In a world of pretenders, I pretend, to fit in. I pretend, to feel accepted. I pretend, to make friends. So many years of pretending, I became lost and unknown to myself. 

In a world of extroverts, the loudest thrive. 
Boldness and brashness are the keys to success. Domination of people, title, money and power are the goals.

In a world that leaves little room for the sensitive thinker, all I could do was pretend.

Pretend I was social, pretend I was thick skinned, pretend I could take on all the challenges alone, pretending to be brave, pretending to be in control, pretending to be happy.

However, there was one small part of me that refused to play along; Little Sarah, I call her. A bubbly entity, full of confidence, self belief and stubborn to boot. She wasn't about to fall prey to the extroverts. She dwelled deep within, so tiny; screaming and pleading for me to see sense.

Her pleas were seldom heard, lost and dampened in the low self esteem that filled me.
She is my core. She is me.
The more I drowned her out, the more disappointed and enraged she became; she never gave up on me though.

Feeling trapped and isolated, I pretended until i could pretend no more.

pretended until Little Sarah had had enough.
I pretended until I lost complete control; spiraling downward into a pit of despair and self-loathing.
Why did I have to be so different from the world? Why did I feel so alone? Why could I not simply keep pretending I was normal? What was wrong with me?

Little Sarah was the cause of the spiral; and for that, I am ever thankful. With nowhere else to hide, I began to listen to Little Sarah and she began to flourish. I was beginning to find my courage and was finally accepting me for me.

Little Sarah is still growing; she is the reason I am able to stand tall now and proudly tell you, I am not normal.

Today my isolation is my own; I feel no shame in it. I created it and am willfully embracing it. If little Sarah is to be my one true friend in this life, then so be it.

Gone are the days of disregarding my own beliefs, feelings and self for the sake of fitting in; to please others. I may have chosen a lonely path but for me, this path is peace.

I will pretend no more.

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©Sarah O'Regan

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