The majority of the time when someone asks me “How are you doing?” I usually respond with “I’m okay”. That is my default answer. People usually assume that’s me doing really well and that all is good in my life. To me, that is a neutral response. I’m not doing terrible but I’m not doing good either. I struggle with feelings. Others feelings and my own feelings. I purposely numb myself. I am convinced that anytime something good happens, it will always get ruined. When I am feeling happy, it will eventually turn sour. I try to be numb because I rather feel neutral rather than being extremely excited or extremely sad.
In my mind, I put everything behind a wall. That wall has so many cracks that memories will scratch at, that wall will overfill sometimes, and sometimes I receive news and that wall just comes bursting down. I have days where my depression gets so bad that I feel that I’m drunk. I get really confused, I feel fuzzy, and I can’t think properly but I will be completely sober. I’ve had experiences where expressing my feelings would always lead to bad experiences that turn me off from wanting to share how I feel. I have never been able to express anything to my parents. I was once in counseling but I could sense that my parents were ashamed of it so I faked my way out of it. I became so numb in high school that my friends thought it was normal for me to “act” depressed. I carried that behavior to college and now it’s even worse. I use to have long talks with my supervisor of him trying to convince me of getting counseling. I always argued because my answer was always “I’m okay.” I’m clearly not okay. The only time I can admit that I need help is through writing. I can’t admit that I’m depressed and suicidal out loud. There’s a recovery program here on campus and I’ve talked to the program director before and I have cried in his office for a good hour because of the way I was feeling. He knew immediately I needed help and all he did was listen. I need that so much. I bottle things in until it comes pouring out and then I become numb again pretending it never happened. I struggle with getting in touch with my feelings unless its through writing. I have always written small poems and short stories for my own personal therapy.
If you are like me and struggle to admit to your feelings, I do encourage picking up something that expresses your feelings. Art, writing, cooking, or anything expressive. It slightly helps me because coming to terms with my illness helps me realize I need to do something to fix it.
I do regret not getting help when it was available. Now that I’m on a college campus, it is again available to me. It gives me small hope but I still have insecurities that are holding me back. One day, when I am comfortable I will go to counseling but right now my counseling consists of cats and writing.