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When a Person With Mental Illness Hears, 'It Must Be Nice...'

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“It must be nice” is often heard when someone feels another person’s “situation” is better than there’s; it also comes in varying levels of sarcasm.

As someone with a mental illness, this phrase can send me into an anxiety attack.

“It must be nice to sleep in.”

I have to take anti-nightmare medication because my nightmares are live-action accounts of my childhood trauma, on repeat. I don’t have a lot of control on what time I wake up. “It must be nice” to have control over your sleeping habits.

“It must be nice to not work.”

I miss working with every fiber of my soul. Working is in my genes. I am the product of a family of hard workers. I feel like a failure every day that I wake up and every moment my family struggles to afford the basics. I feel like a burden. “It must be nice” to be able to rely on yourself.

Not being able to attend all-day events and “cherry picking” my availability isn’t “nice” — especially when it’s something I love so much, but while you’re envying my “freedom,” I’m going over every single possible scenario that might happen and how to properly handle it, I’m already planning how I’m going to handle how overwhelmed I’m going to be tomorrow when the afternoons events are long over and I finally crash, I’m struggling to build up the courage just to attend the events I’ve already committed to because I’m afraid of potential conflicts being too early might cause.

Although you probably mean well or think you’re in some way being funny, as someone with a mental illness, I ask that you be more thoughtful in your phrasing.

Follow this journey on Me, Myself & CPTSD.

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Thinkstock photo by Sylver arts

Originally published: April 21, 2017
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