It’s okay not to be okay

I’m tired. That’s how I usually explain it.

Some days, I wake up and I’m the happiest I have ever been, I feel this excitement straight from deep within which cannot be explained and I don’t usually stop to think about it because for me, that’s a gift. A gift I must hold tightly onto, and enjoy every single second of, because once that’s gone, I don’t know when it will come around again. Especially, now.

Most days, I wake up and I’m anxious; an unexplainable anxiety clawing at my insides, making everything an effort, making every action difficult.
On the really dark days, I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to see anybody or speak to anybody, everything is an effort, my phone rings and my heart starts beating really fast. I hear people moving around the house, and my heart starts beating fast that they might come to speak to me, that they might require me to be normal.

My life isn’t sad. I have an absolutely awesome family. My dad has spent his life making sure that we have the best kind of love. I have amazing friends who care about me and who “know” me… I have every reason to be thankful, to be happy, to be beyond happy. There’s so much good in my life.

And yet, I am not happy.

And I have gotten so good at hiding it, at trying so hard to just be. I pretend I’m happy, I pretend I’m having fun, I pretend I want to be there, I pretend I’m fine. I try really hard because I don’t want to feel like this, It’s like this constant drowning feeling, or as if something is weighing me down. One day, I am so happy and the next day, like a switch was flipped in my head, I’m not.

I don’t know how to be happy. This sounds like a completely horrible thing but I simply can’t let go enough, this anxiety doesn’t ease up enough. And fun? its just not that much fun having fun when you don’t want to have fun.

And now, recently, it’s gotten even worse, my okay days are far between. Those days when I don’t want to get out of bed are the most common; so if I do get up, I don’t want to stop, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to hear my thoughts, I just want to push through the day and get it over with.

I’m tired though. And now, I’m tired of pretending that I’m fine. I’m tired of making the effort when I really don’t want to. I never know how to explain this, I never have the words, so I just say I’m tired… in my mind.
And I’m ashamed of how I feel, so I pretend that I’m not feeling it. I pretend I am fine. I put on a big smile and tell my therapist “everything is awesome”. And I’ve gotten so good at it. I’ve been doing it for years.
Crying one minute and laughing on the phone the next.
I’ve learnt to keep the tears on one side and continue when I’m alone. I’ve learnt to cry in a crowd and no one notices.
I’ve learnt how to pretend I’m fine.

Why am I writing this?
For two sets of people; someone who gets it and someone who needs someone to get it.

Talk to someone, it will help. tell them exactly how you feel, in the words you feel them, it feels stupid, I know, but just say them, with that one person, at least, you’ll feel less crazy, the voices will quieten, you won’t be so scared of the silence.

I’m trying to not be so ashamed of this; maybe it’s okay not to have an answer when someone asks, “why are you sad?”

The first day, I saw my therapist, she told me that “a suicide attempt is a crime punishable by jail-time in this country”… I’m not afraid of dying though. Most of the time, I’m afraid of living… But I won’t stop, I won’t quit.

I wrote these lines a long time ago “I’ll work it out, I’ll see you through, this is the life I meant for you”.

So, I simply have to remember that I don’t have to struggle alone, I don’t have to do it all by my own effort.

 

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

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