I lie all the time. I feel like I have to.
I sit on reception and I greet up to 100 people every single day. The same greeting for the same staff members:
“Morning Deb/Cheryl/Steve/Andrew/Gary etc…”
“How are you? they ask
“I’m fine” I lie. *big smile* “And how are you?”
…often I don’t get an answer as that member of staff is already past the security doors and on their way to their desk/the work kitchens.
So I lie. Every day. I lie because if they asked “how are you?” and I said “Actually, I’m considering suicide every single moment of every single day. I can’t look at any object without imagining how it could hurt me or kill me if I used it just so. I hate myself. I loathe myself. I despise myself. All the time. How are you going?”
Because that’s the truth.
I live in a constant state of fear, anxiety, great depression, deep unhappiness and a deep-set, long-lasting utter, complete hatred for myself.
And yet…I can still laugh. I still find things genuinely funny – so I do.
And every single time I hear my laugh, I chide myself inside “Shut up, you fool – you’re depressed. Stop laughing”
But if something’s funny, I can’t help it. I laugh.
Smiling comes naturally to me – especially when I see the faces of familiar staff here at work, or I hear the voice of my best friend Christabel on the telephone, or I see an uplifting, encouraging post or message from someone I love on Facebook (omg Atta – I love the confetti envelope you sent me), or most of all, whenever I’m with Alun. I can’t help but feel brighter and better when Alun is around. He exudes happiness, joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, comfort, warmth, safety…all the good things. It pours out of him effortlessly and he is like that with everyone. That’s probably why I’m so in love with him. Alun lights up any space he’s in. It’s pretty magical.
I still love, live and go on.
WHICH MAKES ME SO ANGRY because if I stopped laughing and started actually dying – then maybe people I love would understand that the suffering I go through is real. It’s very, very real. Very dark, very heavy and very constant.
But my body betrays me because it functions just fine.
I have no cancer cells to talk about. No illness to show scans of. No bandages or crutches or body parts in plaster so others can see and recognise that I’m not at my 100% today. Or any day.
It’s all in my head.
And I feel so incredibly alone, you guys.
I know my friends would rather I be honest. They would prefer my honesty all the time. But here’s why I don’t follow through with it.
1) How many times can you say “I’m suicidal?” and not do anything to kill yourself – before that loved one just rolls their eyes and it has no effect on them? I’d guess about 20-30 times. I know for myself, my friend…let’s call her “Stacey” is very suicidal indeed and leans very heavily on me. I emotionally pick her up and carry her through the day and let me tell you – IT’S KNACKERING. It drains me so deeply and thoroughly that I don’t think I can stand to do it a minute longer. And yet there are Stacey’s messages, emails and calls “I don’t think I can go on” so I drop everything to look after her. And honestly? I’m starting to hate it. I’m starting to resent Stacey and her stupid suicidal notions because it wears ME out. I feel guilty. I worry. I stress. I don’t sleep. If she doesn’t answer a message or call from me, I wonder if I have to call the Police. Then when she does message and she’s having a lovely time and is perfectly ok – I WANT TO KILL HER MYSELF.
My phone will ‘beep’ or ‘ping’ and the moment I see Stacey’s name, I sigh and groan inwardly.
“Again? really?” I say to myself.
I hate it.
And I don’t want that for you!!! Do you understand that? I want you to have a happy, guilt free life. I want you to have a well-deserved ‘break’ from my depression. I wish I could have one but I can’t – so the best I can do is LIE to you and tell you I’m absolutely fine – so you can sleep well. So you can put down the heavy burden of worrying and stressing over me – even if just for a few weeks. Because I love you and I want nothing but happiness for you. That’s why I lie to you. That’s why I laugh on the phone with you. That’s why I sing in the car with you.
Because I get no rest from this hell. The least I can do is make sure I hide it from you as best I can as often as I can.
2) It’s exhausting for both of us. So why do it? Why say “I’m struggling. I’m suffering here. Badly. I’m crawling on my hands and knees and wondering if I’ll ever make it through this dark tunnel and see the sun again” to you? Over and over? It does us no good. So instead, I’ll laugh and say “Yep, all good here – how’s things with you?”
3) I don’t want to be your burden.
I take long naps almost every day and I go to bed at 9:00pm every night and fall into an exhausted sleep, only to wake a few hours later on the bridge of panic because I worry about you. I don’t sleep well. I don’t sleep for long, so as well as being in a constant state of fear and self hatred – I’m honestly physically exhausted, too.
And I don’t want that for you.
I don’t want to wake in the night and have Alun awake too – frightened if I’m still alive or not.
I don’t want my best friends not being able to sleep, wondering if I’ve killed myself yet. Who on earth wants such a thing for someone they love?
So I lie. Constantly. I say “I’ve had a great day!”, “I’m enjoying life and loving the gym” “I love working and hope to get more hours” “OMG hahahaha that’s so funny!”
When inside, I’m burnt and flaking away and wondering if anything is going to be left of me.
It is a miserable, difficult existence and one I question at regular intervals.
Why do I keep going when it would be so much easier to just go to sleep and never wake up?
For you 🙂
So hang in there with me. I won’t give up. Please be patient with me and please know that I only lie to you because I think it’s for the best.
I love you. You guys are my world xxxx