The Mighty Logo

My Mental and Physical Health for a Day, Described in Emoticons

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I see a therapist. I had mental health issues long before chronic physical illness came along and added spice to my life. This therapist says I use my gift with words to cover up how I’m really feeling when I’m at my lowest, mentally.

My mind was blown, and I was angry. I had only considered my writing as a positive coping tool. I thought about what he said for a week. Next therapy appointment I was still angry.

Then, that same night, I sat down to blog about how I felt about the whole matter and instead wrote a post for a celebrity website so fluffy it almost flew away.

Surprise, surprise. Mr. Therapist was right. I thought about it, a little less angrily, and realized that I’d write about my physical health issues because I’m used to doing that, and because despite the problems I have with them, and the mental/physical health connection my multiple sclerosis has, it feels like my physical health problems are more understood. Or I’d sit and write about celebrities or something completely non-health related just to escape.

So, yeah, sometimes my writing is a powerful tool, and sometimes it’s another mountain I hide behind to escape reality. I need to deal with my mental health, too, but I keep pushing it off to the side.

My therapist gave me some homework at my next appointment. He wanted me to draw how I felt in emoticons for an entire day. No words. Just emoticons. Um, I don’t know if I can do that. But I did it. Here’s that story. By the way, the irony is not lost on me that I’m blogging about all this — with words. Say what you will about that.

My day in emoticons:

6 a.m.: Get up feeling like the walking dead.  

sleeping and yawning emojis

crying emoji

7 a.m. — 9 a.m.: Why on earth do I have to function as a human being today?

sad, surprised, mad and straight smile emojis

9 a.m. — 11 a.m.: I really have to function as a human today. Ughhh. Why can’t I hide under the covers forever?

sad, tired and scared emojis

11 a.m. — 3 p.m.: I have to work. It’s too much.

suspicious and angry emojis

angry, surprised and wailing emojis

3 p.m. — 5 p.m.: I hurt. There’s too much pain. I can’t take this. I’m going to lie on the floor and drown in a puddle of tears.

four crying emojis and three angry crying emojis

5 p.m. — 8 p.m.: I don’t know anything. I’m so confused.

two sad and one sweating emoji

8 p.m. until whenever I fall asleep: I am weak, but I’m strong. I may be a mess, but I can survive, because I am a part of The Mighty!

hand up, two hands raised, heart eyes, and two smiling emojis

Originally published: October 12, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home