Outtakes are usually the part that you don’t show the world, right? Outtakes are all the times you tried, but didn’t get it right.

Photo Credit: Erin Barkel Photography

I’ve been thinking about what I don’t show the world. The other day I got a message from someone asking for some advice about mental illness/wellness because I seem to be so put together and wise.

I never write anything in the moment.

Remember that.

Anything that is posted here has been lived through and then thought about. Or I am living through it, but have had enough time in and space in it that I feel comfortable sharing it.

Remember that.

When you read about my struggles with my faith or my anxiety or my depression or my impostor syndrome it’s almost never written while in the darkest hole.

When I am deep in it, I can’t write. I can’t talk. I can’t do much of anything. Even feeling my feelings doesn’t usually happen until there is some sort of break.

When I am deep in it, I sleep or lie in a ball on the couch with my hoodie up over my head. I am unkind and unlikable. I have to imagine it’s hard to give me grace, because when I amĀ deepĀ in it, I am a total bitch.

There are things written in journals that make no sense–that are just scrawled words that I am trying to get out of my brain. I have treated my family horribly. I am neither wise nor put together in those moments. I am ugly and vulnerable and rabid.

When I come to this space to write, it’s because I have broken through a little bit. Enough to think about my situation coherently.

If that appears wise, I hope it is helping someone else.

If that appears put together, I hope it gives hope to someone else..

I’m not always neat and tidy. But I’m not always a mess either.

Just remember, you see what I decide to put here.

You don’t see the outtakes.