How are You Doing

It’s such a loaded question. It makes you think, how am I actually doing? Or, what are you going to tell this person? What you think they want to hear or maybe you can actually tell them how you actually are. It depends on the person, but it also depends on you.

For me, I always take the safe route and just say that “I’m fine”, or if it’s my dad, I just kind of make noises like “eh. meh.” and he understands. But, when is the right time to open up and say, “No, I’m not doing okay.”? I can’t answer that for anyone else, but I’ve learned to pick and choose who I say what to. I feel like there are some people who need to know, some people I actually want to know, then there’s people who don’t need to know or maybe even don’t deserve to know. It’s something that really needs to be contemplated though, I mean, that’s what I think anyway. Like, who in your life do you feel like you can turn to and tell them that you are not okay. Who do you reach out to? Who do you feel safe with?

Answering that question can leave you very exposed, because there are so many variables that go into the answer, but you have a split second to answer. So, what do you do? How do you answer? Are you really doing “fine”? You’ll know, but depending on what other people say, you decide on what you’re going to say. I feel like this issue runs through everyone’s head when the question is asked.

If you have mental illness, it make take a lot out of you to answer the question truthfully, you may be on autopilot and say a very basic, vague answer. Like I said, there are a lot of variables. Your comfort level with the person, the setting, the situation. It’s like you have to run through the five W’s (Who, What, When, Where, and Why) before you can answer the question.

I was thinking about this the other day, how I wish I wasn’t bipolar, how I wish I was “normal”, how I wish I didn’t have anxiety. Because I hate all those things, and they’re things I want to say when people ask how I’m doing, but I would never say those things. So, it’s something I have to deal with everyday of my life, I have to fight through and deal with it. Be stronger everyday. It’s not easy though. Some days when someone asks, you just want to beak down and cry and say that you are not okay. But, you’ll put on a brave face and a smile and say that everything is just peachy.

It’s not easy and it sure as hell isn’t fair, but it’s something that we always have to deal with, mental illness or not, people have bad days. Not everyone is hiding something, but some are. Life is just what it is. So next time someone asks how you’re doing, take an extra tenth of a second to think, reflect, how am I doing? Am I sugar coating it for this person? If I don’t, will they understand?

If you need validation for telling someone that you’re okay when you’re not, it’s here. I mean, find someone you trust and feel comfortable with and tell them, but you don’t have to tell someone in passing or someone you don’t see often how you’re actually doing.

Fridays Are For Catching Up

Sorry I haven’t posted in two days. I’ve been trying to get better about posting everyday. But, Wednesday was just a rough day, I had no inspiration or motivation. Just thinking about writing a post seemed like it would have been too much. So, I gave myself a break. Then yesterday, I went to see JOHN MAYER. I found out like 4 hours before we had to leave that I was going.

Going to the concert last night was a big deal for me. It was at Madison Square Garden, it was sold out, and I stayed out past my bed time. I didn’t crawl into bed until like 1:30 in the morning. The amazing this, is I only got super anxious once. I mean, it was on the verge of a panic attack anxiety, but it was after the show. It helped show me that I’m stronger than my disorder, well, I’m stronger than my symptoms. I didn’t cry, I didn’t have to leave early. I had an amazing time. I never really believed in mind over matter, but I think I need to start having more faith in myself and my ability to cope. Because I made a choice yesterday, was I going to let my disorder stop me from doing something I really wanted to do? Well, something I probably won’t ever get the chance to do again. I took the chance and I’m glad I did. I know there are going to be some consequences from staying up past my bedtime, like I know my body might betray me, get anxious and uncomfortable. I 100000% believe it was worth it though.

I’m not really a person to take risks, I get so panic stricken that I’m going that have an episode if I take a risk and do something I shouldn’t. It was John Mayer though, it was free, it was amazing. I have no regrets and that’s how I want to live my life. I don’t want to live in fear, I also can’t do what I did last night on a regular basis. I have to learn how to strike a balance, with fun and carefree, while also being responsible. Like, I left work early yesterday because I needed time to collect myself and get ready. I had to take today off so I could rest and try and get back to myself. I guess that means that I just need to have a cushion whenever I’m going to do something like that.

I also don’t really like surprises, I like to know what to expect and when to expect it. So, yesterday was very out of character for me. I am glad I did it though. It was a good experience for me, to take a risk and do something spontaneous.

Thursday Reflections

So, I went to support group last night. It was pretty good. The people were nice and we had a good conversation and I found it helpful. It was nice to be in a group with people around the same age. I was only there for an hour, so I feel like I didn’t really get a good feel for it. Would  I go again? Yes. We’ll see what happens in two weeks.

I’m supposed to go to a music festival tonight. I’m writing this instead of getting ready, I guess that shows how much I actually want to go. I just feel so overwhelmed by the thought of going. I have free tickets so I would feel bad wasting them, but if it’s at the expense of my mental health, is it worth it? I mean, I want to go, but will pushing myself to go help or hurt me? I won’t know, until I make my decision.

I was thinking earlier, while I was at work, essentially having a full on anxiety attack, about somethings that happened a few years ago. So, when I was diagnosed, I felt like my world went into a tailspin and everything was out of control. I had a small walk in closet, just big enough for me to fit comfortably. When I felt like things were too out of control, I would go in there and just cry and hide. It was small, it felt safe a cozy, I felt like laying in my bed was too out in the open. I don’t think I reflect on that part of my life very much. I don’t look back on it enough when I’m feeling bad and think, I have come so far. Because I really have. I no longer feel like I’m alone in the world, I have better coping skills now then to just go and hide in my closet. I mean, I’ve moved out of that room so I don’t really have access to the closet. Regardless though, I don’t have that need anymore. I understand myself and my disorder better now. I actually have coping skills and I feel, feelings, which for a very long time I didn’t. I didn’t understand anything and I wasn’t willing to learn, but now I am.

I have come a very long way from when I was diagnosed at 19, I’m not the same person, and for that I’m grateful. I will never forget who I was, but she is gone, I am me now. After I left the hospital in 2016, it was like a rebirth, I was a new person, my soul was rejuvenated. It truly is amazing what almost 3 years can do, when you play a part in your own recovery.

So, tonight just seems like it needs to be a quiet night of reflection and relaxation. Who knows though, I may change my mind. I just have to keep my own well being in mind, and whether or not I’m going just to go or if I’m going because I actually want to go.