‘I have a secret. Somebody we know is hurting tonight. Somebody we know is watching their clock and praying for bedtime to come quickly.’

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“I don’t know who needs to hear this. Maybe it isn’t you, and that’s ok.

But there is something I do know for sure.

Somebody we know is hurting tonight.

Somebody we know is watching their clock and praying for bedtime to come quickly. Somebody we know is drowning in the everyday sounds of their home, feeling guilty for not being able to ‘soak up’ every moment of motherhood.

Somebody we know is STRUGGLING right now. And they don’t know how to verbalize it.

I don’t know if this message for you, but if it is, there is something you need to know.

Even though your timeline is filled with sunny pictures of beautiful people living seemingly perfect lives, there is a dirty little secret hiding behind the curtain of social media.

And tonight I’m going to pull that curtain back for all of us. Because you need to know the truth:

You are not the only one.

You are not the only one who feels torn between gratitude and exhaustion.

Joy and depression.

You are not the only one who knows their life is blessed and feels embarrassed to admit they are limping through it, each and every day.

You are not the only one who whole-heartedly loves their children, but longs for the independence you forgot to relish before you became a person named ‘Mom’.

You are not the only one.

You are not the only one who eats your feelings, or cries in the shower, or hides under blankets watching Netflix because you are ashamed of the jiggles and curves that are now your entire body.

You are not the only one who feels like a skinnier, younger version of yourself is trapped inside a chubby, tired woman who wears boring bras.

You are not the only one.

You are not the only one who puts off old friends because you don’t feel like you can show up and be cute or interesting, or heck, even yourself.

You are not the only one who crashes at the end of the day and needs everything to be silent and easy and invisible so you can just BINGE OREOS IN PEACE FOR TWO FREAKING MINUTES.

You are not the only one whose marriage runs into speed bumps. Or pot holes. Or, you know, the occasional Grand Canyon.

You are not the only one who wonders how the rest of the world went and got their crap together like REAL adults while you were busy burning breakfast and googling ‘401k.’

You are NOT the only one.

But here’s the thing.

I don’t know about you, but when I accidentally take an ugly picture, I don’t post it on Facebook for the entire world to see.

I delete it. QUICKLY.

*bloop*

That back fat never existed.

*bloop*

That double chin is a memory.

BLOOP! BLOOP! BLOOP!

Then I post the most beautiful pictures with carefully worded captions, and really, let’s be honest:

Even I am impressed with who I am on Facebook.

But when the curtain is pulled back, you see that double chin.

Behind the curtain, there is also some back fat.

And screaming kids.

And marital problems.

And job loss.

And financial stress.

And anxiety and depression and insecurities and everything else we hide behind our backs, for fear of somehow being discovered.

But, man. You know what the crazy part is?

All any of us want is to be discovered.

We want to be known and we want to be loved, for who we are. Right now. No stops.

But in our efforts to seek that love and approval, we advertise the very best parts of ourselves…

And we become alone.

Not one of us can keep up with the image we put out on Facebook.

And if you are reading this post, wishing there was a way to connect with people that was deep and real and vulnerable

If you are reading this wondering if maybe, just maybe, there are parents on the internet who are just as insecure and freaked out as you

If you are wondering if maybe it’s NORMAL to hurt and struggle and feel the heavy things that life lays on us

Well guess what, my sister.

I have a secret.

You are not the only one.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mary Katherine Backstrom. The article originally appeared here. Follow Mary on Instagram here.  Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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