The Lies Anxiety and Depression Make Me Tell
I am a liar.
I have lied every day of this new year.
I have mastered the art of deception.
The lies I tell sound convincing, even to my own ears.
The lies I tell appear to be insignificant, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The lies I tell you sound like this:
1. I am doing well.
This lie flows so easily from my lips, even I can fool myself into believing it. You believe this lie because you heard depression means not getting out of bed or withdrawing from social functions. You believe the lies you have heard implying depression manifests itself the same way in every individual. You believe this lie because I am interacting with you on an almost daily basis.
The truth is I am forcing myself out of bed every morning thanks to my anxiety. I am draining myself trying to perfect the image of a young woman who has her life together. The truth is I am not doing well, but I don’t know how to tell you without worrying you.
2. I have an appointment scheduled to see a therapist.
I tell you I am really trying to get my life back together and make sure I am prepared to combat the upcoming months because I know they will be rough. I tell you this because we both know depression consumes me as the seasons change and I do not want you to worry. You believe my lie because you want me to be better, you want me to heal from the trauma of my past.
The truth is I have not been to see a therapist in over two years because I feel they do not have time to listen to me. I feel my problems are minuscule compared to others’. I do not want to take up space. The truth is I don’t think anyone will ever listen to the words I am saying and really hear me.
3. I really enjoy it here.
I finally feel like I found my calling. I have discovered what I was meant to do and how I can make my impact on the world through scientific discovery. You believe me because I throw scientific jargon around like I enjoy the terms. This lie is believable because for the past eight years all I have ever discussed as a career is something in a scientific field.
The truth is I have no idea what I should be doing. I have no idea if I found the right path. Most days I feel like I am a fraction of who I was intended to be. I feel like I am settling for something that sounds like I am enjoying my life, all the while wishing I had chosen differently.
4. I am finally coming to terms with what happened to me.
This lie is the closest to the truth out of those I tell. I tell you I finally believe it wasn’t my fault. I tell you I am finally coming to accept it isn’t something I should feel shame over because it was a crime done to me. Out of all of my lies, this one is the easiest to believe. You believe me because you know the pain I felt after my assault. You believe me because you want nothing more than for me to heal.
The truth is I still think I could have done something differently to prevent the events that transpired that night. I sometimes wonder if it really happened or if I made it up. The truth is some days I am overwhelmed with a feeling of shame. I feel like I should be over what happened and that something is wrong with me for not being there already.
I will tell you one truth.
Sometimes, I am not a liar.
I tell my truths in such a casual way to project the idea my anxiety and depression are a sub-fraction of what they really are. And what they really are is overwhelming. They are debilitating at times. They are consuming.
They encourage me to lie.
If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
If you or a loved one is affected by domestic violence and need help, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Image via Thinkstock