It’s OK … honestly

I’m frustrated that people don’t understand and can’t accept me the way I am. I’ve been taking medication for depression and anxiety for over 20 years, but at the end of the day I’m still mentally ill. Before I started the meds, it could take me five minutes to decide which car to take to the store, and I’d still be second guessing myself, as if the world as we know it would come to a screeching halt if I made the wrong decision.

The meds are there to help stabilize my mood so I can function, but they’re never going to make me “normal.” I go through periods when my sleep patterns are totally crazy, and simple things like brushing my teeth are impossibly hard.

I have pinched nerves in my neck, arthritis, and stiffness from an old injury. The pain is invisible, but I have to deal with it on a daily basis, compounding the problem.

What I really want to say is, that doesn’t make me bad or wrong. Ask me if I’m angry with you, and 99% of the time the answer is a resounding “no.” I just don’t know what to do when people don’t believe me, or read things into my mood. I used to make the excuse, “I guess I’m just tired” when people asked me, what’s wrong?” I’m so tired of making excuses.

Please, please, please understand that sometimes I’ll withdraw into myself. At those times, being sociable is a near impossibility. I express myself better in writing than in conversation, so I’m hoping this open letter to those who care about me will help.

So many people have to deal with mental illness on a daily basis. Many feel that they have to assess and guard their actions and reactions at every moment, so they don’t project their mood, because others just wouldn’t understand. I hope this letter will help others to understand depression a little more. Depression and anxiety are a part of who I am. Please know that I’m OK with you, and I’m OK with myself … honestly.