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  • Lindsey Garner

Leaving my coat at the door...

For a year, I’ve been quiet. For 12 months, my breath wouldn’t come. It still won't. My words got stuck. Little by little, I have added layers to the real me to make other people more comfortable. With dark circles under my eyes, my world shifted into existence over living fully. Every day wasn’t bad, but I woke up with this fog; this heaviness around me that won’t lift. This fog went everywhere with me; to the multitude of doctor’s offices as they told me “nope, it’s all normal”, and to the ones that weren't so normal. The fog followed me on

vacations with my family that I would normally have brought sunshine in my pockets and excitement in my heart. I have always shared with you that being real, and “naked” is a priority for me. I want to apologize to you, because right now, I’m wearing all the clothes. All of them. Sweaters, coats, pants, long socks; you name it. I have it on. With the fog, came these layers of inauthenticity. Today, I write to take off at least one layer of that. I'm not ready to be naked again, but I can take that coat off.

I am taking that fog and telling it to get the fuck away from me. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I feel like I’ve visited all the attractions this darkness has to offer; and bought the tee shirt from the shitty tourist shop to celebrate my trip. I’ve been here so long, I’m almost a local. It’s time to go home and take off the clothes.

In the last 365 days, I’ve learned that while most people want to support and help, those same people have no clue how to do so. A long time ago, I wrote something about an experience I had when someone asked me how I was and I actually told them the truth. I remember the person’s look of shock, and almost disgust when I said “not good”, and I also remember the grasping I felt from them for the right thing to say. I feel that a lot now. The thing is, I don’t need you to solve this. I don’t need you to tell me that I look great, or I don’t look sick. I just need it to be ok to not be ok right now. I need you to acknowledge what I feel and be ok with me being a little less than who I want to be.

I’m intuitively a helper. Deep in my gut, I know this. But guess what? Helpers need help too, and I’m getting it. I’m asking each of you to be a little more real with where you are right now. Be a little more open with things not looking a certain way. Also, I’m requesting that when someone shows up real to you, and lets you into their fog; don’t feel bad for them. Don’t try to solve it. Just be there, and be ok with their mess.

I'm committing to finding my words again, and sharing my voice so you feel a little safer sharing yours too. If one person reads this and says, "oh good, it's ok to not be a ball of rainbows today", then I win.

So feel free to email me. Reach out and we get get into the real talk. But please, if you have advice; ask if you can provide it first. Don't dump it on me. Request the space to offer it, and be ok if I say no. Let's start shedding some layers together.

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