Things have been worse than this before; so they can’t be that bad now…
It’s just a rut, I’ll get out of it like I have all the other ones.
They’re just worrying too much, I’ve gotten through so much other shit; this won’t be different.
The more sick my mind becomes, the more I attempt to rationalize my feelings. I try to minimize the symptoms I may be experiencing because I am scared. I am fortunate to never have been extremely physically ill, but my mind has long since been healthy. I have gone through much of my life constantly being at war with my own mind, and that is no easy feat.
So now I make excuses. I rationalize and minimize what I am going through to other people so as not to worry them. No one in my life has ever implicitly said that I have burdened them due to my illnesses; but that does not mean that I have never felt that way. There have been countless times where I have had a loved one ask me simply how I’m doing, and I lie.
I make excuses.
I do it to protect the people I love from the truth of just how screwed up I feel at times.
I do it to try and make myself believe that I am not as sick as I am.
I do it because I don’t want people to worry about me.
I do it because I am scared of the truth.
I do it because I am confused and I don’t have all the answers to the questions I know they will ask.
I do it because the altered version of reality where I am not sick is sometimes better than the truth.
I do it because I have a shift to get to.
I do it because I wish this was not happening.
I do it because I want to prove to myself that I am in control of at least one part of my life.
I do it because maybe if I act like I am okay for long enough one day it will come true.
The problem with this however, is that it means I am constantly turning a blind eye to my health and wellbeing. I am essentially ignoring the fact that I am sick.
I know there is no shame in having a mental illness. I love doing my part to have conversations about mental health in an effort to reduce stigma. But it does not change the fact that living with depression and anxiety is scary.
If I had a broken arm, I would go to see a doctor.
So why do I treat my mind any differently?
This is question that has been weighing quite heavily on me lately; and I wish I knew the answer. I know that I have people in my life who care and love me so deeply and that they would do anything to help me get better.
So why am I so reluctant to accept their love and caring?
I think that part of it is because I know that I am very lucky. I know that there are many people all over the world who have things much worse than I do.
I tell myself these things and somehow it translates to me not being as deserving of help, love and caring as those other people. The thing that I need to remind myself is that everyone’s perspective is relative. Sure, some people have it worse than I do; but that does not change the fact that for me, this is some of the hardest stuff I have ever gone through. This is my version of sick, bad, unwell, worse, unhappy and it may be different than those of other people but that does not in any way mean that what I feel is not valid. It in no way means that I am not deserving of help, love and caring; because I am.
I deserve all the good things in the world – and so do you.