“There’s nothing wrong with admitting to not being okay.”
The statement that is so easy to tell other people or to even tell yourself. You can sit there and repeat that phrase to yourself, but when it comes time to looking someone else in the eyes and saying, “I’m not okay,” you freeze. So much easier said than done.
Why is that? Why is it so much easier to admit to ourselves that we’re not okay, but when we know we need help, we’re frozen in time, unable to say those three words?
Some may say it’s because we feel like a burden to others so we don’t tell them. Others say it’s because the people we go to help for won’t understand; then what’s the point of a cry for help if they won’t know that’s what we’re doing?
What if the reason why we don’t say anything is that we’ve been weighed down by our anxiety and/or depression for so long that we’ve gotten used to the burden we put on ourselves? I know I’m not the first person to make that accusation, but I’ve been thinking about that more often than the other reasons I’ve heard. I can tell people that I’m anxious about going to so and so’s house but I have no reason to be. The response I’ll get will be something along the lines of “You have no reason to be worried, what could possibly happen?” Well, if you would like I can tell you the 259 imaginary scenarios I thought of in the past 5 minutes. Yes, I understand the likelihood of any of those happening is so incredibly slim, but I can’t stop my brain from thinking of those scenarios. No matter how hard I beg and plead my mind to stop.
There comes a point when crying, screaming, being silent, and bad habits don’t help you anymore. There comes a time when I’ve gotten so used to feeling like I’m drowning, I just let the anchor weigh me down and I slowly tell myself it’s okay because I understand why I’m doing this. At least I understand.
I know it’s not ideal, but if you don’t understand what it’s like to have anxiety and/or depression, it’s hard to not think this sounds like someone who is just wallowing in their own self-pity. I agree it does sound like that, but it is not that at all. It’s so easy to learn how to go to school and work and be the happy ball of sunshine everybody sees. It’s easy to go home and be around friends or significant others and hide the burden you’ve been carrying all day. We’ve become very good actors and actresses over the years when you know what people will tell you.