10 Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

{via Design for Mankind}
{via Design for Mankind}


Some of these things are small matters, some are large. Some significant, others…not so much. All are things I’m afraid to tell you.

I’m afraid to tell you because you may laugh at me, you may judge me, you may think that I am not walking the simplicity talk. I may seem like a dullard, someone with bad taste or questionable values.

But I’m telling you because I want you to know that I am a real person who struggles with things daily, who has quirks and weirdness, someone with a unique worldview. And that’s OK. I’m owning mine because I want you to own yours – you weirdness, your failings, your quirks.

I’m not saying don’t try to improve. I’m all for self-improvement (obviously). But when it comes to quirks and mistakes and errors in judgement, it’s OK. We learn, we grow, we own them.

10 Things I’m Afraid to Tell You…

Essentially, my mistakes and quirks and errors in judgement make me human. They don’t undermine the work I’ve done to live a simpler, happier life. I simply don’t ever want you to think I’m miles ahead. Because I’m not.

1. Sometimes I am gripped with such a deep melancholy and hopelessness at the challenges our world faces. I pride myself on being encouraging and positive and a good influence on the world. But, man, sometimes I just feel the weight of our issues too much. I fear that to change the world in the way it needs to change means losing jobs, making entire industries redundant, and shifting priorities and perspectives at a national and global level. In essence, it means we need to change society. And I seriously wonder whether that will happen.

2. I laugh at fart jokes.

3. I used to drink wine almost every night as a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. Now I exercise most days and drink far less.

4. I used disposable nappies on Toby – and I hold an enormous amount of green guilt for it.

5. I pride myself on being well-read and think I have pretty good taste in literature. But I have read (and thoroughly enjoyed) the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Hunger Games too.

6. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by guilt and shame. For anything. For everything. I think it’s the reformed perfectionist in me rearing her snarling head. Making me feel like I am somehow responsible for all the shitty things that happen around me. (It’s funny, there’s not a peep to be heard from her when good things abound.)

7. Some days I don’t feel qualified to write about slow and simple living. Because some days my life feels frantic and complicated.

8. I have a little box full of expensive jewellery that I don’t know what to do with. I never wear it but can’t bring myself to sell it. And I don’t even know why. I don’t even like it.

9. When I was a teenager I had a crush on Kevin Spacey. Yes, Kevin Spacey, not Kevin Bacon. Spacey.

10. Despite all my efforts related to healthy living, good sleep, simplifying and exercise, I am still taking medication for depression. It’s been more than two years, it saved my sanity and I am eternally grateful for the positive changes in my life since beginning the treatment. But I still feel like it’s a weakness on my part. That I’m a failure because I couldn’t “beat this thing” on my own.


Well, that was terrifying. And liberating.

I guess there’s a lot to be said for looking fear in the eye…


Now, tell me, what fills you with fear?

{Shout out to Jess Lively for her post last year that lit a fuse for truth and transparency. It inspired this post.}

28 Responses to 10 Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

  1. Thank you Brooke for sharing. :) I must say that I can see myself in some of your 10 points. That made me feel more normal while still unique – or human, that pretty much resumes it.

  2. I love this. I could relate to a few of your points. I feel overwhelming guilt sometimes for the ease of my life. Sure I have a few problems and have been through some much bigger problems, but nothing like I see others in my family, my neighborhood and around the world dealing with. I feel guilt being content and happy when I see so much pain in others. Thanks for you honesty. Maybe I will summon the courage to write a post like this on my own blog.

  3. hi! thanks for sharing and being so vulnerable!

    May I share what a friend shared with me when I didn’t want to take an antidepressant? She had tried everything in her means – working out daily (and sometimes more than once a day), getting a lot of rest, praying a lot, taking vitamins, seeing a counselor. One day her counselor explained that sometimes there’s a simple imbalance in the brain that nothing you do can fix – it needs a medicine to tweak it so that you’re in balance.

    When I heard that, I agreed to go on an antidepressant. I was on it for two years then went off it. I’ve been off it for three years now and have my moments, of course, but I’m not ashamed that I was on the antidepressant when my body needed it.

    You’re doing what is best for you! And that takes courage. I’m quite proud of you!

    • I agree. If you were diabetic you wouldn’t think you had to beat it alone! Meds may give you the strength to make the changes to make a long term difference to your life. And then you may not need them! Who knows, but right now let them do their job! (I speak from experience and love your blog – making very slow changes to slow down!)

