There are days, weeks and even months in my life when I can’t really talk to most people. It doesn’t matter if you know or don’t know that I have depression and anxiety. It doesn’t matter if we are friends and/or you already love me. It has nothing at all to do with you, so please don’t take it personally if I can’t talk to you right now.
I want to talk. I don’t want to be alone, withdrawn or make you think that I’m a bitch. I don’t want, but NEED to be alone and withdraw from as much of the world as humanly possible.
There is a pressure in my mind when I am struggling to prevent another crash (down cycle of depression). A desperate need to not allow any extra stress or negativity into my life because it snowballs so easily. And it isn’t that I think you would ever intentionally cause me stress or share with me every negative thing in your life (and if we are friends – then I want you to do that) — but I just can’t in that moment. I can’t talk to you.
I can talk with my kids, usually my husband and parents and pretty much always with my best friend (she’s been my BFF since we were 14). That’s it though. It’s a pretty short list. I know and I’m sorry.
I’ll have a thousand different reasons why it’s not a good time to talk. I’m an old hand at coming up with excuses so I wouldn’t have to say something like —
“I’m weird. I have depression and it is preventing me from being normal. If I have to add one more thing to my plate, my head will explore into a million gory little pieces and my children will miss their mother. So, to keep hold of my sanity, please know that I’m still your friend. I still love you. And I will talk to you when I know my head won’t come off my neck.”
I wish I wasn’t this way.
The good thing is that I’ll move on to the next cycle eventually. I’ll *wake up* and will want to hear everything that’s going on in your life. And this type of phase might not happen again for a month or even a year. The bad thing is that it will happen again. And I’m sure that makes it really hard to be my friend, especially when I’ve never explained what the problem was before.
Yesterday, October 6th, marked the start of NAMI’s Mental Illness Awareness Week. I’m doing my part and sharing a little peek into my world.