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The Raw Truth Behind My 'I'm Fine' as Someone With Mental Illness

Have you ever had a continuous headache you thought would never leave? It felt like no matter what you did or what medications you took, nothing gave you relief? So you just lie there in a dark room waiting… and waiting until it stopped, until you could function again? Yeah, me too. But my pain isn’t a headache.

But “I’m fine.”

My pain is the feeling I get deep down in my stomach when I realize I’m starting to get bad again. The pain that aches through my bones, but I just keep pushing. You see, it starts off as me struggling with simple tasks, but I choose to ignore them. It is like that headache I remind myself over and over, “it’ll leave.” So, I suck it up. But then a task comes and it doesn’t ever leave. These tasks that are yet so simple get harder and harder to complete. I smile to hide the pain. I’m starting to feel happy again, can I fool myself? “I’m fine,” just tired again.

Months are starting to fly by and I am still pushing, but I start to lose the excitement I used to have for certain activities. Sometimes I look around me and I see no future. I drift away from family and friends because the things that excite them don’t do it for me. Then I realize how much of a gap is there, how far I’ve actually fallen. Then, when I find something or someone that makes me feel alive again, I hold onto them until they eventually leave. See, it’s my fault I push everyone anyway.

But “I’m fine.”

It’s sad knowing I love others more than I love myself. When it comes to others, I hate to see them in pain, but of course, when it comes to me, “I’m fine.” I’m always, “just fine.”

Crying in the shower?

“I’m fine.”

Not wanting to eat?

“I’m fine.”

Thoughts rushing through my head?

“I’m fine.”

That hurt my feelings?

“I’m fine.”

I’m always, “just fine.” Fine that I’m always there for others in need, but no one cares about my pain. Fine that I can barely look in the mirror. Fine I never feel good enough. Fine everyone calls me when they need help. Fine no one returns my calls.

“Fine.”

Is it just my mind playing games?

“Fine. It’s fine.”

Please just let me be fine.

It starts to get better, I start to smile again. Am I actually happy? Or have I fooled myself once again into convincing myself “I’m fine.” See, I’m scared one day I won’t be “fine.” I tell myself nothing lasts forever and “I’ll be fine.” When will I stop convincing myself everything is fine? If it hurts me, I have a right to be upset. I always think about others having it worse, but we are on our own journey, right? We have our own pains and insecurities.

One day I won’t have to say, “I’m fine.” One day I’ll be able to look in the mirror again and not see all my insecurities. One day someone won’t let me push them away. One day I’ll “be fine.”

Unsplash image by Allef Vinicius