Hey, how are you?
How’s it going?
How have you been?
I feel like these questions have become nothing more than a formality. Something we ask others in passing. If the person you’re asking doesn’t respond, do you even notice? Do you even care?
How do you respond when someone answers with anything other than “good”? “Fine”? You’re usually stunned. You never really expect that kind of answer. So there’s a level of discomfort. Uneasiness. Holy crap, I was not prepared for this person to be anything less than ‘okay’. What do I do?!
Lately, I’m anything but okay. And it’s gotten harder to hide, so I don’t really even try to anymore. Odds are, you’ve probably seem me crying in public more than once in the past few months. I’m trying to be more open, because I know it’s not healthy to keep everything bottled inside. But I don’t want to only be known as ‘the girl who’s always anything but okay’.
I’ve begun to dread social gatherings. Because I’m always waiting for the hey, how are you?The how’s it going? The how have you been? I don’t know how to answer. I don’t want to lie, fake a smile, and say that everything is just peachy. But sometimes it’s just easier than letting everything pour out of me. I don’t want to be the one who’s always constantly bringing the mood down.
If I’m being honest, I’m drowning on dry land.
Nothing feels right anymore. I question every decision I make.
I wonder which actions are dragging me deeper into this depression, and which ones are pulling me out.
I don’t know if I have the upper body strength to keep pulling anymore.
Staying in bed all day and staring at the four blue walls in my bedroom seems more and more appealing as the days go on.
I’m lucky to have a solid support system. I know I have people there that will talk to me when I need it. But really, I struggle with wanting to talk, or wanting to continue staring at the four blue walls in my bedroom.
Every time I start talking and getting things out, it always leads to crying. In general, crying is just fine. It’s healthy. Therapeutic. But I’ve gotten to a point where I’m beginning to schedule times to cry. I’ve gotten to a point that when I start crying, I never know when I’ll be able to stop.
Last night, I laid awake in bed for hours. 12 o’clock. 1 o’clock. 2 o’clock. Because I couldn’t stop crying. I was feeling everything with such intensity, all at once.
Some days I wonder if I’ll be able to make it into work because I can’t. Stop. Crying!!
My body has begun to have a physiological reaction to all of this stress and anxiety. I break out in hives. First it’s a few on my back. Then it’s my arms. Then my face. And before I know it, my body is decorated with these bright red, and itchy, new splotches.
I wonder if everything is getting harder, or if I’ve lost the will to try to get through it. I used to think of myself as a strong person. The person who can just laugh their way through the tough times. The person who can just smile through the pain. But now, I just don’t know. Maybe I’m not strong.
I wonder how I got to this point. I wonder what I did that led me to feeling this way. I wonder if I will ever go back to the way that I used to be. But I’m trying to stay hopeful. Maybe I’ll come out on the other side of things. Maybe I’ll be even stronger. And happier than I’ve ever been.
Again, I’m not writing this to get attention or pity. If anything, I just need a little love.
I’m writing this to be honest. I’m writing this because I don’t see the reason to pretend that I’m someone I’m not.
This week is Mental Illness Awareness week.
1 in 5 Americans experience mental illness at some point in their life.
I’m writing this for not only myself, but for all the people that have found shame in their sadness. I’m writing this to show that you don’t have to hide your feelings.
I am 1 in 5. I am part of this statistic. And it’s okay if you are too.