What do you sometimes pretend you understand that you really don’t?

Nobody likes being embarrased. From introverts to the most graceful of social butterflies, we all feared being embarrased as kids. We would be careful not to trip or wear an ugly shirt to class in elemntary school. And in the higher grades we never put our hands up if we were one thousand percent certain on the answer. We do a lot in life to avoid embarrasment. Even as adults some of us are scared as all hell, to say three simple words. I. Don’t. Know. Maybe it’s the embarrasment or the fear of losing someone’s respect that stops us from saying we don’t understand. And regardless, we still end up embarrased many times in life.

It’s funny to think about. I still ended up peeing myself in front of my whole class in middle school. I still ended up wearing fake name brand clothes that my friends cracked on all day. We’re all bound to get embarrased someday. But for whatever reason we go through ridiculous measures to avoid it as much as possible. Almost everyone pretends to understand things that they really don’t get at times. And that’s worse than saying you don’t understand. You’re actively saying you do understand knowing deep down you’re lost. It’s hilarious. We should all be honest with when we do this and why. So what do you sometimes pretend you understand that you really don’t?

Here’s a short story on what I sometimes pretend I understand that I know I really don’t.

The way my mind works is different most others. I’m really good at a lot of things that deal with the mind. When it comes to logical reasoning I excel at weighing the pros and cons of situations. When it comes to tackle unexpected challenges I’m a pro at problem solving in an efficient way. I’m also good at math and other logic based subjects. My mind is like a computer in it’s rawest form at times. But with such great raw computing power it leaves me very inadept in other areas. Specifically speaking, I suck at everything that has to deal with emotions and a lack of logic. And emotions is definitely one of those areas. I’ve struggled with it my whole life because it simply disregards logic most times.

I remember my first time being majorly depressed. I was in the hospital for at least two weeks fighting acute chest and pain. My body was at a super fragile point and I was doped up on meds. I was stuck in this tiny hospital room with nothing but an outdated television playing outdated shows. I was fine for most of the time. But at the very end of my hospitalization, I felt a very strong urge to get the hell out of that place. That actually happens pretty often. The moment I feel slightly better, my immediate desire is to get all the wires and stickers off me so I can run right out the front door. It’s a really cold, dark, and depressing place in general. So I told my mom I needed to go home ASAP and she made it happen.

But there was one problem. I didn’t get to ween off the powerful pain medicine I was on around the clock. I went home and dropped into a deep dark depression. My whole life flashed before my eyes. I was stuck in my bed watching Teen Titans on repeat all day and night. I was crying at the drop of dime. I felt sad and stuck in the world. The business and aspirations I was focused on the last two years seem pointless. It was inevitably going to fail. There was no purpose to my life. I didn’t know where I was going or why I was here. It was tough. My mom was shocked seeing me this sad. My grandma and aunt tried to talk me through it. But all I could do is cry my eyes out while thinking I would never leave that corner on my bed.

I was a mess and didn’t know what to do with myself. That was my first experience with serious depression and it sucked in every facet of the word. I thought for sure I understood emotions and people after that. Then years later, I was at the retreat for my family. They left in the morning and all me and Dwayne’s friends showed up later that night. We were looking forward to this part of the retreat for the longest. We had a lot of things up our sleeves to make it a great experience. I was happy seeing everyone file in every few minutes. By the end of the night, the whole crew of twenty six people were there and settled in. And we started all the epic events we had planned for them. It was amazing.

One person that I was glad made it was, DeAsia. She would always complain about needing a break from work. She was stressed and tired of the rat race. So I was going to make sure she had a blast every day of this event. She sang karaoke all night long with us for the first night. And then the second day, we were eating breakfast and answering some table topic questions. She looked over at me, dropped her head in her hands and walked off. I immediately went after her. When I finally got her to stop crying, she just mumbled a few words, “She’s gone.” And I knew exactly what it was. Her aunt that was battling cancer, just passed right then. She got news from her parents and siblings.

And I remember feeling extremely bad for her and confused at the same time. I was stressed because I knew this was a tough time for her. I wanted to be there for her. I hugged her. I acted like I knew how she was feeling. I said everything I could think of to help her feel better. I did my best to act like I understood her emotions. In my heart I knew I had no idea what she was feeling. I thought back to the depressive state I had three years earlier, and it made a little more sense. The world is bleek to her right now. Nothing has purpose. I tried my best to keep that feeling top of mind. And I think I helped her get through it for the rest of the event. I just wanted her to feel better. It makes me sad that I’m not able to emotionally understand the people I care about. But I do my best to pretend everyday.

I hope I was able to help you in those moments of darkness because I know how much family is to you, DeAsia. Just always remember, this too shall pass.

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