Stiff upper lip
“Don’t cry,” I am told.
Maybe if I keep my upper lip stiff, no one will need to know what is going on behind the smile.
Maybe then I can convince others that I am alright and, if I do it long enough, can I convince my family, my friends, my self?
No one must know of the silent fight within- the fight that forces me to pretend.
This fight to show no pain and smile when I am felled by this disorder.
No one must know that inside, I long to run to someone, hold out my arms cry, and have the tears wiped away, like they were when I was four. Only then, all pain would disappear after the tears were wiped away and I would play again.
But, still, the smile hides the pain well.
The jibe covers the tears that long to come after the tenth fall of the day.
You, see, I smile and I laugh not only to hide my own fear, but so I do not have to see what to me is worse, the fear and pain in your eyes that you cannot conceal.
You haven’t had nearly as much practice.
You haven’t practiced this art, this game of pretending for thirteen years. You didn’t learn it from your mother’s knee. I did.
But if smiling, gritting one’s teeth, and keeping a stiff upper lip, and a sense of humor are my weapons against this beast, then I am well armed for this never ending battle.
And if these are the weapons of a bygone age, and two generations battered by war, they are also the weapons of those who triumphed.
So I smile and answer that “I am well.” When I am not.
I joke when I fall due to the fact that there is a faulty signal between my brain and my heart.
I know that I do this to survive, just another weapon in the fight, just another piece of armor to keep me alive and fighting another day.
And one day, I will run to my Lord, and my tears will be wiped away, the pain will disappear for ever and I will be victorious.