TRIGGER WARNING – Mental health
Check out this piece from The Mighty: When You’re ‘Too Functional’ to Have Your Mental Illness Taken Seriously
I have diagnosed PTSD, depression, and anxiety; sometimes it’s obvious, but a lot of the time I look and act relatively normal. Like most people with chronic health issues, I fake being well and healthy. I’m not. I rarely cry or stay in bed all day (unless my pain level is high), which is what people seem to expect of those with mental illness. If I say anything, it’s generally offhand or the lite version.
When my ex attacked me I called the police in a calm voice, I addressed the officers with a calm voice, but my hands were shaking so hard I almost couldn’t fill out the paperwork, but everyone told me how strong I was. I didn’t feel strong, I felt betrayed and terrified. And for weeks after I had to sleep with a weapon of some sort near me, I checked the lock on my apartment door several times a day. Any weird sound woke me up, and I was tired all the time from poor sleep.
I can be shattered inside and still smile and help others. But that doesn’t mean I’m fine. I hate being a burden, so I gloss over my pain and muddle through.
So here’s a tip: Check in with your high-functioning friends. It’s hard for a lot of us to ask for help, we think we’re annoying/a bother/ a burden/whatever. If you feel you want to help say something like “Hey, I’d like to come over/do something fun with you. When’s good?” It’s easy to send messages, but actually showing up? That means the world. (Obviously, notes are sweet too, and being there physically isn’t always an option) And don’t forget to take care of yourself. As someone who gives *way* too much of themselves to others and doesn’t keep enough for herself, set healthy boundaries.