I wish people knew
When it comes to mental health, so often we feel alone. We look around at the “achievers,” the “happy,” the people who “have their life together.” What we don’t realize, they hide behind the same veils as we do.
As such, I wanted to step out from my veil for a moment, providing a real-life example, from my life. I live with high-functioning anxiety. At 9:50 am on a workday, I received a disappointing personal call. My mental health has been suffering recently AND I’m a highly-sensitive person. So, that call, it didn’t take but a moment and I felt the need to cry. Crying is one of my unavoidable go-to actions when I’m under stress/overwhelm. Feeling it come on, I said to the person on the other end of the line, “I’m going to get emotional,” as a heads-up that I was about to cry. I cried softly through my mostly coherent thoughts to complete the call.
Trouble is, I had to get onto a 10:00 am business strategy call. I took a deep breath, dabbed the tears from the corners of my eyes, and started the call. I appeared poised, professional, driven, and, well, like I had my life together. Even though, just moments before (and still on the inside), I was breaking down.
After all of that, I sat. Honestly, I slithered down my chair and sat under my desk. I thought to myself, “See! That’s what I wish people knew.” I wish that people knew that they’re not alone. That most, if not all, of people suffer with true mental health downturns. Some subtle, some larger. But, just because someone appears well doesn’t mean that they are.
For that reason, I am writing this to say that, sometimes, I’m not okay. And that’s okay. I can be tired, exhausted, overwhelmed, sad, etc. I can feel hopeless. And, it’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay.
Please, know you’re not alone. Please know that it’s good to talk about it. Please know that you will find so many people to relate to when you open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable. And, please, be kind to others. You know nothing about them in the deeper sense. They might have just been in despair sitting under their desk. We’re all trying to get by. The love, empathy, respect, and understanding that you desire it also that which you must give.