There are more and more things that I have found hard to talk and explain about with people. Some things are either hard to bring up, or explaining them would require going in-depth into personal things which I’d rather not share with them about. However, if I don’t go into the whole back story, it’s hard to explain in a short answer. Ah it’s so frustrating! Especially in situations where I’d like to clear things up, but I frankly don’t want to spend the time and energy on that person trying to explain things just to have them misunderstand over and over again.
Example 1: I haven’t been going to school after the first 2 days back. Why? Because I’ve been feeling like crap. At night, I would feel so light-headed I can’t even turn my head without feeling like the world was spinning all around me. Even when I lie down to try to sleep, I feel my head spinning. I’d also be breathless for no reason, and feeling a lump in my throat. And I’d be dead tired, but unable to sleep with my head bothering me until the sun rose no matter what how early I went to sleep, what herbal teas I drank, nor the amount of Advil I took to take away my headache. I looked up my symptoms and lo and behold, due to my poor compliance to my antidepressant, I’ve been having withdrawal symptoms from not taking it for 3 consecutive days. But, having to explain that would mean explaining about the antidepressants and the whole depression anxiety thing so I’d just say that it is because of my headaches and being unable to wake up due to not being able to sleep because of them. It’s almost funny how it doesn’t “click” in their minds that I’ve had a constant never-ending headache for more than a year now although honestly it does get worse now and then.
Example 2: The oh too common “how are you?” always require the standard “I’m good, and you?” Because what else do you want me to say? That I’m doing really badly and I think about dying and that I’m really stressed about school and go into all that? Most people probably don’t even expect an answer other than “I’m good” or “I’m ok”. Then there are those who want more than that but don’t want all the details because they frankly don’t care either. If only there was a way to discern what type of answer they want. Because honestly, when I ask people questions, I do expect a certain answer at times. I know that the thought of “okay let’s just check in with this person and if they’re doing well then the conversation will probably end” or “I really want to know how this person is doing” or “I’m just being polite and asking, I don’t really want to know” has definitely crossed my mind for certain people!
Example 3: Someone recently asked me “How’s pharmacy?” People always ask me that. Once again, the standard answer “It’s good”, “It’s ok”, “It’s interesting” pops up. So I asked them what kind of answer they wanted (which they took the wrong way of course). I wanted to share with them my experiences in pharmacy but I didn’t want to share with them everything. They didn’t need to know too much. Sure I love the things we learn about, and I love everything we learn can easily be applied to practice, but it’s also brought about lots of stress that probably contributed to the anxiety. And again, it goes back to the anxiety depression spiel.
Example 4: My brother complains that I isolate myself from the rest of my family. And I admit that I do that, but that’s because it takes a lot of energy for me to socialize sometimes, even though it might just be with my family. If I do go out and talk with them, we usually end up arguing or having me being irritated. Then there are complaints of me being irritated too easily. Therefore, I found it easier to just hide away and save energy. I don’t want to tell him about my mental health issues as that’ll probably lead to yet more arguments.
I used to find it easy to just blab all my problems to people who I might not even be close with. I didn’t mind talking about myself to them and share my experiences. However, as I’ve experienced more and learned more, I realize how sharing my stories and problems can instead become a burden to the other person, giving them and trusting them with the responsibility to listen and have that information. Now, it’s hard for me to open up. Especially when there are things like anxiety and depression. You can’t just talk about that to anyone and everyone. It took me months before I told my best friend, and even that was hard. It’s almost like looking for pity, asking them to treat you different, asking them to forgive and understand certain circumstances. Which is far from what I want. I don’t want to make it an excuse. I want the things I say or tell people to help them, to let them learn from my mistakes and experiences so that they themselves don’t have to experience the pain and hurt it took to go through it. I don’t want my anxiety and depression to define me, but it is a part of who I am. I’m still learning how to live with that part of my life shadowing me, but hopefully I’ll be able to resolve that part of me, or find other ways to express myself…because, it is really hard for me to lie and think of diversions! I’m getting better at lying, but that’s not something I want to be good at. It’s painful having to lie to people and hide things from them, but it is even harder yet to open up to them, being vulnerable. Oh what to do…