Please Stop Telling Me I'm OK
I am 47 years old. I have fibromyalgia and some other spinal issues. I deal with it every day. Constant pain. I take meds to quell that pain so I can physically function as somewhat “normal” person. I have come to terms with the physical pain. I am OK with it.
What I am not OK with is the clinical depression. I have struggled most of my life with bouts of depression, grief and anxiety. This time it’s worse. This time it’s more than I can bear. It’s controlling me and I feel like I am losing the battle against it. I have been diagnosed with severe clinical depression and/or major depressive disorder. I am not convinced they are the same thing. It’s spiraling out of control to the point I am now what’s called passive suicidal. I don’t want to kill myself. Let me make that very clear. What I do want is to just not live. If you have depression and are reading this, you already know all about the enormous hurt inside you. I don’t need to revisit that.
I am doing what I should do. I am getting help. I go to doctors, therapists and have meds. I’m trying. I’m fighting not because I want to but because it’s what I am supposed to do. I am struggling to do this, to make myself want to get better, to find hope again. To find joy again. I am not there yet.
I feel so incredibly broken inside. I am not OK. I want to be OK. I think maybe someday I will be OK. But right now, I’m not OK and I wish people would stop telling me I am. Telling me to “hang in there a little longer” has become an insult to my idea of hope. Telling me I will “get through this” feels dismissive to my pain. Telling me “things are going to change” is meaningless when I feel dark and like everything in life is just failure. When I tell a loved one I feel broken and the response is, “no you aren’t” it only adds to the hopelessness I feel when the person I love the most doesn’t understand. I keep trying to explain this to those I love the most. It feels like an exercise in futility. I do it anyway thinking one day my words will get through to them. One day they will understand. Then I regret the pain they feel for me. It a never ending circle. I try to explain, they hurt, I feel worse about myself, I try to explain, they hurt… and so it starts over again.
If you have someone in your life who is going through this darkness, acknowledge them and their pain. Depression is a real demon people fight with. Help them by doing some research to learn to how help them. Learn what to say and do and mostly what not to say or do. Please don’t argue with them and assume just because you say “honey, you’re OK” the person will believe it. Ask if you can talk to your loved one’s doctor. Maybe the doctor can explain it better. Search the internet, there’s a lot of information out there. If you’re living in a bad place, help the person move. Most likely they don’t have the strength or confidence to do it alone. Do something more than form words that are no more than sounds. If those words help you in your state or phase of depression, that’s awesome! I am honestly and sincerely very happy for you. I wish I was at that point now.
I wrote this for those of us who haven’t gotten to that point yet and for those who love us anyway.
Try. Really try. Many times words are not enough. Stop telling me I am OK and help me to become OK.
Please. Do something.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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