Have you ever met someone who apologized for every little thing? Not in a sympathetic type of way, but a person who legitimately felt at fault for every single one of their actions, behaviors, or even thoughts? To a third party, doing so may seem silly or even a nuisance, but for some reason they just feel they’re imposing on the status quo of society.

Similarly, others incline to make those with any type of illness, be it physical or mental, feel like outsiders. “He isn’t normal.” “Why must they be such a drag?” “She’s surely changed.” People have a tendency of making us feel like we shouldn’t give way to our emotions. That we should lock them in a bottle and maintain composure in public at all costs.

This isn’t right.

There is no shame in crying. There is no shame in feeling down or out of place. There is no shame in worry or fear. There is certainly no shame in sadness. These are the things that make us human and shape us to who we are. Without these emotions, we would just be mindless droids.

No one should ever be shunned or put down for feeling a certain way. Humans need community to thrive but when we start hurting each other, we are ultimately damaging society as a whole.

With these types of actions, it’s no wonder people hide their emotions. I know I did, for a very long time too. But doing so ended up hurting me more in the end. It sent me into a spiral of self hatred and loneliness that I still struggle with today.

What people need to realize is that it’s okay to not be okay. Countless studies have been done throughout the years on how Americans try too hard to be happy, but they fail to see that doing so has the reverse effect. Trying so hard to be happy takes us out of the now. It puts on unnecessary anxiety and sets up for disappointment.

We need to learn to accept our emotions. We need to stop hiding from them and face them head on. Only then will we get through this. After all, how can you truly appreciate the light if there wasn’t a little darkness?