Recently, I posted a long status on my Facebook page about my current-at-the-time (February 8 at 10:09 p.m.) mental state. I’m sure some people wondered why I would share something so personal. I’m sure that others might have thought I was just looking for attention or sympathy.
Maybe people even thought, ‘here we go again’. And that’s okay … it’s only important that I understand why I shared it. And even more important is that it helped. Not just me, but others too. Here it is:
I am going to “talk” on a day that isn’t Bell Let’s Talk day… to emphasize how important it is to be open about our mental health every day. I’m not doing it for sympathy, but for awareness … maybe for someone who needs to know that someone else “gets it” and, selfishly, to help clear my own mind of all the chaos and clutter.
I am in an awful mental state of mind lately. I wake up and I struggle. I struggle to get out of bed. I struggle for the patience or desire to interact with people and be “on”. I am tired all the time. And I struggle to feel like I’m good enough.
This morning, I quite literally could not convince myself to get off my couch. I didn’t know why I should bother… I was frozen. I knew what time it was and I knew what I had to do between getting off the couch and getting out the door, but I simply could not stop thinking paralyzing, self-deprecating, irrational thoughts. It was like I was flipping through a mental rolodex of all of the things that could make me feel sad or frustrated or unworthy and feeling them all at once. As if I told myself, “you have to feel this darkness today, so here are all of the tools and a list of all of the reminders you’ll need to succeed with your debilitating negative spiral.”
And guess what? I cannot even tell you why… I cannot pinpoint a reason, a trigger, an explanation or knee-jerk justification for why this morning was any different from yesterday morning or last night (not that they were great, but they were better). I can use any one of my default excuses – that it’s the weather or hormones or mercury being in retrograde – or I can blame some small thing that someone said or did that I’ve since blown out of proportion – but today, none of those excuses cut it for me … so, why?
Not having a tangible reason (even though I know I don’t need one; I have an illness) drives me crazy. And even worse? I’m sure it drives the people around me crazy. And even if it doesn’t actually drive them crazy, it doesn’t matter. Because I have already internalized it as me driving the people I love crazy: I’m sure they want to know why I’m feeling the way that I am so they can better help me. They simply want to help me. And that’s great that they want to help. I am lucky that I have these supportive people in my life who care about me and who want to help me. And because I am lucky that I have these supportive people in my life who care about me and who want to help me, I feel even worse for feeling the way that I do. Other people don’t have the support system that I have. I have it so much better than many and yet I still find ways to feel the emptiness that I feel. How ungrateful of me… just another reason why I am not good enough. And why I feel like a fraud and on and on…
And then I’m paralyzed. I am stuck to my couch. In a fog. Weighing about one thousand pounds more than I did the night before. And then I somehow scrounge up all that I have in me to get off the couch and get ready to fake it… to hide all of the self-doubt and internal struggle.
But some days are harder to fake it than others. Some days I simply don’t hide it well. And some days (like today) I don’t even want to hide it… I want to “talk” about it.
And look at that… I already feel a bit better just getting this off my chest.
It helps to talk. It’s okay not to be okay. And it will get better…
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