5 Things I Say That Are Code for 'I'm Struggling With My Mental Health'

I don’t want to be grim or negative. I want to keep situations as light as possible so that no one is uncomfortable with things I say. I’m really good at superficial conversations. It’s like being in a hurry to be nowhere important, and don’t want to get stuck in an honest dialogue. So, I’ve created a decoding system so that when I say one thing, you’ll know I mean another.

1. “I’m fine.”

This means, I’m definitely struggling today. I probably had a lot of anxiety on the way to school or work. I don’t want to talk to people I don’t know.

2. “Haha, I’m here.” 

I stayed in bed as long as I could today. I grabbed clothes from a pile on the floor. I’ve been having flashbacks again.

3. “Meh..” 

I honestly don’t think this one needs a translation.

4. “I can’t adult today, lol.” 

Just my funny way of saying I feel like a failure, nothing is ever done how I’d like it to be done. I feel like I eat poorly, and don’t make good decisions.

5. “Oh, I’m just tired.” 

I didn’t sleep. I’m done with this lack of motivation, bags under my eyes, coffee isn’t strong enough… I’m tired of fighting this seemingly unending battle with myself.

Bonus codes: I have a lot of physical symptoms that could tell you how I’m actually doing, contrary to what I may say.

Raw spot on my lip. 

There’s no one around to take my hand away from my lip. I’m fidgeting. I’m worried.

Reopened scab(s) on my arms. 

Plain and simple, I had an anxiety attack. It was scary.

Cracking my fingers. 

I get really tight joints and muscles after an anxiety attack and nothing feels right until I’ve cracked every possible joint in my body.

Covering my chest with my right arm.

There’s too much going on. I think there’s an anxiety attack happening soon. Don’t talk to me. I can’t breathe. I need to get out of wherever I am into a quiet spot with my playlist.

These are real. These are my symptoms, which means there are hundreds more for everyone else who struggles with their mental health on a daily basis. The next time you talk to your sibling, classmate or co-worker, pay attention to them. Let them know that you’re there for them, and ask them if they need a hug or a coffee. Honestly, sometimes we are just waiting for someone to listen or help us get through a tough day.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty Images photo via ssplajn

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anxiety

woman looking stressed after shopping sitting on sofa

When Anxiety Made Me Leave a Store Without Putting Anything Away

To the employees of the craft store I left without putting anything away — I’m sorry. I went to the craft store as a break from my severe depressive episode. It gave me a reason to leave the couch and leave the house. I love the holiday season and I was looking forward to making [...]
woman waking up

The 2 Products That Help With My Morning Anxiety

Because my anxiety is at its very worst first thing in the morning, it has occurred to me from time to time that I might need to examine how I sleep. This seems to be paying off. Here are two of my essentials for a low-stress morning. 1. Memory Foam Pillow The first thing I bought was [...]
weighted blanket and bath bombs

14 Ways to Release Anxiety Pain When You Can't Afford a Massage

Living with anxiety often means navigating how to manage its symptoms. Therapy and psychiatrists and a strong support system can help in moments when your thoughts feel overwhelming, but what about managing the physical symptoms that often accompany anxiety? When you’re spending money trying to take care of the psychological symptoms that are the mainstays [...]
Double exposure portrait of young woman and watercolor paint isolated on white.

When Your Depression and Anxiety Go Hand-in-Hand

When I say I am depressed, people often write it off saying, “Oh trust me, I am too” or “Everyone feels that way. It will pass.” Some even have the nerve to see my cries for help as the desire for undeserved attention… Yet in reality, this is deeper than what most people feel. This [...]