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It’s kind of funny trying to write this, because I want to write about how I pretend that I’m fine when I’m not, and I have the urge to downplay how bad it is even here. Like, “I’m not alright, but it’s okay, I’m fine,” like that’s not a complete contradiction. I’m pretty sure it’s kind of ingrained in me at this point to act like I’m happy, carefree, and not constantly one misstep away from breaking down in tears.

A few days ago, I tried talking to my mom about myself because I was wondering if my relationship with food was normal (that might be a topic for another day). The conversation kind of ended when she said I looked like I did when I was little and had one hand getting in trouble behind my back. Thinking about it later, I realized it was because I felt like I had been lying. Elevated heart rate, perspiration, the urge to shut up and run. Looking back, I realize that I felt that way every single time I expressed to anyone even a little bit that maybe I wasn’t fine in some way.

So if I feel like I’m lying when I’m being honest, the logical assumption is that I’m lying the rest of the time. Which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Maybe it’s because my younger sister says that I’m more of “an innocent little cinnamon roll” than she is, or that my parents are under the impression that I can do no wrong and can’t lie worth sh*t. It’s kind of funny how I used to believe them, even when I lied to their faces about the status of my homework and got away with it.

The fact of the matter is that I am not fine and I do not know how long it has been that way. And that I also have no idea how long I’ve been pretending that I am (several years at least). And I don’t know if I can stop, or even if I want to. People get uncomfortable really fast when I stop pretending, and nothing good ever comes of it. I get pity from my mom, confusion from my dad, and lectures about sucking it up from my sister. It’s easier to just pretend. Especially when they act like my honest moments never happened.

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If it feels like you're not being listened to then just try and get the courage to say it damn outright to them. Its not okay to keep it all inside, it's not okay to feel like you can't talk about things that are clearly bothering you. Being silent about it helps noone and makes you feel lonely as hell. I used to pretend and it just gets to the point where pretending and putting on a mask just becomes plain exhausting. Speak to your parents and make them understand the difficulties you're facing. If you feel you want therapy then express that. You don't need to hide in the dark with mental illness, there are so many resources, so many points of call.
Mental illness shouldn't be kept a secret

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