What is fake happy?
I feel like I need to give you permission to be honest with yourself. So there it is. You have my permission (like you needed it, but anyway, you have it). If you were to be really honest with yourself, truly honest, what would you say to yourself? I know what I would say because I couldn’t sleep last night. That’s always an indicator that I need to write about the truth. How I truly feel. Without the pretty stuff. So here it is.
I don’t feel thankful right now. I don’t. I just imagined a collective gasp from like 20,000 people. In reality, you might just merely be thinking ok, why? Or maybe you are thinking you have lots to be thankful for, why are you not thankful??? I demand it. If you thought the first thing, you get me. If you thought the second, I want to explain. It’s not that I’m NOT thankful…I am. I am just having a hard time feeling that way some days. I know I have so much in my life to be thankful for. I do. I know this. But unfortunately, there is something inside me that hasn’t been getting filled up lately and I don’t know how to fix that.
As I talked to my husband about it last night, I think he began to understand. I didn’t want to talk about it because I felt like I was ungrateful. I felt like the “Inspirational Page Owners Police” were going to come and take away my license to operate a motivational page. But then he said why can’t you write about the truth? And that seemed easier.
Two years ago when I realized that something else was happening to my body yet again, I made the decision to stop teaching. I went to my husband and I calmly said that I couldn’t explain it, but teaching was making me more sick. I just knew it. The last year that I taught I was out many days until finally, I was out for 3 solid weeks. That year started off with a breast cancer scare, and I don’t know if I really recovered fully after that. I was on edge. Something was coming, but I couldn’t explain what it was.
I would sing my happy songs, smile at the beautiful children, and fake smile at everyone else. I had previously been known as Mrs. Happy. In my head, I was now Mrs. Fappy. Fake-happy. The pain in my body had already been building up for years and I flinched when anyone touched me. If the children were sick, I put them to the back of the carpet, because yes dear parents, a few of you sent your darlings to school on Tylenol hoping I wouldn’t notice, but I always did. They had fevers and were burning up after they had already hugged me and loved on me because that’s just how I am. I am not going to let them be sick in my room without them knowing I still love them and want to take care of them. I did, however, have them go to the nurse. Sometimes you came and picked them up, other times, not so much. You were busy and had no other options…I get it, but it made things difficult.
Unfortunately, I am immune compromised and my immune system isn’t what it used to be 17 years ago. So I knew that I couldn’t operate this way anymore because I worked in a school where some parents didn’t have the means to take care of their children and really, truly, were doing the best they could at that moment. It was just difficult on me. Emotionally, it had taken a toll long before now.
I could tell you the series of ridiculous things that happened to me up to this point in my life, but it doesn’t really matter right now. All that matters is right now, I am trying to find the thankfulness in life. Not just go through the motions. I also know that money does not solve problems, I get that, I do, but sometimes I wish we had some wiggle room. I feel responsible for my decision to stop teaching full-time because there is no longer any wiggle room…if there truly ever was. I have to weigh decisions carefully on what we spend money on, and when I make a poor decision, I beat myself up. Even going to the doctors cost me money I can ill afford to pay when they want to see me back in 6 weeks…at $35 a trip because it’s a specialist. All I freaking see are specialists. With 4.5 diseases that most people have never heard of I was told by one doctor, “It’s like building a house. You wouldn’t expect the plumber to know about carpentry, right?” Meh. I see your analogy and I raise it a “I am trying to be seen in one place so this doesn’t cost me ridiculous amounts of money all the time!!!” stare. Because sometimes, I just can’t respond to people. The words that would come out are not nice.
So, the point to this entire erm rant? I get you Wayne Brady and your breakdown. I love you man. I really do. I love you Robin Williams and I miss you. But I get you too. But let’s start talking about “Fappiness” more and how it’s okay to feel this way at times. Let’s talk about this and bring this out in the open. Stop trying to fix it. Just let it be. And talk about it, until it’s okay to be fappy…