When You Can’t Be the Person The Internet Wants You to Be
Felicia C. Sullivan

I just signed up for this website so that I could reply. No piece of writing has summed up my exact thought process in this time of my life.

All my life I have had a naturally positive disposition. Sure I’ve had my ‘blue’ periods and moments of trauma and pain, but those always pass quickly. I’d listen with empathy to my friends who deal with chronic depression, all the while thinking to myself “that sounds like a nightmare, thank God I don’t have to deal with that.”

My husband passed away suddenly last month. I am in my early thirties and completely and totally at sea.

I wanted to highlight a few choice sentences in your piece that really spoke to me, but going back and rereading it, I would seriously have to highlight nearly every one. From the hurt of hearing the total silence from some close friends that I always assumed would have my back, to the feeling of wearing a mask to cover your terror, you brought to light so much of what I am currently facing.

“Friends put in the work.” A-fucking-men. I am very fortunate to have several ‘Ambers’ in my life right now who send me texts, calls, and email me funny links to stuff that will make me laugh. Who call me and tell me about their daily routine frustrations and don’t stop themselves and say “But this must seem so trivial compared to what YOU are going through!” Give me trivial, no really. Make me feel like a normal human being still involved in the world, and not the walking zombie I’ve become.

I’m really tempted to post this on facebook so people can see a window into what I’m going through, but like your piece says, I’m afraid. Afraid of looking weak, of ‘bumming someone out’, of being negative. Why is that?

Oh boy, I could go on and on. Instead I will just say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. thank you.

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