Sometimes, when I’m having a bad mental health day, I just say I’m tired or that I simply need a night in.
Living with a mental illness takes some getting used to. To me, it is like spending all your money on a new house and having nothing left in the bank to furnish it. It feels uncomfortable. You know things will change, but in the meantime, you just must put up with it.
I’ve been living with anxiety and depression for some six years, and although I don’t have as many bad days as I used to, I still get them. I have found that sometimes it is just easier to lie about them than to tell people the truth. It isn’t the case that I don’t want help and support; I just get tired of telling people that I just don’t feel good today. This is where the white lies come into play; I’m busy, tired, have other plans, have no money, etc. When I am on the brink of a particularly bad spell, I merely pretend it isn’t happening. I feel that if I make excuses to defend my unwashed appearance, it will help. People say, “hi, you look exhausted” when I venture out, which s always nice to hear!
“I’m really busy.”
We live in a world where this phrase is a badge of honour. On my really bad days, I tell people that I am run off my feet where in fact, I’m crying, eating junk, staring at the television and sleeping. -I suppose that is a busy day. It is also another handy defence for looking rough.
I may appear not to have slept enough, but the truth is I’ve done nothing but sleep for a week.
Depression affects us differently-for me; it’s in bed with a stockpile of junk food and the television.
Following a week of “I’m too busy”, I use the excuse that I need an early night to avoid any social interaction. All too often, I say I’ve been putting in lots of overtime when in fact, I’ve been a total recluse in my pyjamas all week, but I require more alone time when I’m not coping.
Another famous excuse is that “I’m skint”. I reserve this one for when all my cop-outs have been used up. I know deep down that socialising will be good for my mental health, but when that dark wave hits me, I find it almost impossible to be an extrovert, so my little white lies allow me to remain a hermit for a little longer, and that is fine by me.
Do you feel that you would benefit from talking to someone in confidence about your mental health?