Monday, 26 November 2018

"I'M OK!" - THE BIGGEST LIE IN MENTAL HEALTH


lie

[lī]

VERB

lying (present participle)

1.     tell a lie or lies.

·          (lie one's way into/out of)

get oneself into or out of a situation by lying.

"you lied your way on to this voyage by implying you were an experienced sailor"

·         (of a thing) present a false impression; be deceptive.

"the camera cannot lie"

I believe that we’re at our most vulnerable when our mental health is suffering so when you’re torn open like that… when you feel like your heart has been exposed to the world, how can you tell a lie? People talk all the time about how some people will fake poor mental health for the sake of state benefits or for days off work, sympathy, attention…

Then there’s the lying from those who are genuinely poorly with their mental health…


“I’m ok”
Probably two of the most overused words in the world. For so many reasons; ‘I’m ok’ has become the go-to response when we’re asked how we are. Granted, it sometimes depends on who’s asking you; I mean, are you going to tell the girl on the Customer Service desk at Morrisons that you’re feeling the need to self-harm? Or are you more likely to tell a professional who hears it a lot and kind of needs to know these things? But then for some – as it was for me for some time – it’s easier to tell a complete stranger than someone you know, someone who cares about you, or someone you love. 


When my moods became dictated by the hallucinations; I think I stumbled across the belief that I couldn’t answer a question when I had no right to. How I felt wasn’t up to me. I didn’t allow myself to feel something anything! I was scared when they changed. I was happy when they were silent. I was angry when they were shouting. I was sad when they were constant. It was something that took me years to come to grips with and to understand so how could I explain it to someone else. Because that’s what I felt the need to do – when I’d tell someone how I felt. I felt the need to explain myself. To justify why I was feeling the way I was. 
"All it takes is a beautiful, fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never notice how broken you really are" 
- Robin Williams

People always say that writing must help me as much as it helps my readers and I always talk about how cathartic it is. It’s so cathartic that the last sentence about feeling the need to justify my feelings? Well, that had me questioning myself; wondering why I hold that belief. And I think… I think that like many things, it stems from the abuse. It stems from going through months of feeling like everything I did thought said felt was because of the one, same, thing. Like everything was because of him. Every little thing was because of him. And now I need to make sure they aren’t. I need to confirm that it isn’t all down to one ‘person.’ That not everything has the same cause and motivation. But do I think that a person asking, ‘how’re you?’ wants to hear all of that?

One of the many traits of Borderline Personality Disorder that I experienced were emotions that were unrelenting, uncontrollable, and overwhelming. Often, this meant that I couldn’t put a label on my feelings at any given time because it felt that there was no word big enough to sum up an emotion. Would my anger be ‘unrelenting’ to another person? Or was it just unrelenting because I was poorly and couldn’t cope with it? I mean who dictates the level of an emotion for it to be labelled? There’s happy and then there’s elated. There’s angry and then there’s furious. There’s sad and then there’s depressed. There’s fear and then there’s terror. But who decides that one person can label their emotion something that another person may label differently? Is my ‘happy’ your ‘elated’? Or is your ‘depressed’ my ‘sad’? Do I belittle emotions because I believe I’ve felt more powerful ones? Would I deem your ‘depressed’ as ‘sad’ because I’ve felt ‘suicidal’? Or when I felt ‘suicidal’ would you have thought me ‘sad’? How can we put a complicated label on an answer to a simple question? I guess that ‘ok’ is the easiest way to sum up our emotions – especially when they’re confusing ones or ones you’re ashamed of.
But how can we ever be anything other than 'ok' if we're lying about it?