- Dana V. Hayes
Functioning Is The New Drug
I woke up this morning in a mood. I felt completely unable to go through my day just functioning.
I was filled with unnecessary angst, worry, tomorrow was heavy on my mind. God knows this was a feeling that was not uncommon.
However, I've become accustomed to just functioning. Wearing the superwoman mask in the midst of it all, hoping no one will see past my disguise.
Today however was all I could bear.
As a mom especially, I often feel responsible for the energy in my home. As long as I'm good, everyone is good.
I'm sure my ancestors felt this many days, unable to let down the cross they were forced to carry, they grinned and beared through it.
The constant inconsistency of the men in their lives, caused them to develop a skill that many of us women have adapted as a way of life.
On the other hand, men have become accustomed to not having a safe place to be anything but strong, capable, powerful. When really if only they could spend a day totally free from that perception, they could be so much more.
When we feel unstable, we tell ourselves it's all apart of being grown, part of the grind/hustle, boss up sis/bro...we say!
This is what keeps most of us secluded, lost, discouraged. We as a species have become okay with just coasting.
Addicted to functionality, so much so that I would say it's officially the new drug.
Think about how many days, mentally, you felt like everything was piling up and mentally you just needed a break, but you couldn't.
What kind of long term damage has that caused?
How long has functioning been a part of your "routine". So much so that you are unsure which is real. When the mask seems to be the only thing you and everyone else around you knows.
Functioning is, in my opinion, the opioid crisis of mental health, that no one sees or wants to discuss.
Are we continuing a pattern of teaching our children how to function, instead of expressing and acknowledging their feelings/emotions.
I struggle with this, because as a parent you want to prepare your kids to be strong mentally and physically, but I wonder why ,that means not crying when it hurts, screaming when their mad, being silent when they need to.
More so, why have we become so numb to those same cues that let us know that our own mental health needs attention.
Why does winning have to include losing ourselves?!
Just like with any addiction, it's better if everyone close to you participates in the lifestyle change.
So my goal for myself is to be more honest with myself about my needs, so that I can communicate that to the people who love me.
My goal is to be more sensitive to others in their transparent moments and be supportive in what they need to heal.
My goal will be to unlearn the definition of strength as it's been displayed to me.
I choose to no longer just function, but to be okay with not.