  4. After having a day that has exhausted me, even though it has not been a patch on the days I have had in the past, I feel bad that I am not coping and ‘getting on’ with stuff. I feel a failure, a hasbeen housewife/mother, a drain on my family. I am their rock and yet I cannot cope without moaning and whining. I am dealing with depression and not getting help for it. That’ll do to be getting on with.

    On the other hand…..Kevin Spacey, me too!

    We are human, individual, female and marvellous.

  5. Treating depression doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you STRONG! Depression takes every single thing that you love and renders it pain-filled or meaningless or pointless or tiring, just because your brain is sucking up all the happiness in you, or wilfully destroying all the positive neural superhighways you have. Being afraid to say it and saying it anyway makes you way stronger than most.

  6. I fear I am not “enough”. Not smart enough. Not mumsy enough. Not businessy enough. Not fit enough. Not healthy enough. Not brave enough. Not rested enough. Not patient enough. Not wealthy enough. Not bold enough. Not pretty enough…. Not kind {to myself!} enough.

    Thank you for sharing more about you too :)

  7. Brooke, I’m commenting linking to my other blog, because I identify with so many of your points. I am generally happier living simply, but sometimes I wonder what the point is of it all… the point of therapy, the purpose of decluttering. sometimes I just get tired of it.

    Taking medication for depression is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m on medication too, and will be for some time. I see it as a little helper giving me the chemicals I can’t manufacture enough of myself. just like diabetics have to inject insulin.

    Thank you for sharing Brooke, and letting us into your world. It’s a very special gift to us. Thank you.

  8. http://www.amazon.com/Done-When-Youre-Depressed-ebook/dp/B0010SKU6K/ref=as_li_tf_mfw?&linkCode=wey&tag=ingusaboutthi-20 – this is by far best way to learn to live with depression. And actually once you learn how to live with it it backs away. I had depression for several years and i hated the idea of being on meds to function. So i read this book written by an author who wrote it while in severe depression – someone who actually knows what it looks on this side. This book has done what pills couldn’t.

  9. I, too, can get tired of working so hard at being happy.

    And I loved the Hunger Games. The third book, not so much. But the first two were great. Any trilogy that gets people thinking about war and power is a good thing.

  10. I’ve been buying organization books for 2 decades. I read your blog and many others about the simplier life. My life has streamlined somewhat, but I still haven’t got my s#%t together. But, I’m working on it. Everyday.

  11. Hugs to you from someone in the same boat! My list isn’t identical, but awfully close. The other night I sobbed in bed to my confused husband that I couldn’t get it all “right” and he said I wasn’t supposed to (wise choice) and I nodded and kept crying at the failures piling up. Thank you for sharing this. It’s helpful to me to know I’m in good company. And brave to admit.

  12. We’ve all got our list! I, too, love “junk food” reading. Great stress relief! And I’m also a recovering perfectionist. Often I worry too much about what others think–and assume that it’s undoubtedly bad. Funny creatures, we humans are…

    I know LOTS of people on anti-depressants. Definitely nothing to be ashamed of.

  13. Reading your post I saw myself in the mirror. Just let you know you’re not alone in all of it. Each day is a step forward. Blessings to you!

  14. Brave post. Thanks for your rawness and honesty. I bet you there’s a host of people who share every single one of these points with you, me included.

  15. Re. your box of old jewellery. My sister and i both inherited a box of jewellery that wasn’t to our taste but was from someone we cared about. We sold it and each bought ourselves a well crafted, beautiful and unique piece of jewellery that we would wear. I wear it all the time because it is so me and goes with the way I wear clothes and I remember my Auntie every time I put it on. Take the plunge and either sell it and buy something simple and lovely or take it all to a craft jeweller and ask them to design something special for you out of the stones and precious metals.

  16. Great post Brooke. I know I set too high standards for myself, so feel regularly guilty if I do not meet them. I am getting better and recognising I didn’t meet them, fixing it and then trying to set more realistic expectaions.

    It is definitely a work in progress :)

    • Thanks Nic! Work in progress is absolutely right. It’s all aboout balance and boundaries and living life in between. For what it’s worth, I think you do an amazing job. x

  17. I identify with your dilemma about the jewelry. I made jewelry for years (still make the occasional piece) so I have drawers full of supplies I can’t seem to let go of. I’ve been able to release completed pieces that I didn’t wear but the boxes of pearls, turquoise, gemstones, Swarovski crystals not to mention all of the tools and findings have me trapped. I’ve thinned out some beads and such that I thought I wouldn’t use but it barely made a dent in the stash. Sigh…this is my challenge for 2013!

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