The Unleashed One
When I first saw this question as part of the shadow work, it did take me aback. I try to the best of my ability to be as authentic as possible. However, I also have to accept that part of inauthenticity can show up in behaviors based in trauma or experiences, so from that angle, I do have to admit areas where I’ve fallen short and work on ways to address them.
I am inauthentic when it comes to expressing when I am feeling unwell.
Since I suffer from several chronic ailments I find myself often saying the generic response "I am okay" when asked "How are you doing?", or even the more direct question, "How are you feeling?" I have already told myself that other people have it worse than me, which may be true. Yet, I have, with that response, devalued my own pain and the impact my chronic illnesses have in my daily operations.
One example of this occurred earlier today. I was hyper-focused on my workload. Although precautions have been taken to make my workplace safer, some of us still have to work from home because the occupancy of the building would be too high if all of us were allowed. I am one of the people still working from home.
While doing my tasks I began experiencing symptoms related to my levels dropping (blurriness, occasional transposing of numbers, and feeling incredibly cold). I waited until I got a moment to check my numbers. As I suspected, they were under 70. However, instead of interrupting my friend, who was also working from home, that I needed something to bring my numbers up, I said nothing and still tried to behave as if all was okay. That behavior benefits me none, and I realize this. But it's the programming.
"Others have it worse."
"No one cares that much."
"You can't expect someone to pause to help you out."
"Get yourself together."
It's a vicious cycle, especially when you are known as …
- The dependable one
- The reliable one
- The problem solver
- The listener
- The healer
- The breadwinner
- The strong one
The characteristics often seen as positive are the same ones that freeze my vocal cords when I am in predicaments when I feel or exude the opposite of any of the aforementioned.