“I’m fine.” I say these words more than a normal person would. I’d bet on it. Unfortunately, most of the time I say them, I’m really not fine. Things aren’t going well, and something is probably eating me from the inside out. Mostly because this is my constant state of being. Thing is, most people don’t know. They can’t… I’m very good at disguise. And so are the many other people in this world with mental illness who don’t want to burden their friends or loved ones with everything that is going on inside them.
There are a few that can see behind the curtains, though, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m kinda terrified of them. It’s like being naked. And while part of me always wants people to know what I’m going through, I don’t at the same time. It’s a part of me that I want to hide.
I can write about different mental health things that I’ve experienced or exist too. That’s impersonal. I’m not talking to you about the things my mind is experiencing in real time. It’s an edited version of what happened. My mind isn’t like SNL. And when I do bring up things that are going on in real time, even THAT is edited.
So the next time a friend or family member of yours with a mental illness says “I’m fine,” they probably aren’t. BUT… they’re good enough to fake it for your sake.