As part of week nine of my online class, I was told to learn more about an individual whom has suffered from bulimia, alcoholism and drug abuse. Glennon Melton Doyle is a popular author and recovering addict. Her Ted Talk video hit home for me very much.
Glennon Melton Doyle
She used the phrase “Superhero Capes” to describe what we as individuals do to make ourselves look and/or act different. This does not always mean we wear these “capes” for bad reasons. Sometimes they are so we don’t have to explain to people that don’t need to know things. “Superhero capes are what we put over our real selves so that our tender selves don’t have to feel and be hurt”. My cape is purple and green and super flowy!
We all do these things in some way, shape or form. Maybe because we do not know someone well enough yet, so the cape “hides” that which we are not ready to reveal. Or maybe it is because we are around someone we don’t quite trust. For those of us who suffer from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that we struggle with, these capes are like a warm cozy blanket. No matter how successful others see us, or even how successful that we may be, our capes help us.
Doyle mentioned in her Ted Talk, “I started to feel like a loser in a world that preferred superheros”. So many times our societal expectations set us up to fail. Look this way, feel that way. Feel bad? Take this pill. Suffer from addiction? You’re not alone. Call us! So many things that surround our lives that cause us to think that maybe we are different. Maybe we do feel bad.
However, the fact is, we are all who we are. Whether you choose to open yourself up, or close yourself off. Whether you are a cat person or a dog person. A writer, a storyteller, a magic maker. Who cares. The only one that it should fully matter to is you. If you are unhappy, search for your happy. It may not always be there. May not always be visible. You happy may even be wearing its own cape. But find it.
Doyle also quotes another beautiful writer, Brene Brown, in saying, “Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your own heart”. Your own heart. You know who you are. Who you want to be. And while there may be people around you who think you should be something or someone else, realize that may be their cape showing, or may be their true selves.