The art of oversharing
There was a time when I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t tell people about the embarrassing, sad and stressful things in my life because privacy, right?
I used to be horrified at the prospect of having to take anti-depressants, and even more alarmed at people knowing about it. I tried everything under the sun to avoid them, including denial, deep relaxation therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique and Brahma Kumari retreats to the Blue Mountains. The truth? The five years I spent on anti-depressants were pretty great. I could sleep, and when you can sleep, you can function.
I have overshared about dating, sex and relationships because – regardless of what you tell yourself – the desire to love and be loved is hard-wired into us and is at the core of human existence. Being able to share my experiences – and laugh/commiserate about it – has helped me deal with the disappointment, loneliness and compromised self-esteem that ran parallel to my search for a partner.
Life doesn’t always work out. Relationships fail, people die, our health falters, and jobs are not what we thought they would be.
It’s easy to log onto Facebook and see an unending stream of friends holidaying, getting engaged and married, having babies and celebrating.
What Facebook doesn’t show (except in some of the more ill-advised break-up exchanges) is the sleepless nights and tears shed over lost futures; the futures we imagined that didn’t come to fruition. We go back to the drawing board; re-imagine and re-invent our lives.
This all takes enormous amounts of emotional energy and the thing about energy is that it can be given and taken. Courage can be given and taken. Love can be given and taken.
My hope is that we can give to each other by sharing stories and shedding the shame and sorrow of failure because, as Leonard Cohen says in his song Anthem, ‘There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’.
We all have cracks and we all have light. Let’s share them.