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Catching On

I can put on a happy face when I need to. Every day, I smile and laugh. I can even feign being social. I crack a joke, I participate in conversation. I play the part. Depending on who you ask, I'm either quiet and serious or bubbly and comical. I've fooled all my peers for so long, but just how long can I keep it up?

Last year was the first time someone besides my best friend confronted me about.... me. My parents. My best friend emailed them, telling them the things I confided in her about-- namely my constant depression. They sent me off to a psychologist when I wouldn't tell them anything. I didn't tell the psychologist anything either, and stopped seeing her six months later.

In February of this year, a girl I still hardly know got the truth out of me. At least, one of my truths. We haven't talked about it since.

At the end of last year, my music teacher began stopping me after class daily and asking me many times if I was okay. I lied every time.

The school year ended and everything seemed back at square one. They tried asking if something was wrong, I shut them all out and denied them information. No problem.

This year it's not working.

One day in robotics, my after-school activity, a practical joke was played on me. Three boys on my team had found out about something that scares me. I left the room, and when I returned the object of my fear was my screensaver. Usually all would be well and fine. If it were anyone but me, that is.

I had the worst panic attack I'd had in month. I collapsed on a stairwell, and everything went blurry. When my vision returned and I regained my sense, my math teacher of the prior year was there, as well as the principal. They wanted to know what was wrong. I gave them as little information as possible, telling them only what just occurred. They told my entire robotics team, and the teacher in charge of it.

My English teacher confronted me last month, claiming I'm not myself anymore. I don't know what to tell her. I told her I was fine. She called me a liar.

Slowly but surely all of these people are catching on. They're watching my every move. I've managed to keep the wool over my parents' eyes, but what happened when everyone finds out too much.

Surely it's suspicious that I've been wearing long sleeves so often as of late. Or not.

Maybe I can fool them a little bit longer.
EtherealMelody EtherealMelody 16-17, F 2 Responses Nov 29, 2012

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i cant breath right know ,that is happening to me and my parents dont know, my counsellors want me to see a pyscoligist but i wont. it is the same i am always fainting and i can hardly breath at times. every one is asking if i ok but i just say i am fine. i so depressed and my anxeity is killing me.

Depression is "drowning when everyone around you can breathe."

I know what it's like to hide all the depression, anxiety, and negativity--to the point where you just don't know how you contain it anymore. Due to basic human insecurities it can be inordinately frightening to consider your experience with others.

You don't sound stupid. I'm sure you realize that people who care about you--your friend, music teacher, English teacher, etc.--are only trying to help. Sadly, our natural defense mechanism is to deny such accusations and turn away the support we so desperately need.

The combination of both mental and physical events you describe warrant further exploration. Please, for your own sake, try to find a way to reach out to someone--however you feel comfortable--and consider opening up to a professional. Even if you think a therapist is "B.S.", the act of verbalizing your experience to another person is inherently therapeutic. Finally, keep in mind that you are not alone--according to current NIMH statistics, nearly one in four adults will experience a clinical mood disorder at some point in their lifetime (I'd bet thats understated due to a shortage of mental health professionals to make diagnoses).

I wish you the best.

P.S. Buddhists often consider that "all life is suffering"; this idea proposes that conflict confers meaning to our lives . As humans, would that we view conflict and resolution as "forward motion" from which we derive purpose and inherent satisfaction. For what it's worth :)