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The Difficulty of a Smile

By , wyckoff, NJ



It’s not easy to smile anymore.
People keep expecting more and more from you
But what you gave them is all that you have.
They get mad at you when you don’t give
But they never tell you.
Their anger resonates in their face and burns in their eyes
Like hells fire bursting through the wooden gates.
They give you the look of disapproval and disgust.
They see you as a lesser person.
They look down upon you.
They pity you.
So you put on a fake smile
Because you know if they see you cry,
They will never let you forget it.

At first, the fake smile felt distant.
It was a cold, unforgiving shiver
That ran up your spine and into your head.
You felt the difference between real and fake
And you never wanted to show the imposter again.
Then time went by.
You were worn down.
You were kicked to the ground.
Everything you had and worked for was taken
In one strong, single stride your life as you knew it was gone.
All that you had left
Was that fake smile.

You’re a good actor.
You’re a good actor because your life is a performance.
You fool people into thinking you’re happy.
You tell stories and you share laughs.
You repeat this show day in and day out.
You are so amazing that nobody even knows
You don’t know how to live anymore.
You don’t know what’s real
And you don’t know what the fiction that you made real in your mind is anymore.
A mind that races with thoughts at all hours throughout the day.
A mind that keeps you up all night with every possible scenario of the rest your life on repeat.
A mind that bamboozles you with unrealistic expectations.
A mind that betrayed you.

You take a closer look at your existence.
And you pushed everyone away.
You’re the reason that you’re friends are gone.
They were there for you in the beginning but you thought they wouldn’t be
So you pushed and pushed.
They heard your story and they listened and they cared
And you thought it was all for show.
You still see them and you talk to them
And they try to empathize.
They try to be interested and they try to care.
You shut them out and pushed them away
but you need something to hold onto
Someone to hold onto
Some distant thought that you can grab onto for dear life when you are falling down a rabbit hole.
So you put on a fake smile.
You put on your fake smile so you can keep them
You put on your fake smile so they don’t have to.

You don’t know how to get better anymore.
At first you thought it would pass
But it never did.
You thought that you could push through for a little while
But when a little while turned into a daily routine
You began to crumble.
You don’t know if this is forever
But in the monstrosity you call your existence, everything feels as though it is.
You try to uphold yourself.
You try to keep your feet planted to the ground
And you try with all of the might in your entire being to stay standing
But after being hit so many times with the same wrecking ball
You begin to fall.

Your guard is not let down.
It is completely and utterly obliterated.
You try to build it up again
But it keeps getting destroyed
By the constant torment,
By the words you hear,,
By the names you’re called,
By the way you’re looked at,
By the lack of understanding.
That common phrase “silence can be so deafening” confuses you
Because what you want most is for torment to stop
For the words to stop

You can’t place your trust into anyone.
The only person you can count on is you.
But at this point you don’t even know who the hell is staring back at you in the mirror.
But you are relentless.
You manage to keep your head up.
You stand tall
And you fight back.


By some strange miracle, you’re still alive.
You’re sitting at rock bottom
Twiddling your thumbs and praying that someone or something will pull you up.
You have lost all hope,
But you still feel the air moving in and out of your lungs.
You see the light at the end of the tunnel.
And although you don’t understand it
It brings you hope.
It brings the glimmer back to your eyes
And it brings the warmth back to your soul.
You know it’s not close to you
And you know that you have to keep fighting for it
But you see it.
And that’s the only thing you need right now.
So fake your smile.
Keep the show running.
But just remember
It’s only a little while longer.






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