During my teens into my early twenties, I lived a secret life.
Things were hidden – everything from my body (burying myself in oversized clothes) to how I spent time alone (obsessively counting calories that were consumed/burned, exercising in the middle of the night, binging/purging).
Every day I lived in fear my secret life would be discovered. That my true identity would be revealed and I would be seen as broken, sick, and twisted.
But even that was a lie because identity is not defined by our behavior. It also has nothing to do with how things look.
After all, appearances are often deceiving.
What I needed to do was get real. I needed to close the gap between the person I was behind closed doors and the person I pretended to be when others were watching.
So I stepped out of my dark place and told the people closest to me about my secret life. Then I sought professional help.
More than 20 years have passed and I am still mindful about authenticity => the person the world sees must absolutely match the person I am behind closed doors to sustain long-term recovery. [Click HERE to see a couple of earlier posts on the subject.]
I think everyone can benefit by closing that gap and journaling is a great place to start. With uncensored writing, thoughts/feelings and truth have a way of popping out. Seeing things on paper can make what was fuzzy and undefined appear crystal clear. The article HERE on Psych Central addresses the MANY health benefits of journaling and recommends doing it daily for 20 minutes. No rules. [TIP: Writing quickly helps prevent blocking thoughts from getting in the way.] You could even pick up a locking diary if you are concerned about privacy:
Click HERE for details.
If any of you are struggling with a secret life, I would encourage you to open the door. Tell someone about your struggle. Talk to a professional. As scary as that may sound, the freedom that comes as a result is SO WORTH IT.