Please, Ask Me How I Am. Please, Want to Know the Honest Answer.


Ask me how I am.

Ask me in a way that genuinely makes me feel like you want me to answer truthfully. I know you probably won’t. I know  it’s not because you don’t care about me. It isn’t because you don’t worry about me sometimes. But if you’re honest with yourself, it’s because you probably don’t really want to deal with it.

If you do ask me how I am, you may be hopeful you’ll receive the, “I’m fine, how are you?” standard stiff-upper-lip response because you don’t want to know that this morning, I sobbed in my car on the way to work. You don’t want to know I’m angry because of the experiences I have had in the last few months in an abusive relationship that I’m struggling to process. You don’t want to know I’m also ashamed of what happened to me. You don’t want to know I still feel suicidal sometimes. You don’t want to know I had an anxiety attack at work the other day and had to run upstairs to an empty office so I could stifle my sobs, and it took 20 minutes to pull myself together.

I get it, OK? I know it’s really difficult to speak to someone in pain. You have your own stuff going on. You’ve got a million and one things to remember. You’re dealing with your own crap. And I don’t want to add to that, I truly don’t. I understand that sometimes all you can do is deal with your own life. You get blinkered.

But… dealing with depression, anxiety, etc., — that’s hard too. And while I don’t want to burden you, sometimes I do really need to talk. I don’t like reaching out. It makes me feel uncomfortable, and I really don’t want to take up your time with my troubles. But, once in a while, if you can, please ask me how I am. Ask me if I’m coping. Please make me feel as though you genuinely want me to talk to you. And please be prepared for the response not to be “I’m fine.” Because sometimes, I’m not.

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Depression

open novel

Rewriting the Story of My Life After Depression 'Took Over'

As an English major, I take pride in having an active imagination, and for the most part use it to my advantage. This can be proven by the fact that I wrote a rather cringeworthy novel at the tender age of 12 that boasts 375 pages of preteen fuelled regret. Rereading the novel I wrote [...]
Pensive woman in bed

The Realization I Had on the Third Day in Bed With Depression

It was the third day of not showering and not getting out of bed. It was also the third day I didn’t go to work and kept my phone on airplane mode so no one could reach me. It was the third day of staring at the ceiling, crying, falling asleep, waking up and crying some [...]
Man with a mustache watercolor

We Need to Stop Treating Mental and Physical Pain Differently

During my childhood, after a certain point, I made it my mission to be tough and never show pain in public. Even if I twisted my ankle, sprained my wrist or cracked my shin, I was calm and I never showed I was in pain. I did this because I knew if I had the [...]
Single woman alone swinging on the beach and looking the other seat

To My Old Friend Depression: I Don't Need You Anymore

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Dear Depression, It has been nice to get to know you as the years have gone by. After tragic events you seem to be the only one there. It [...]