A Convenient Pretense

I’m okay.

Of course, you and I know that I’m not, but we’ll pretend that we believe this. You’ll pretend because you don’t want to cross my boundaries and I’ll pretend because it’s easier. You see, I have no answers for the questions I know you might ask. I could give you the words my therapist tells me to say, but they will only need more explanations. Bipolar disorder. Depression. Dysthymia. Names, labels. Answers that aren’t really reasons. Just another set of “whys”.

Or I could break down in front of you and pour out the jumbled, chaotic tangle of thoughts that is my inner reality nowadays and let you deal with it how you may. I could tell you that I’m feeling helpless, confused, guilty, hopeless, and exhausted. And sad. That I know I’m letting everyone who loves me down and that I have no more strength to do anything about it. At the risk of sending you into a panic, I could even admit that I long for the relief of not being here anymore. Oblivion. And that it scares me, wanting it.

But really, what can you do? You can feel sorry for me and give me a hug, if you’re the kind of person who does that. Or you could just settle for a pat on the back. Then you’d tell me to “Think positive,” or even “Be strong”, or any other platitude that I’ve heard and tried a thousand times before and I’d resist the urge to cry out in frustration and pain that you don’t understand! — because honestly? I don’t understand either.  And it would be unfair to take it out on someone like you who was only trying to be nice.

So I’ll just smile and tell you I’m okay instead. Yes, I’m fine.

Because really, what else is there to say?


3 thoughts on “A Convenient Pretense

  1. I could say, “I know what you’re going through.” But that’s a lie. You know it, and I know it.

    I don’t know your pain. You don’t know mine.

    I’m not going to lie to you and say it will get better, or say you will get through it. I don’t know any of those things. You know I don’t know that.

    All I can say is-I am going through something similar. I want to scream, and cry, and run, and just get away from everything and every one. I feel unworthy of love, unworthy of faith, unworthy of my salary, unworthy to be alive and breathing and…you know the drill.

    All I can say is, I sympathize. If you need to talk, I’ll listen.

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