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When Being 'Chill' Is a Coping Mechanism

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You say I am so chill. I am OK with anything people say. I am accepting of all ideas and opinions, whether they be directed to the world or directly at me. I brush off my shoulder when an insult would have placed a chip there. I offer my help whenever someone asks for it without thinking twice. I don’t fangirl, over-obsess, scream, shout or get super hyped nor super bothered.

I make a point not to interrupt people’s daily activities. I never purposefully cross “the line” or step on people’s toes. I don’t appear to worry about not performing my best. I look the other way when things are not up to par with my moral standards. Offended? What does that word mean?

You say I am like a cat. Hell, even my “patronus” is a cat. I accept attention only when necessary. I avoid attention when it is not necessary. I avoid potentially cumbersome conversations. I postpone my chores and homework only to barely finish on time, if that.

I live by my own rules. I eat a lot. I sleep in often. I leave hair everywhere. I travel around and sulk undetected. I steer clear of “the line” at all costs. Even if the dog chases me around the house in the morning, the rest of my day is unbothered. I am chill.

Have you ever thought that maybe being “chill” is a coping method? Have you ever thought maybe on the outside my aura seems like a cool, appealing popsicle, but on the inside, I am a piece of thin wood that is one crack away from splintering into a million pieces?

I know I am strong-willed. I have a great attention span. I bear exceptional attention to detail. I possess creative, unique perspectives on most situations. I think differently than most of my peers and colleague because I often notice things they miss or overlook.

I endure artistically intense analytical skills. I have a naturally fast metabolism. I am a powerful mover. My choreography is instinctively pleasing to an audience. I am a thoughtful, meticulous teacher. I know there is not something working cohesively in my brain. I know that.

I say I am not good enough. I am worthless. I stink in every essence of the word. I am too fat. My teeth are too crooked. My face is disproportionate. I eat too much. I am not strong enough. I have no clue what I am doing.

I am not smart. I do not deserve to go to school here. My choreography is hideous, and no one could ever enjoy such bullshit. I make my dancers look terrible. I made my choreography too hard. I am a terrible teacher.

I have no friends. I don’t need friends. Nothing I say will make an impact. Nothing I do will change people’s minds.

I eat way too much. I should go on a diet. I should eat healthier. I should appreciate my body. I will never have my shit together. I will never learn to control my eating habits.

I will never learn how to have a normal conversation. I say idiotic things. My lisp demands that I never talk again. None of my ideas are worth contributing. No one will ever listen to this shit. No one will ever believe this shit.

Why do I say these things? Why can’t I just be better? Why can’t I stop thinking? Why can’t I create something worthy? When will I learn to talk to people? Why isn’t my brain cooperating?

Why can’t I cook my own food? Why can’t I do the laundry? Why do I feel the need to eat cookies all day? Why do I want to eat when I am full? Why do I never want to eat again?

Why do I feel like puking all of the time? Why do I feel guilty all of the time? Why am I not OK? Why can’t I deal with life? Why can’t I just be happy?

Is it me? Am I doing something wrong? Am I too weak? Am I not good enough? Do I stink? Am I too fat?

Am I just a silly millennial crying about nothing? Am I making this up? Do I need to just suck it up? Am I OK?

Your response: Yeah, life is hard, man.

Image via Thinkstock.

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Originally published: October 26, 2016
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