There… I said it.
Getting up out of bed isn’t easy.
Getting dressed isn’t easy.
Reminding myself to eat isn’t easy.
Functioning like a normal person isn’t easy.
I don’t like this. I want to fight it off, but I can’t. I don’t have the energy for it. I’ve been like this for longer than want to admit. I don’t tell anyone because I don’t want to be a burden on them. I don’t tell people because I don’t like the feeling of knowing that people are worried about me.
I pretend to be okay all day long. I don’t want people to think there’s something wrong with me.
But when I’m alone at night, when I know that everyone else has gone to bed. That’s when I take off the mask. That’s when I give up on trying to keep it together. Most nights I cry. I couldn’t tell you why if you asked. I just know that something’s wrong and I can’t do anything but cry.
I lay awake in my bed, under my blanket, unable to sleep. I turn on Netflix and find something to watch. Just to pass the time. I really don’t want to spend half the night just staring at the ceiling. I would rather have something to focus on than letting the thoughts roll around in my head. That can get to be dangerous. Especially because I start thinking about what would happen if I relapsed to self-harm.
The other night I was absolutely miserable. I was pretty sure that I was going to cry myself to sleep. I text a couple friends (one in NC and one in AL) but only one responded. So she and I talked for probably over an hour. I was telling her about how I basically don’t get hugs from anyone anymore. And I feel awkward asking for them, so most times I just keep my mouth shut and go without human contact. Which for me isn’t exactly easy, or comfortable. I was convinced that there’s something wrong with me. She kept telling me that there isn’t. I don’t think I ever fully believed her, or even do now.
That’s the thing when I’m struggling. I don’t believe things that people tell me. Even if somewhere inside me I know that they’re right.
I’m sinking back into myself. Isolating myself more and more. Completely faking it when I’m around people. Pretending like I’m enjoying myself. Laughing when I’m supposed to. It’s almost like I have to think about it. It’s more than the very minimal functioning that I want to do. The minimal functioning that I can get through and not feel completely exhausted.
Sure, I have my moments where I really do enjoy myself. Like in my comparative linguistics class at school. The teacher is hilarious and down to earth, and all the other students come from all kinds of backgrounds so they have different perspectives. It’s so much fun to listen to the discussions even if I don’t really have anything to add. I chime in here and there, and discussions keep going.
It’s those moments when I question if I’m just making everything up. All the negative stuff that I’m dealing with. Is it all read? Or am I just imagining it? I mean, if I really am enjoying myself and having fun and laughing right now, is it seriously possible that I’m depressed?
Yes, it is. I’m what I like to call functionally depressed. I can still function, but I have my moments when I just can’t. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Everybody’s different. I have to keep reminding myself of that. There is no one uniform look for any mental illness. It’s possible to enjoy myself in a certain situation and be miserable half an hour later when I’m not there anymore.
I’m walking my path, not anyone else’s. What I go through is real. I can’t deny that. My story is my own. And I need to own that, however difficult it may be.