A few days ago, Andre posted something on Facebook that got me thinking. He posted a thank you to his friends for helping him rise up out of a state of “crippling self doubt and recrimination.” He mentioned how “extremely harshly” he judges himself and went on to thank people for inspiring him and supporting him even in his darkest of moods.
I’m glad he’s feeling up at the moment, but on the same hand it made me sad to realize he’s ever felt this way at all. He’s just one of the gentlest, sweetest guys I have ever met and I didn’t realize he had tendencies to feel this way.
Then I realized it isn’t so different from some other conversations I’ve had with other old friends in the past year. Viktor told me he suppressed much of his life prior to 25 because of his discomfort with who he was. Dan said he is ashamed of who he used to be and how he used to think – and that any participation in conversation about that time would take some prodding. Jude said the past is hard to talk about and even requested to be called by his initials so as not to be associated with his old corrupted self. “Please, I’ve changed,” he asked.
Then there’s me with my own self esteem and self doubt issues. Depression and self disgust I feel sometimes. I haven’t talked about anything like this with any old female friends as far as gaining insight into their own self reflections… however; there is one old classmate that attempted suicide a few times as a young adult; now she appears happy – married, has a baby, and has even become a priest. I hope that means she really is truly happy these days.
It makes me wonder how many of us really had these secret issues. I wonder how many of us still have them. Have we all really grown up or do we still feel like our teenage selves deep down sometimes?
There’s been growth, sure. There’s been better choices made, yes. We are all better people overall. We are all alright nowadays…
But we all have a shadow.
I just hope all of their shadows don’t follow as close as mine. I just hope they really are all happier nowadays.