‘I’m not okay”
I wish I could tell you this when you ask me how I am. I want to tell you this.
“I’m not okay”
Is what I really want to say to you, but I don’t.
Instead I nod my head confidently; maybe I will nod again for security. Then I make sure I smile, however not to big so it looks forced.
I am so good!!
Immediately I steer you into talking about yourself, asking how you are, how is work going, what have you been up to. See how good I am at it? I do amaze myself at how good of an actress I can be.
I can feel myself dying a little bit more on the inside. Angry that I have missed yet another opportunity to open up and tell you honestly how I am feeling. Another opportunity missed to open up even if just a little and let some of the dark creature out but I don’t.
But I don’t, I cant, I want to so badly. But I cant.
Here is the thing; I was fine the day before. I was fine the week before. I have been fine for a whole month before! Before it came back, it always does. It tricks me. But it tricks you more.
You have seen how good I have been. Maybe I was even great. Amazing. Fantastic. I want you to know that I really was. But you, like so many others were tricked into thinking maybe it wouldn’t come back. That sense I had been doing so well. I’d been so happy. That I could do this.
You’re not the only one though. It got me too. Except deep down I always knew the truth, that it would eventually be back. It always comes back. So I cant tell you. I like feeling as though someone is proud of me. I like seeing and hearing something other than concern when someone asks how I’m doing. I don’t like feeling like a burden. A failure. So I don’t tell you.
Despite the fact that I need you. The longer I keep treading water, keeping the smile on my face, the more detached I actually become. Not just from you. From everything. Friends. Family. The world.
The longer I keep the news of my unwanted trespasser to myself, the harder It becomes for me to get away from it. The harder it becomes to get it away from me. The harder it becomes to kick it out of my house, out of my mind. Eventually I will become too tired, and I’ll let it take my spirit away what is left of it anyway.
The sadness, the numbness. The overall melancholy that hangs over me at all times it seems. So thick I feel like I can actually see it, like I have my own personal cloud of sadness following me around all the time. I want to tell you this, I want to tell you that last night I sat on my bedroom floor hugging my knees as tight as I could to keep myself from falling even more apart and to not harm myself. I want to tell you how badly my cries scared me. I don’t want you to think of me as a burden. Another source of anxiety or worry. I don’t want you to pity me. I don’t want to infect your happiness with my cloud of sadness, I don’t want you to see me as someone to be handled with care, so fragile that I could shatter if you talk too loudly.
I need you. I need you to remind me of how I strong I am (especially when I don’t feel it) I need you to be a place where I can rest. A bench to sit quietly, to be able to cry quietly on. Somewhere I can steady myself so I don’t end up all the way up on the ground. I don’t need advice, I don’t need you to talk. I need you to sit quietly with me, to sit next to me. To hold my hand, to help me up. I just need you there so that the sadness doesn’t drown me.
But I can’t tell you this, because I’m scared to admit it to myself. I need you to know my silence doesn’t mean I am angry with you. I need you to know my short replies doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk, it means I don’t know how to talk.
And so I will whisper this, hoping it becomes lost among the rest of my thoughts.
I’m not okay.