Hi Everyone! It’s me, Ellis! You’re favourite red circle friend. If you don’t remember me, here’s my picture. Fresh of the presses!
I’ve been thinking a lot about Robin Williams lately. When I have my lows, I start to think about how drained he must have been and how crummy he must have felt. I envision the smile disappearing from his face as soon as he leaves the venue he’s played or the people he’s entertained. He’s the epitome of the sad clown syndrome…. The poster boy.
For me, I use humour to break down walls, to show that I’m a trust worthy being. Putting smiles on people’s faces isn’t just a thing I like to do…..It’s a drug. Nothing fills up the void in my life like making someone’s day. However, just like drugs, there are highs and lows.
Always tending to other people’s needs comes at a cost. First, it’s somewhat of a codependent relationship with society, which means, excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support. Can you see the slippery slope on that one? Yeah, that’s kinda crummy, I know. Second, after giving so much during the day, you need your alone time to re-cooperate and recharge your battery. It’s during these recharging phases when the lows could become a problem for me.
When I’m in my recharging phase, I shut myself inside, open my computer, hope for as little light as possible, and just enjoy being with myself. I’ll make excuses for why I can’t go out. I might even tell people that I went out and did something the night before, just so I don’t get bothered about why I didn’t call to do something. But I’ll sit. I’ll write. I’ll think of odd things, like why do human men have nipples. I’ll sleep. I’ll veg. I’ll meditate here and there. The main thing is, I am only responsible for me. Not much gets done, and that’s the point. However, on occasion, I can take this a step too far.
One day slips into the next and all of sudden I have a ‘I can’t take people’ kind of attitude. The people I love to make happy, all of a sudden become public enemy number one. The void is empty and I have nothing to fill it. I don’t have the energy to do it and all of a sudden I’m having withdrawals. It’s painful. It hurts. I start to wonder why isn’t there someone to put a smile on my face without asking, the same way I do it for others. That’s the crummiest. I become resentful……..angry……..but mostly sad.
In this sadness, if I’m unable to shake it, my brain will take over and the rest of my red body does not become part of the equation anymore. I begin to believe the things I’m telling myself. I’m hard and unflinchingly mean. I run circles around circles. It’s an endless loop of despair. How can someone that makes everyone so happy, be like this when they’re alone?
The answer for me, is that I’ve always felt alone. I was the youngest in a dysfunctional family, with one older sibling, and two parents. My father worked a lot, and my brother terrorized me and my mother let him get away with it all. She feared him and what my father might do to him, even though he father never laid a hand on us. It’s the way it worked on my planet. Don’t show emotion and let things be as they were. This left me with no protectors in my eyes and being left alone was something I treasured. Being good and putting a smile on your face became my calling card to home life. I didn’t cause problems, that wasn’t my role. As I grew older, I moved out on my own and I had the time to myself without the hectic environment of my home life. It was wonderful for awhile, but eventually, all the old issues that I never dealt with came to the forefront. I was being a character and not myself. And eventually, I broke down in a real crummy way.
I have just been reliving my past over and over and over. Whereas, I love making people happy, it’s also part of the problem. There’s not a balance. I over do it to a point of exhausting myself and finding myself alone, like I was when I was a kid. It’s an old crummy wound. It’s a very manic feeling.
It’s not an easy thing, to actually deal with yourself. For Sad Clowns, it’s a constant fight. Why? Because that thing that gives them their power to make people smile and laugh is also the old issue that makes them sad. It’s a scary thing to fix, because we feel we won’t be that Clown anymore, and guess what? That clown is your identity. How can you just toss your identity? It’s the old catch 22. It’s the reason many comedians will not take medications for their issues. They don’t want to lose their identity. It numbs the edge that you have. So like others, I tread a fine line of keeping myself in check and learning how to trust others when I feel alone.
Finding support when you feel alone, in my opinion is the most important thing you can have. Having friends that you can truly trust, listen and be there for you when you need them is beyond invaluable. Someone who won’t judge you, no matter what you’re feeling. Someone that understands you. When you feel understood, for me, it takes a lot of the pain away. However, making the first move and reaching out is a critical first step. I’m not saying this fixes your issues, but it can help you from sliding down the hill even further, provide you with a plateau, so you can regroup yourself.
That’s a lot to deal with while maintaining the illusion that you’re like everybody else……….. This is what it’s like to be me. Thanks for listening.
Want to read something else I wrote? It would make me feel really good and not crummy if you did. CLICK HERE!
If you or a loved one you know battles with Masks, Self Esteem, Anxiety, Depression or any other Mental Health Issues like our beloved Ellis, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.