How many of you find that you are “acting your way” through the day? You know what I mean. You have to mask your mental illness to keep it a secret from others at work and social situations.
You feel depressed and have to go to work. People come by you and say “How are you?” What do you say? I usually say “well I’m hanging in there” This is my best response even when I do not feel like I am hanging very well. I feel like my fingers are slipping off of whatever I a hanging onto. Someone greased the bar I am hanging onto and I am about to fall off.
But you can’t say that. You have to be FINE. Everyone must be fine to work or they do not trust you and consider you a threat to the status quo.
You act as best as you can that you are fine and try to get away from the conversation as fast as possible. You don’t want to make eye contact with anyone. You don’t want to string too many words together, for fear that you will say something to
“give yourself away.”
Then you get into a triggering situation at work (or in Dunkin Donuts) and you have to still be there. You have to pretend that the thoughts running through your head are not really there.
You try to tell your brain “Be quiet, I am trying to make a living here!” or “Wait until we get outside of the store to the car. I can’t have a mental breakdown right here at the cash register (or in the bank).
I wonder what all this forcing our true feelings down and telling our own brains to “shut up!” is doing to the disorganization of our brains? This must be damaging to the brain. The longer you have to fake things , the more the pressure builds inside. You are hiding like a child who broke a rule.
You feel degraded and invalidated. It is like our body (our mouth and voice) is invalidating our brain. Our minds and bodies are connected. What happens to the connection when we want to cry but we force ourselves to make a fake laugh at someone’s triggering , stupid joke.
We are around insensitive people who have stigma against mental illness. We can’t let them know. We hide. We hide. We hide.
What is this doing to further disorganize our brains?
There has to be some relief in between. I would like to hear your ideas about how you find relief from the
“faking it” mode. Pleases post in the comments below.
Mothers that take care of children, like me, also have to fake it. We have to play te role of good mother and have everything under control. I don’t think I do that so well anymore. I am a good mother but I don’t have a great flow mode, like normal brained mothers do.
It is hard to stay organized at work. You forget what someone just told you to do, one minute ago. You forget what needs to be done and sometimes how to do it.
It is hard to keep track of time. it either feels too short or way way too long. Sometimes the time at work drags and drags and it is almost unbearable because you want to go lie down in your bed.
These things are hard. I go out to my car on my dinner break at work. Even if it is freezing cold outside , i go out and sit in my car. I have to have a break from the acting. I can not sit in the break room and chit chat about dumb stuff with the other girls, like where they bought their new purse.
The break is ok but then you have to go back to acting again. Some days are worse than others. Are we inflicting our brains with abuse of forcing our emotions down? Just a thought…
How do you all deal with this?