Maybe you were a friend or a lover or a family member. Maybe you’re someone who used to know me before I got depressed/anxious/manic/etc, or maybe it wasn’t obvious enough that I had my own stuff going on.
It’s really not okay.
Many times, when I seep into a dark place, one that I’ve never been able to crawl from so easily, I’ll do or say things that I don’t notice. When my world is filled with darkness, I do not see your good intentions. I do not see your kind smiles or gestures. Sometimes, when I am distancing myself from you and everyone else I love, I do not know I am doing this. Instead, I think it’s you. I think it’s your fault. I think it’s everyone’s fault but the little demon inside my head that makes me lose control of my own mind.
So I’ll cry on your shoulder and rant about all of the bad things that won’t leave my mind. I’ll tell you stories of friends who left me, who I miss, and I don’t know why. I’ll yell at you and be unnecessarily cruel because that little demon is controlling my actions, too. I’ll cancel plans last minute because I’ve been pacing around the bathroom for the last three hours, crying for no reason in particular, imagining ways I could die with pleasure, listening to music blasting for the chance that I can get out of my head.
I don’t want you to see my eyes all puffy and red. I don’t want you to see this desperate fire in my eyes that makes me want to jump off cliffs and tie a rope to my neck.
I understand if you take these as signs that I am being purposefully cruel or distancing myself when you don’t know what I’m going through. I understand if you can’t handle it when you don’t see the real me anymore.
Sometimes, I tell you, though. I tell you about the little demon inside my head who makes me sad, angry, lonely, suicidal, and it makes me feel like no one cares about me anymore even when you tell me all the time that you care so much. I tell you that I am depressed or manic or whatever it is, that I want more than anything in the world to be back to normal again. I tell you it’s annoying to wait for these feelings to pass. I tell you I’m sorry after every outburst and I hope that when it’s over, you’ll see me again. I hope that you see the real me behind all of the muck. I hope that someday I become so strong that I never fall back into an episode, so that I know I won’t lose you.
This is why it hurts even more to have you reject me when I’m feeling blue, when my mental illness has a hold on me. It hurts when you tell me that there’s a darkness inside of me and that you don’t want anything to do with it. Behind that darkness, I am still there, begging for you to see me, while on the outside I continue to sharpen my tongue and speak in swirls about the jagged glass feeling in my heart, in my gut, that I didn’t put there on my own.
It’s really not okay for you to blame me for my own mental illness, to tell me to suck it up and get over it, to tell me I’m being too negative. It’s really not okay for you to tell me I am toxic when I am doing my best. When you judge me or talk bad about me with your friends or laugh at my inability to feel happiness for months, I hope you know that behind all of that, I am still here and that real person is truly sad, is actually angry, because I cannot let someone like you be my friend anymore.
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Featured Photo Credit: Michelle Polacinski