Sunday, 22 September 2013

Put on a happy face! :D

I was thinking I should probably say something of substance but was really struggling to come up with anything to talk about (I need to do the anxiety fact box post I promised but it seems a little daunting right now).
Anyway I was saved by someone uttering the unfortunate phrase 'you seem much better this week'. I'm aware that sounds like a good thing. It IS a good thing...If I can't BE happy I may aswell seem happy.  But it's one of many stupid contradictions in my life and/or brain that I expend considerable energy trying to convince everyone I'm fine but then get upset when they fall for it.
I don't want to be the miserable one all the time, I don't want to seem weak, I don't want to scare people off or to have them judge me. Oof I'm supposed to be against mental health stigma with this blog but there I go stigmatising myself before anyone else even gets a chance. It's easy to convince yourself that nobody will like you if you're always ill dull boring down.
And it's a balance....sometimes playing the game and putting on the happy face actually helps. You force yourself to get out and join in and you end up feeling a little less useless, a little less alone. Problem is the rest of the time it leaves you feeling drained and fake and hopeless- is this the closest to ok you can expect?
It's exhausting playing at being ok all day long when all you want to do is crawl into bed and hide. But if you were to retreat from the world (and goodness knows it's tempting) you would eventually be faced with the imposing task of re-engaging with life and putting everything back together again.
It can be very hard to find the balance between letting people in, letting them help you and falling apart and letting the head noise consume you.

Back to my starting point- so often people, quite reasonably, assume it's encouraging to tell someone they seem well, that if validates their efforts and will make them feel good. However, commonly it can have the opposite effect. There's something horribly INvalidating about being told you seem well when in reality you're struggling like mad just to survive. Plus it gives that horrible sneaky little voice of denial a doorway to wander in and start wreaking havoc. See you're fine you're just being stupid there's nothing wrong with you you seem well so making a fuss so being so pathetic just get a grip. It's a very unhelpful voice.

Did I have a point do you think? Basically if you have a mental illness use the 'I'm fine' look with caution. If you're supporting someone with mental illness beware of telling them how they are, it's always better to start a conversation with a question than an assumption cos some of us are disgustingly good at deception!
As for myself, I've learnt that I need to be careful to schedule my appointments so I'm not going straight from work. Turns out if I do that I turn up in 'work mode' and seem happy and fine and great. Which is not so helpful for the whole therapy thing (and plus introduces the extra level of fear that they will decide im fine and don't need them and give the help to someone who deserves it! ).
Bit of a ramble sorry! The nail pic is old vis my nails are plain and boring atm since I've not had much time. I figured the little smilies were appropriate anyway Hehe. I forget when they're from or what I used... The yellow is tarastalons sandcastles I know cos I'm in love Haha. Think the pink is barielle? Sailor's delight maybe? The others are probably color club and the white Barbara Daly... plus trusty models own nail art pen. Does that cover it? X