You all know what I mean. That smile you force when all you want to do is curl up and cry. The “Yeah, I’m fine, just tired.” response you give when others ask if you’re okay. We all do it. Sometimes it’s not appropriate to tell people we’re not okay. Sometimes it’s no one’s business. Sometimes though we all wish people would see through that and ask “Are you okay? I mean it, are you really okay?”
Sometimes this (picture below) is what we present to the world, and sometimes that’s necessary.
However, to keep presenting this bundle of positivity to the outside world is exhausting. It’s draining, discouraging, and disheartening to continue to lie day after day. Every time you lie, every time you tell someone that you’re okay, you become a little more isolated. You slowly build a wall between yourself and those who care about you.
It’s easier this way, you tell yourself. It’s better for them, I don’t want to hurt my friends. They won’t understand, and they can’t help. There’s nothing anyone can do, so there’s no point telling people. If they knew how bad I felt, they’d panic and run a mile. I don’t want to lose my friends.
Being in that space is hard. It’s painful, it’s isolating, it’s soul destroying.
People aren’t made to do life in isolation. We’re created to need people. We’re social creatures, and to live life in isolation is painful.
I have good friends. Perhaps only a handful of people that I trust. I don’t give people a chance to care, to be there for me, to support me when I need it most. I’m so terrified of people hurting me, and even more scared of me hurting them that I don’t give anyone a chance.
My mood has plummeted from hypomania into depression, and that alone is painful. Add that we’re now in a time of year that’s filled with trauma anniversaries, and associated flashbacks, I’m not in a good space. I’m using unhealthy coping strategies to get through each day. I don’t want to sleep, yet I don’t ever want to wake up. I’m emotionally exhausted.
Have I reached out to my friends? Mostly no. I keep quiet. Sometimes I start a conversation, wishing that I could tell them how not okay I really am, but I tell them I’m fine. Then I ask about them. I take interest in their lives to avoid talking about my own.
This (picture below) is what my friends don’t see.
Take a chance. People need people. We can’t do life alone. It’s not appropriate to reach out to just anyone, but there are people who care, and who will walk this journey with you.