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Skeletons in your closet


Skeletons in your closet

By Jo-Ann Tosen

Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road? Because he didn’t have the guts! Hopefully that will be the case with ours, right?

Many of us are ashamed of the skeletons in our closets. We are afraid they will haunt us for the rest of our days if people find out about them, but that frame of bones will still be there either way, precariously leaning against the closet doors. Should we be so afraid of these secrets ruining our lives?

As a teen, you will come across a lot of situations threatening to reveal your secrets. It can be hard to go through every day life thinking all could be revealed at any moment. You don’t know how you will be able to live it down. Well, here are a few tips – life savers really – to help you out and deal with your skeletons, rather than hoping they just remain hidden forever.

  1. You need to accept your situation. Perhaps you cannot change your secrets, but you can change the way you deal with them. It doesn’t help to scan through all the possible ways the situation could have been dealt with differently and blame yourself. It won’t help to pretend the secrets are not there either – you have to deal with them! Running away from these problems won’t make the skeleton come to life and disappear on its own.
  2. You need to forgive yourself – or the ones responsible for the situation – for what has happened and make peace with it. Blaming it on yourself is not good for your mental health and happiness going forwards. You have to let it go and see to it that you don’t repeat the wrong choices. Take a breath, and focus on making yourself happy. It won’t be easy to find that peace, but all things come with time. Tell yourself you are a work in progress and no one shall demolish the new empire you are constructing for your self-care. You are not defined by your secrets or any bad things that happen to you.
  3. Try to look at the situation from a different angle. Remind yourself that we are all going through challenges in our lives, and we may not all have the same skeletons but everyone tries to deal with them as best they can. If you ever discover anyone else’s skeletons – don’t go poking around further or you may find the favour will be returned! Have respect for everyone else’s skeletons and they will have respect for yours.
  4. You have made mistakes, but it is not the end of the world. Humans are not perfect. You need to learn from those mistakes, go through every detail of what you’ve done wrong and deal with your secrets better than you did before. Maybe if it was not for these secrets, you would not have become the person you are today, so focus on who you are now and how you can improve yourself. Remember, no one can do you better than you can.
  5. Another thing that can help with your self-care is to release your feelings from your prison. You don’t need to express these emotions with anyone if you feel your secrets are too big to share. Maybe writing them down in a journal can help. Here your hobbies can come in handy too. Do you love a good work out? Take all your feelings out on a punching bag. Maybe you’re into dancing, so let those emotions move your body.  If you are an artist of illustrations, then let those pencils scratch the surface of your sketchbook.  Do what you love and set your feelings free in the process.

So if you think about it, skeletons aren’t so bad after all. We just need to accept them and deal them to learn from them and go stronger. We need them in order for us to ultimately stand a little straighter. We need every bone to feel supported and to function, like some of you may have learned in biology class. We will always have these skeletons and they may be scary, but they help us grow stronger. They are there for a reason. Never be afraid to turn a new page and start a fresh chapter, one where you have conquered your skeletons.

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