hand outstretched, waiting for us to let them in. Sometimes we need a reminder that we’re not alone, that there is someone there who will help you to your feet. Sometimes you simply need a reminder that someone cares. That you are worth someone caring about. They don’t care about the cracks or the scars, they care about you.
It’s not failure to take the hand. It’s not failure to accept the support. It’s only failure if you stop trying. So look around to see who is holding out their hand.